We are excited to share that we are launching a new prize alongside The Orwell Foundation, aimed at highlighting issues around homelessness. The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness 2023 will celebrate the art of evidence-led storytelling, accurate investigation, and innovative policy reporting. It will amplify the voices of people with lived experience and reward the range of reporting, to explore homelessness in all its new and old forms.
Great political writing can, and does, change the world and the very best of it is showcased at the Orwell Festival each year. 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 will welcome entries about insights from precarious and temporary housing, hostels, refuges and shelters, initiatives to help people experiencing homelessness, street sleeping, sofa surfing, beds in sheds and all other forms of homelessness that can inform system-level change.
In the spirit of George Orwell’s fiction, non-fiction and journalism, The Orwell Foundation aims to celebrate honest and creative writing and reporting, uncover hidden lives, and confront uncomfortable truths. Orwell said if ‘liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’. The Centre for Homelessness Impact exists to see an end to homelessness for good.
Entrants can submit creative writing, as well as video and audio content, photojournalism and social media material. Entries will be encouraged from people with direct experience of homelessness and also open to established journalists, authors, artists, film-makers and others. The winner will receive a cash prize at the closing ceremony of the annual Orwell Festival.
Professor Jean Seaton, Director of The Orwell Foundation, says: “In 1933 George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London put the vivacity of the precarious lives of those living on the edge of the chasm of poverty and with no home on the agenda. His project needs re-imagining. In 2023 the Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness will call up new ways of putting this solvable, shameful problem back on our minds and on the social and political agenda”.
Dr Ligia Teixeira, Chief Executive of the Centre for Homelessness Impact, said: “To end homelessness for good we need new approaches and to find solutions by acting on evidence of what works and what does not. George Orwell also cared passionately about the importance of precise, accurate, clear writing and gave warning of how language can corrupt thought. We want to highlight and celebrate story-telling on homelessness that reflects the evidence and is proportionate, and thus enhances understanding and challenges false narratives and sterotypes.”
The philosophy of using evidence to end homelessness
Our CEO, Ligia Teixeira, spoke at a graduation ceremony at the Glasgow University and explained her commitment to empirical evidence to end homelessness.
Comparing data on homelessness deaths
How do data on homelessness deaths compare across the UK? This blogpost summarises the different data sources used.
Five questions we'll explore at our upcoming Impact Forum
In our upcoming Impact Forum, on 15 + 16 November, we’ll be bringing together global evidence of interventions to prevent and relieve homelessness, looking at what works to prevent worsening homelessness in a cost of living emergency. Find out more about the topics we'll be exploring.