Friday, 24 April 2009

Night Jack wins Orwell Award for blogs

I’ve just returned from an enjoyable two days in London, where the Orwell Prize for blogs was awarded to the excellent ‘Night Jack’ site. Jack Night is a police detective from the north of England, which provides him with a unique and insightful perspective from which to write about criminal justice. Like the ‘North Antrim Interest List’, that eventually topped a previous shortlist including ‘Three Thousand Versts’, ‘Night Jack’ shows mastery of a particular subject, rather than ranging widely across a great many topics. A lesson which I would endeavour to learn, were I not writing primarily for my own pleasure!

My girlfriend and I were pleased to be seated next to Jack Night’s police colleague and representative at the dinner (the pseudonymous author did not feel able to pick up the prize in person). He was a charming and grounded detective whose insight into the Historical Enquiries Team was particularly fascinating. Indeed our conversation formed a neat counterpoint to the entertaining, but rather bombastic discourse, which was animating Peter Oborne, across the table.

We were fortunate enough, during the evening, to meet fellow beaten competitors, Iain Dale and Alix Mortimer (whose well written and humorous Lib Dem blog is well worth bookmarking). Guardian columnist Ian Jack was also especially kind about my writing and indeed his warm description of the blog during the ceremony formed one of the highlights of my night. I’m grateful for the encouragement which he made a point of offering me afterwards.

A wonderful evening then, despite the result (as it were).

6 comments:

Michael Shilliday said...

Well done on the nomination, it was well deserved.

O'Neill said...

Yes, well done. Kind of appropriate though that an anonymous police blog won an Orwell prize!

Aidan said...

Well done on getting that far, it sounds like the dinner was a great experience.
You could always split your blog in more focussed smaller blogs but personally I think that the generalist is much maligned. The fact that you can write on a wide range of topics is part of the charm of your blog. I also think that the personal touch on your blog makes it more appealing to non-unionists which must be a good thing as you are not just writing for those who agree with your politics. I think that UnionistLite does the same job in a different way.

Chekov said...

Thanks guys. And Aidan I don't intend to change things too much. The fact that people read for different reasons appeals to me.

Anonymous said...

Dancing on the head of a pin is not your style; a breadth of interests, views and opinions shine through your writing.

To be there was to be a winner.
BM

nightjack said...

So glad you enjoyed Rob's company. All the best to you.
NJ