Olive Otele, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Brit Bennett, Monique Roffey, and Akwaeke Emezi are on the longlist for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021 announced today, April 9, 2021.

The Orwell Prizes, named in honour of English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic George Orwell, are the UK’s most prestigious prizes for political writing. The Orwell Foundation annually awards prizes for work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Starting in 1994, winners of the Orwell Prize were recognised in the categories of political writing and journalism.

In 2018, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction was launched and awarded in June 2019. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Diana Evans made the shortlist in that first year while Colson Whitehead won it in 2020.

Today the award organisers announced the longlists for 2021 in the categories of Political Writing Book Prize, Political Fiction Book Prize, Journalism, and Exposing Britain’s Evils Prize. Those longlisted in the Political Writing Book Prize and Political Fiction Book Prize are;

Political Writing Book Prize

Judges: Anand Menon (Chair), Angela Saini, Richard Ekins, Rosemary Goring


  • African Europeans: An Untold History, Olivette Otele

Political Fiction Book Prize

Judges: Delia Jarrett-Macauley (Chair), Andrea Stuart, Bea Carvalho, and Mark Ford


  • Afterlives, Abdulrazak Gurnah
  • The Black Mermaid Conch, Monique Roffey
  • The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi
  • The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett

The shortlists for all four Prizes will be published in the spring, usually mid-May before the winners are announced on or around George Orwell’s birthday on 25th June.