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Sally Hayden Wins Orwell Prize 2022 for Political Writing

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Irish journalist Sally Hayden has won the Orwell Prize 2022 for Political Writing. Hayden won the coveted award for her bestselling book, My Fourth Time, We Drowned, published by HarperCollins. The book sheds light on the horrific life of migrants, especially those from the Middle East, and the Western world’s apathy towards them.

The Orwell Prizes for 2022 were declared on Thursday evening. As per ritual, the honour was awarded in four categories – Political Writing, Political Fiction, Journalism, and Exposing Britain’s Social Evils. Here are all four winners of the Orwell Prize 2022:

  1. Political Writing – Sally Hayden for My Fourth Time, We Drowned
  2. Political Fiction – Claire Keegan for Small Things Like These
  3. Journalism – George Monbiot from The Guardian
  4. Exposing Britain’s Social Evils – Ed Thomas for The Cost of Covid: Burnley Crisis

The Orwell Prize is named after Eric Arthur Blair, aka George Orwell, arguably the greatest dystopian writer of all time. The winners in each category will receive £3,000 as prize money. The Orwell Prize 2022 winners were declared during the closing ceremony of the annual Orwell Festival of Political Writing. 

George Orwell

This year’s event was organized in association with Substack and Unversity College London. Since 2016, the Orwell Prize is organized by the UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies, Faculty of Arts & Humanities. The Orwell Prize is hosted and sponsored by the Orwell Foundation, an independent charity organization dedicated to celebrating and preserving the iconic writer’s legacy. 

Sally Hayden’s My Fourth Time, We Drowned chronicles the migrant crisis across North Africa, documenting the disheartening experiences of the refugees seeking asylum. Sally also exposes the corruption within the United Nations and other global NGOs. She also sketches out neo-slavery in the 21st century and the indirect support of the European Union to the Libyan militants. 

About the Winners

Sally Hayden is a freelance journalist who has extensively covered the humanitarian and refugee crisis in the Middle East and Africa. She has worked with global news publishers, including Reuters and The Guardian. 

Claire Keegan is an Irish writer known for her short stories. Many of her works have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, et al. Claire has also won multiple awards like the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Olive Cook Award, and the very first William Trevor Prize. 

George Monbiot is a veteran journalist and political activist known for his extensive columns on British politics. George is also renowned for his environmental activism, for which he received the United Nations Global 500 Award in 1995 from the hands of Nelson Mandela. He currently writes a weekly column in The Guardian, for which he’s won the Orwell Prize for Journalism.

Ed Thomas is a Special Correspondent for BBC. Ed has won the RTS News Coverage twice in 2017 for his reporting inside the Wandsworth Prison, and again in 2022 for exposing inequalities in the Covid impact. The journalist’s most important coverage was in Burnley, where he covered the impact of the pandemic on the poor in the backward areas of the United Kingdom. 

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