Winners of 2024 NUJ/Orwell Society Young Journalist Awards announced

  • 17 May 2024

The entrants, students and young working journalists, wrote a column or review and explained how their writing had been influenced by the 1984 author.

The winners of the two categories, political opinion writing and arts review, were revealed at the Orwell Society’s AGM in London on Saturday, May 11.

Entries were judged by a panel made up of noted Orwell experts including George Orwell’s son Richard Blair, who is also patron of the Orwell Society, Hardeep Matharu, editor of Byline Times, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, formerly a senior staff editor at The New York Times and editor-in-chief at gal-dem magazine, Dorian Lynskey, journalist and author of The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984, and Tam Hussein, award-winning journalist and author, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism.

Hassan Akram, Georgina Parbrook, Dan Paling, Richard Blair, Matthew Taylor, Lucy Gilder and Loïs Bolton

The panel agreed to award the prize for best arts review to Dan Paling, a BA English Literature graduate and future Oxford Master’s student, for his essay entitled Natural Beauty in The Zone of Interest, a treatise of a film adapted from Martin Amis’ novel The Zone of Interest.

In the political column category, the winner was a piece by current Pembroke College, Cambridge undergraduate Matthew Taylor for his essay, A Life No Longer Simple, Memories No Longer Mine.

Chair of the judging panel Dr Jaron Murphy, award-winning journalist and academic in Journalism and Literature at Bournemouth University, said:

“What was notable about this year's entries was the close attention to forms of toxicity online, including some of the negative impacts of the rise of AI, as well as to kinds of inequality in society such as housing and education.  Fittingly, up-and-coming journalists are deeply concerned about how the younger generations in the UK are being adversely affected by such issues.”

The Orwell Society Young Journalist’s Award, held in conjunction with the NUJ, of which George Orwell was a member, aims to recognise the writing of promising students of journalism or working journalists aged 30 or below.

Each winner receives a prize of £1,000, with £500 going to each runner-up.

Applicants could enter one of two categories, submitting either a review, or a column.


Winner: Dan Paling

Entry: Natural Beauty in The Zone of Interest

Runner-up: Georgina Parbrook

Entry: Milla Sofia, The Artificial Influencer

Highly commended: Giorgia Ambo

Entry: Paintings See Us More Clearly Than We See Ourselves

Highly commended: Georgia Luckhurst

Entry: A Hero Just for One Day - On Me and Mr Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders

from Mars


Winner: Matthew Taylor

Entry: A Life No Longer Simple, Memories No Longer Mine

Runner-up: Lucy Gilder

Entry: Building Equality: Why There's More to School Maintenance Than Safety

Highly commended: Harry Goodwin

Entry: Silvertown

Highly commended: Jem Bartholomew

Entry: Four Walls of Despair: 235 Days Stuck in The Homelessness System

The judging panel in full: Richard Blair (Patron of The Orwell Society and Orwell’s son), Chair of panel Dr Jaron Murphy (award-winning journalist and academic in Journalism and Literature at Bournemouth University), Hardeep Matharu (editor of Byline Times – the fearless independent news site and print newspaper covering ‘what the papers don’t say’), Tam Hussein (award-winning journalist, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism, and author), Dorian Lynskey (journalist and author of the acclaimed The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984), Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (award-winning freelance journalist, formerly a Senior Staff Editor at The New York Times and Editor-in-Chief at gal-dem magazine), Frances Rafferty (Senior Editorial and Communications Officer, National Union of Journalists).

For all media enquiries please contact:  Benedict Cooper, communications officer for the Orwell Society, on [email protected]  or +44(0)7973 943 246.

About the Orwell Society

The Orwell Society is the official society dedicated to promoting the life and works of George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm and other important books and essays. The Society is a registered charity in the UK and aims to keep the study of Orwell alive through its educational activities. The Society’s patron is Richard Blair, Orwell’s son.

About George Orwell

George Orwell (1903-1950), born Eric Arthur Blair, was one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential literary journalists and authors. In a relatively short career, cut short by his death from tuberculosis at the age of 46, Orwell produced some of the most important works of fiction by any English writer in history, including dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, as well as a huge collection of essays, literary reviews, letters and reflections on poverty and the condition of the working class in Britain, the politics of the left, the rise of fascism in Europe and the Second World War, and the state of contemporary literature and journalism.

Return to listing