2022's iteration of the Orwell Youth Prize is now looking for entries. The competition is open to any young person living in the United Kingdom between the ages of 12-18 who is interested in showcasing and developing their literary skills. The theme is 'Coming up for air: Writing the climate crisis'. The organisers encourage participants to consider their own feelings on the climate crisis and the discourse surrounding it; "what do you feel is missing from the conversation?"
Any format is encouraged so long as it engages in some way with the core theme, including poetry, prose, essays, and plays. Additionally, this year they are particularly interested in encouraging video game designs.
The word limit is the same across all mediums. In the junior category (ages 12-16), the limit is 1000 words, whilst entries into the senior category (ages 17-18) will be given a ceiling of 1500 words. The feedback deadline is Friday 22 April 2022 and the final deadline for all entries is Friday 3 June 2022. Anyone interested can enter here.
All participants will be given personalised feedback on their piece from the panel of expert, voluntary readers. The winning entries (one from each age category) and the runner-ups will receive publication on the Orwell Youth Prize website, be awarded a cash prize along with several of George Orwell's books, and have the opportunity to become part of the Orwell Youth Fellows programme. The programme encourages networking between young creatives and hosts several workshops throughout the year.
The judges for the Orwell Youth Prize 2022 will be:
Nada Farhoud, Environment Editor at the Daily Mirror
Dara McAnulty, Prize-Winning Author
Gillian Clarke, Award-Winning Poet
Dan Bernardo, Founder of Playtra Games
Michael Jacobs, Writer and Environmental Economist
The Orwell Youth Prize began accepting submissions in 2018 and has published winning entries in 2019, 2020, and 2021. It was established in honour of renowned author, essayist, and journalist, George Orwell, who published highly politicised works and cited a sense of social injustice as his main source of inspiration.
Voice has worked with The Orwell Youth Prize for a number of years, interviewing the winners and running their work on the site. To see previous submissions, click here.