Rethinking Poverty and The Orwell Youth Prize 2020 – The Future We Want
‘To take a rational political decision one must have a picture of the future’
(George Orwell, 1944)
The Orwell Youth Prize, supported by Rethinking Poverty, has launched its 2020 theme: ‘The Future We Want’. The Orwell Youth Prize is a social justice-based writing prize and programme with a mission to amplify the voices that often go unheard and in doing so to give young people the tools, confidence and platform to make an impact and change the world around them.
The Prize is calling for 12-18-year olds from across the UK to write creatively to visualise the future they’d like to see. Interpretation of the theme is open, and entrants can respond in whatever genre they see fit. We’re hoping to see poems, plays, investigative journalism, short stories and more covering topics from climate change to education, technology, work and community.
Alongside the competition, the Orwell Youth Prize will be running a number of school workshops and youth forums with professional writers, journalists and organisers to get young people talking about the society they’d like to shape.
Ultimately, the Orwell Youth Prize and Rethinking Poverty will be working collaboratively to convene an audience of professionals across the spheres of politics, journalism and civil society to listen up and act on the ideas of young people and their experiences and visions for change.
The partnership between Rethinking Poverty and the Orwell Youth Prize grew out of a shared belief that ‘the coming generation is more likely to make change than the current one’ (Barry Knight, Rethinking Poverty). Powerful ideas are coming from young people, and the more we can support teenagers from all backgrounds to think creatively, the closer we will get to bringing about real change. It’s time to listen and hear about the future they want and for us to act in a way that makes it possible, sooner rather than later.
The Orwell Youth Prize opens for entry from December 2019 and closes 11 May – find out more about the competition and the Orwell Youth Prize here.
About the Orwell Youth Prize
The Orwell Youth Prize is an annual programme for 12-18-year olds culminating in a writing prize. Rooted in Orwell’s values of integrity and fairness, the prize and the activities around it introduce young people to the power of language and provoke them to think critically and creatively about the world in which they are living.
An understanding of social and educational disadvantage in the UK drives our work and focus. Knowing that the distribution of resources and opportunities for young people is unequal and geographically imbalanced, we reach out to young people in the least affluent areas outside the South East. While we work closely with schools, we also place an equal weight on supporting ambitious individuals who may lack the structural support to develop their own writing. Our free online resources and feedback process are available to all.