Simon Hattenstone

The Guardian

Simon Hattenstone captures the human, personal story at the heart of his feature writing. He expertly told the story of Jacob Dunne, the man who killed someone by throwing a single punch. After serving time in jail, Dunne set out to meet the parents of his victim and change his life. Simon’s feature is a fascinating story of rehabilitation and restorative justice.

The shocking number of suicides taking place while prisoners are on remand was an important story to be told, and came alive in Simon’s hands. He spent time with Karen Beadle, the mother of a man who killed himself while awaiting trial. Garry Beadle took his life in 2019 after warning that he would not last two days in prison. During his reporting Simon found out that a shocking two-thirds of remand prisoners who died by self-inflicted means had been on suicide or self-harm watch at the time of their death. As the partner of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Stella Moris has a riveting story and Simon teased it out of her in a highly readable feature. Speaking to the mother of Assange’s two children, Simon got to the heart of how difficult it was for them to conduct a relationship in the embassy; how hard it was for them to have sex under the multiplying number of cameras, and how they ended up having to write important conversations - including news of her pregnancy - on paper. It’s that level of detail that makes Simon Hattenstone such an impressive feature writer.

Simon writes with clarity and honesty. He finds the human story at the heart of big features that shine a light on wider issues in our society. He is a brilliant feature writer, deserving of the accolade “best of the year”.