Tuesday 13 April 2021


Sarah Churchwell, professor of American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities in the School of Advanced Study, has been longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism for her writing on the former US president Donald Trump and the history of fascism in America.

Professor Churchwell is a regular contributor to newspapers including the GuardianNew StatesmanFinancial TimesTimes Literary Supplement, and New York Review of Books. Her most recent book is Behold, America: a History of America First and the American Dream.

Four of her essays were cited by the Orwell Prize judges:

Professor Churchwell will participate in a related online event hosted by Griffin Books on Monday, 17 May. She will join the historians Anne Applebaum and Richard Evans for a discussion of ‘Conspiracy’. Ticket information will be available in due course at the Griffin Books website.

‘It's a tremendous honour to be longlisted for the prize named for one of our greatest political writers, especially with so many other writers whose work I admire and learn from,’ Professor Churchwell says.

The 2021 Orwell Prize for Journalism longlist features the year’s best political commentary alongside brave and methodical collaborative reporting on subjects from the impact of Covid-19 in the UK to authoritarian impunity across the globe, all in pursuit of Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. 

The shortlist will be announced later in the spring, while the winner of the prize, worth £3,000, will be revealed in June.

The five judges for the 2021 Orwell Prize for Journalism include Carrie Gracie (chair), former BBC China editor and author of ‘Equal: How We Fix the Gender Pay Gap’, Clive Myrie, multi award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Iain Martin, editor, publisher and co-founder of Reaction, Kamran Abbasi, a physician and executive editor for content at the British Medical Journal, and Rosie Blau, editor of 1843The Economist’s bi-monthly cultural magazine.

Through its prizes, events, workshops and resources, the Orwell Foundation aims to offer a platform for debate and discussion designed to appeal to the widest possible public audience, connecting with everyone to whom George Orwell and his writings are a source of inspiration.