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Pressure Groups (Politics A Level): The Orwell Youth Prize (OYP)

Orwell Youth Prize logo

Your task is to write a journalistic article for the Orwell Youth Prize from the perspective of pressure group reform. Your teacher will assign you a pressure group from one of these categories: Trade Unions, Think Tanks, Cyberactivists or Lobbyists and Corporations. You need to investigate that individual group within the broader context of the group category and then write an article, containing a case study of that group, on the theme of Who's in control?: Who or what is really in control, of our futures, our bodies, our communities, our countries, our planet?

Task details

Planning and writing your article

You must use the Investigative Journal to gather your information, and the Research Organiser to plan your article (see Planning your article box, to the right). Your article must include information about the:

  • Goals
  • Funding
  • Organisation and tactics
  • Size

of your group, plus comments on the overall success of the group (including how democratic it is, whether it has insider status and whether it has public support).

You will then need to look for examples of where this group in particular, or other groups of this type, have had positive or negative influences on society. Are groups like this part of the future you want? Do you think they need to change in any way?

To save you time we have provided you with articles to read so that you do not need to spend time searching for them. You are expected to use these and should find everything you need in them (although if you also wish to use other sources as well, you may). You can find the articles for your group here:

It might help you to read the Orwell Youth Prize Guide to Style and the Orwell Youth Prize Guide to Form page 4 before you begin writing your article. Note that although the prize itself allows many different creative products, for this inquiry you must write a journalistic article because we are also trying to prepare you for the Pressure Groups topic in your A-Level exam. Note too, that all the sources you use for your article must be clearly cited and referenced.

Reviewing others' work

Once the articles have been submitted, you will have the opportunity to read others' articles and choose one article from each of the other group types to make notes on. You will also have the opportunity to decide which of these articles you would award the prize to! (See Using other's articles, box to the right).

Writing an exam-style essay

When the inquiry is finished, you may be asked to use what you have learnt to write an exam-style essay. Make sure you back up all your arguments with relevant examples from your inquiry. (See Essay Planner, box to the right)

What do I need to submit?

When your investigation is complete you should upload the following to your class Team:

Teams logo


Your completed Investigative Journal and Research Organiser


Teams logo


Your completed article


After the articles have been submitted, you will have an opportunity to read, make notes on and comment on others' articles. After this you should upload the following to your class Team:

Teams logo


Your completed Article summary and Peer review


Competition details

The Orwell Youth Prize takes its inspiration from George Orwell. Orwell wrote from his own experiences, and observed the social injustices and political happenings of the world around him. He also wrote in language that was clear, concise and compelling for his audience.

Although the competition rules say that "You can write in any form you like: journalism, essays, short stories, blog posts, poems and even plays are all welcome", for this inquiry we expect you to write a journalistic article (because we are also trying to prepare you for the Pressure Groups unit of your A-Level course). Note there is a word limit of 1,500 words - but we would not expect your articles to be that long for this inquiry.

What could I win?

  • Have your work published and recognised by your peers and professionals
  • Win a cash prize
  • Win books for yourself and your school (winners receive all of Orwell’s work, runners up Orwell’s Essays)
  • Winners and runners up are also invited to become part of the Orwell Youth Fellows programme

Enter the competition
You do not have to enter the competition, but we hope some of you will want to. You can submit your entry online using the link above.
Closing date: 7th June 2023.

However, if you would like to receive personalised feedback on a draft entry, submit your essay before 24th April.

Your submission should not include your name in the document, it should be saved as a PDF and the file should be named as the title, eg "AnimalFarm.pdf" - if your essay was titled Animal Farm.

The submission form requires the school address and phone number. This is:

Name: Oakham School
Phone: 01572 758500
Chapel Close
City: Oakham
Postcode: LE15 6DT

A concrete question on positive change

The Orwell Youth Prize believes wholeheartedly in the power of great political writing. But we also support ideas and the potential of the collective voice of youth prize entrants. As a result, we are asking every entrant this year to submit a short response (up to 1000 characters) to the following question alongside their individual entry:

  • If you were the leader of your country, what is the first change you would make?

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