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Explore The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness shortlist
Find out more about our newest category
In Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell combined vivid reportage and evidence with empathy, describing the root causes of homelessness and poverty and their brutal impact.
In the 90th anniversary year of the book, we and our partners the Centre for Homelessness Impact wanted the new Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness to shine a light on new forms of homelessness including temporary and precarious housing, sofa surfing and beds in sheds as well as rough sleeping and hostel-dwelling.
Over the last six months, we asked for entries from people experiencing homelessness and from journalists who shine a light on the problem and its potential solutions. Commenting on the announcement of the shortlist, chair of the judging panel, Alan Rusbridger, said:
We were so impressed by the quality and quantity of the entries, which collectively told a depressing and shaming story about a crisis in towns and cities across the country. The shortlisted entries span memoir, reporting, video, audio, data, academic research, stories of lived experience and more.
Though the overall picture they describe is often a harrowing one it is heartening that so many writers, researchers and journalists remain doggedly committed to documenting the crisis so tellingly.
Read on to read, watch and listen to extracts from the finalists (links to all the shortlisted material can be found on The Orwell Foundation website). The winner will be announced on 22nd June 2023.
BBC Radio 4 reporter (BBC Woman’s Hour, BBC Front Row, You and Yours) Carolyn Atkinson was shortlisted for a series of reports on ‘Rogue Refuges’, first featured on BBC Woman’s Hour. Listen back to the clips on The Orwell Foundation website.
Lucy Campbell is Head of Multiple Disadvantage at Single Homeless Project. Her shortlisted work included this report on how we can ‘challenge the systems which keep women’s rough sleep unseen’.
Daniel Hewitt is a British journalist and presenter currently working for ITV News as Investigations Correspondent. His entries reported from across the homelessness crisis. from alarming new statistics on evictions and rough sleeping to the private companies making millions from housing homeless families in ‘appalling’ conditions.
Daniel Lavelle writes on mental health, homelessness and social care. He received the Guardian’s Hugo Young award in 2017, and is the author of Down and Out (Wildfire). His shortlisted work included a series of Guardian columns which drew on his own experience of the homelessness crisis.
Freya Marshall Payne
Freya Marshall Payne is a writer and researcher. She is currently exploring women’s experiences of homelessness for her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Her shortlisted entry included original writing and a Guardian column on hidden homelessness in the UK.
Zohra Naciri’s ‘An Existence’ is a piece of new writing. In it, Naciri reflects on their life, work, and struggles with finding affordable housing in London.
Currently Transport Correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, Jack Simpson is a former news editor at Inside Housing. His shortlisted articles investigate a growing scandal - the number of sub-standard exempt accommodation properties across the UK.
Vicky Spratt is a housing correspondent at the i paper and the author of Tenants (Profile). Her shortlisted work includes an article on the ‘rising tsunami’ of evictions during the cost of living crisis, a film investigating the UK’s ‘human warehouses’ (where those waiting for a council home are kept for years at a time) and this article about the deaths of children in temporary accommodation.
Daniel Trilling writes regularly for the London Review of Books, Guardian, New York Times and others, and he is a commissioning editor at openDemocracy. His journalism was shortlisted for the 2022 Orwell Prize and in 2017 he won a Migration Media Award. In this essay, published in Prospect, he reports on the myriad ways in which the UK immigration system pushes people into poverty.
Join some of the leading voices working towards a future without homelessness at our special event this Wednesday 14th June at University College London. Register for free here.