The Orwell Society/NUJ Young Journalist’s Award 2024

Deadline: 7th of April, 2024

Do you want to win a prestigious reward that will considerably strengthen your expanding portfolio as a young journalist living full-time in the UK, studying a journalism degree, or just starting started in the field?

If so, apply for The Orwell Society/NUJ Young Journalist’s Award 2024, which awards £1,000 to the winners of both categories (reviews and columns). Every winner will also receive a NUJ membership. The £500 prize for the runner-up in each category goes to. The winners and runners-up will also get three years of free membership in the Orwell Society.

Among the greatest authors of the 20th century was George Orwell. In addition to writing Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, he is also credited with some of the best journalism ever done. Notably, he belonged to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and publications focusing on his life and contributions have featured a copy of his membership card. The photograph is used on this website specifically to highlight the Young Journalist’s Award, thanks to permission from UCL Library, Special Collections and The Orwell Estate. In addition to honouring Orwell’s legacy, the esteemed UK-wide Young Journalist’s Award provides aspiring journalists with a fantastic platform to expand their professional networks, portfolios, CVs, and profiles.

The judges will not provide feedback to entrants, except to the winners and runners-up. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. All entries are anonymised for judging.


  • Exceptional: 80%+
  • Excellent: 70-79%
  • Very good: 60-69%
  • Good: 50-59%
  • Basic: 40-49%
  • Insufficient: 0-39%


  • A prize of £1,000 for each winner of the two categories: columns and reviews.
  • In addition, each winner will receive an NUJ membership.
  • The runner-up in each category will receive a prize of £500.
  • Winners and runners-up will also receive a three-year free membership of The Orwell Society.


You are eligible to enter if you are:

  • a student journalist (i.e. a university undergraduate, post-graduate or a vocational trainee) or
  • currently employed or self-employed as a journalist
  • and in both cases, your date of birth falls in or after 1994 and you are a full-time resident in the UK.

Judging Criteria:

  • Subject Knowledge (25%) – Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the chosen subject. Attention to details which are both valid and relevant such as terms/concepts, theories, events, people, contexts and information. Depth and range of research and comprehension indicated by judicious incorporation of facts/quotes and pertinent definitions/explanations.
  • Intellectual Skills (25%) – Ability to articulate a clear and compelling position through cogent and coherent argumentation. Analysis and evaluation rather than mere description. Questioning and critical thinking rather than assumptions and platitudes. Overall command and synthesis of ideas and reasoning.
  • Subject-Specific Skills (25%) – Substantiation of points and arguments by reference to relevant examples. Marshalling of evidence to illustrate and illuminate. Credible sources and underpinnings rather than dubious claims and unsupported opinion.
  • Transferrable Skills (25%) – Standard of language usage (including grammar, punctuation, spelling and diction) as well as writing style (including expression, clarity, fluency and power). Structure supporting logical and methodical progression. Adherence to the specified word count and form of journalism.




After checking  judging criteria, you are asked to submit the following tasks via email to

  • an arts review on a subject of your choice (e.g. book, film, play, art exhibition, etc) of no fewer than 600 and no more than 700 words. Your review should include a headline and an indication of the target audience/publication.
  • OR a column on a political subject of your choice of no fewer than 600 and no more than 700 words. Your column should include a headline and an indication of the target audience/publication.
  • a reflection of no fewer than 250 and no more than 300 words, on how your review or column is informed by Orwell’s influence. You should explain which aspects of Orwell’s life and works have had an important bearing on your piece.
  • a covering email to include the following: full name, address, date of birth, journalistic qualifications, and experience.

Click here to apply 

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