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May 25, 2024

Finalists for the Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness 2024 Announced

The Centre for Homelessness Impact and the Orwell Foundation have announced eight finalists for The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness 2024. The diverse, multimedia shortlist brings together the year’s best reporting on homelessness in all its forms from national and local outlets, including Holly Bancroft for The Independent, Daniel Hewitt, Imogen Barrett and Mariah Cooper for ITV News, Liam Thorp of the Liverpool Echo and Vicky Spratt in the i Paper alongside new work from writer and performer Hannah Silva, artist, educator and activist David Tovey and social issues campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa. The final spot was given to ‘Unheard Voices’, a Manchester-based community reporting network. 

Chair of judges, the BBC’s Paddy O’Connell, said: 

"This is Britain. As entrants, you collectively took us onto the streets and into precarious, temporary and often substandard accommodation. Sometimes, as we were reading, we had to take ourselves off of the streets, too. Our eight finalists all artfully and expertly brought human stories to bear on the wider picture - congratulations to every one of them. And to everyone who entered, thank you. We as judges have read and understood each piece: everyone has been seen. Now, it's up to us to make sure you are heard."

In addition to their shortlist, judges – including Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Freya Marshall Payne and Lemn Sissay – have chosen a further selection of previously unpublished entries, including poems, paintings and personal reflections to feature in The Orwell Prize Anthology 2024, alongside work from the Orwell Prizes of Journalism, Political Writing and Political Fiction. Winners in all four categories will be announced at the Orwell Prize ceremony on 27th June 2024.

The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness was launched in 2023 in partnership with The Orwell Foundation and the Centre for Homelessness Impact and the inaugural winners were Daniel Lavelle and Freya Marshall Payne. It celebrates the art of evidence-led storytelling, accurate investigation, and innovative policy reporting, amplifies the voices of people with lived-experience and rewards the range of reporting, to explore homelessness in its new and old forms.

A lot of stigma is attached to homelessness, coupled with many misconceptions, which act as barriers to action to prevent homelessness and offer support to people who find themselves without a safe and secure place to live. Accurate, evidence-led and impactful reporting and story-telling of experiences of homelessness - and what works to prevent it - are particularly important to change how the issue is perceived and discussed.

The prize welcomes new writing and reporting from previously unpublished writers and reports with lived experience of homelessness in all its forms, alongside journalists working to shed light on the issue and its potential solutions. Entries in 2024 included insights from precarious and temporary housing, hostels, refuges and shelters, initiatives to help people experiencing homelessness, sofa surfing, rough sleeping and all other forms of homelessness that can inform system-level change. 

Find out more about the Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness on The Orwell Foundation website.

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