Orwell prize to blog "hop-picking" stories

Orwell prize to blog "hop-picking" stories

The Orwell Prize is to blog George Orwell’s “hop-picking” diary entries, which went on to form part of his novel A Clergyman’s Daughter.

Starting today, the political writing award will post a daily blog 80 years to the day that Orwell wrote his diary entries while he went hop-picking in Kent between August and October 1931. Penguin Classics publishes Orwell’s Diaries.

The move follows the previous blogging of Orwell's 1938-1942 diaries, which is due to finish in November 2012, and The Road to Wigan Pier diary blog, publishing his diary entries between January and March 1936 during the same months in 2011.

Gavin Freeguard, deputy director of the Orwell Prize and editor of the project, said: "We hope we’ve made Orwell’s work more accessible, by bringing his diaries to public attention, making them available to anyone with internet access, and publishing them a day at a time—reading each entry as it unfolds is a very different experience from racing through them in a book."

The hop-picking tradition saw urban workers heading to the countryside to harvest hops, one of the main ingredients in beer. Orwell used his experiences in his second novel A Clergyman’s Daughter and in his New Statesman and Nation essay Hop-picking.

The diaries remain under copyright, and appear with permission of the Orwell estate, Orwell’s son, Richard Blair, and Penguin Books.

The Orwell Prize 2012 opens for entries in late October.