On Monday 26th June, Jack Pollard (L6L), Lucas Pringle (5P) and Charlie Wilbraham (L6S) attended the Orwell Youth Prize Celebration Day 2016 at Pembroke College, Oxford.
Some of the country’s best journalists and writers were present to give workshops and seminars including Jacob Sam-La Rose, Arifa Akbar, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and Adrian Tempany.
In an activity led by Dr Andrew Mycock of the University of Huddersfield, the pupils came up with their own election manifestos, which were presented in a debate led by TV presenter Rick Edwards. Charlie and Lucas's speech won the election, securing more than double the votes than any other team.
Over 170 young people entered pieces into the writing prize on the theme of identity and we delighted that Jack Pollard’s essay, which applied Orwell's writing to Brexit, won the Senior Orwell Youth Prize 2017. Jack was presented with his prize by Richard Blair, Orwell’s son and Lucas's essay was also highly commended.
The winners were chosen by best-selling and award-winning writer, journalist and Orwell Fellow Nicci Gerrard.
Nicci Gerrard said: “I’ve been bowled over by how freshly and fearlessly these young writers grappled with the subject of identity, finding their own ways of interpreting it, and their own vibrant voices to convey something of its complexity. It was striking how many of them acknowledged the constructed nature of the self, so that whether they were approaching identity through gender, culture, social media, inherited faith or the agonies of Brexit, the question was always there of what it actually means to be ‘me’”.