Royal Society of Literature

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Royal Society of Literature
AbbreviationRSL
Formation1820;204 years ago (1820)
Type Learned society
Headquarters Somerset House, London, England, United Kingdom
President
Bernardine Evaristo
Patron
Queen Camilla
Website rsliterature.org

The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) is a learned society founded in 1820, by King George IV, to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent". A charity that represents the voice of literature in the UK, the RSL has about 600 Fellows, elected from among the best writers in any genre currently at work. Additionally, Honorary Fellows are chosen from those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature, including publishers, agents, librarians, booksellers or producers. The society is a cultural tenant at London's Somerset House.

Contents

History

The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) was founded in 1820, with the patronage of George IV, to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent", [1] and its first president was Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St David's (who was later translated as Bishop of Salisbury). As of 2018, the RSL's patron is Queen Camilla, who took over in the role from Elizabeth II. [2] [3]

At the heart of the RSL is its Fellowship, "which encompasses the most distinguished writers working today", with the RSL Council responsible for its direction and management, being drawn from the Fellowship. As an independent charity, the RSL receives no regular public or government funding, relying on the support of its Members, Patrons, Fellows and friends to continue its work. The RSL has about 600 Fellows, elected from among the best writers in any genre currently at work. Additionally, Honorary Fellows are chosen from those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature, including publishers, agents, librarians, booksellers or producers, or who have rendered special service to the RSL. [4] Paid membership is open to all and offers a variety of benefits. [5] [6]

The society publishes an annual magazine, The Royal Society of Literature Review, [7] and administers a number of literary prizes and awards, including the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction, the RSL Encore Award for best second novel of the year and the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories.

In 2000, the RSL published a volume that provides a description and history of the society, written by one of its fellows, Isabel Quigly. [8]

In 2020, the RSL celebrated its 200th anniversary with the announcement of RSL 200, "a five-year festival launched with a series of major new initiatives and 60 new appointments championing the great diversity of writing and writers in the UK". [9] Initiatives included RSL Open (electing new Fellows from communities, backgrounds and experiences currently under-represented in UK literary culture), RSL International Writers (recognising the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English) [9] and Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards. [10]

In 2021, the RSL launched "Literature Matters: Reading Together", a project aiming to make recreational reading accessible to young people across the UK. [11]

Fellowship

Official seal RSL crest.svg
Official seal

The society maintains its current level of about 600 Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature: generally 14 new fellows are elected annually, who are accorded the privilege of using the post-nominal letters FRSL.

Past and present fellows include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J. R. R. Tolkien, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Koestler, Chinua Achebe, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Robert Ardrey, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, P. J. Kavanagh , Hilary Mantel, and Sir Roger Scruton. Present Fellows include Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo, David Hare, Kazuo Ishiguro, Andrew Motion, Paul Muldoon, Zadie Smith, Nadeem Aslam, Sarah Waters, Geoffrey Ashe and J. K. Rowling. A newly created fellow inscribes his or her name on the society's official roll using either Byron's pen, T. S. Eliot's fountain pen, which replaced Dickens's quill in 2013, [12] or (as of 2018) George Eliot's pen, [13] with pens belonging to Jean Rhys and Andrea Levy being additional choices from 2020. [14] [15]

From time to time, the RSL confers the honour and title of Companion of Literature to writers of particular note. Additionally, the RSL can bestow its award of the Benson Medal for lifetime service in the field of literature.

Membership

The RSL runs a membership programme offering a variety of events to members and the general public. Membership of the RSL is open to all. [16]

The RSL also runs an outreach programme, currently for young people and those in prison.

Awards and prizes

The RSL administers two annual prizes, two awards, and two honours. Through its prize programmes, the RSL supports new and established contemporary writers.

Council and presidents

The Council of the Royal Society of Literature is central to the election of new fellows, and directs the RSL's activities through its monthly meetings. Council members serve for a fixed term of four years, with new members being elected by Council when members retire. [17]

Patron
Queen Camilla
President
Bernardine Evaristo
Presidents Emeriti
Sir Michael Holroyd
Colin Thubron
Marina Warner
Chair of Council
Daljit Nagra
Vice-Chair of Council
Irenosen Okojie
Vice-Presidents
Lisa Appignanesi
Simon Armitage
Mary Beard
Anne Chisholm
Maureen Duffy
Maggie Gee
Victoria Glendinning
Jackie Kay
Blake Morrison
Grace Nichols
Philip Pullman
Elif Shafak
Kamila Shamsie
Colm Tóibín
Claire Tomalin
Jenny Uglow
Council
Colin Chisholm, Hon. Treasurer
Imtiaz Dharker
Louise Doughty
Inua Ellams
Tessa Hadley
Catherine Johnson
Helen Mort
Daljit Nagra
Susheila Nasta
Irenosen Okojie
Michèle Roberts
Roger Robinson
Ruth Scurr
Boyd Tonkin

List of presidents

Fellows

The Royal Society of Literature comprises more than 600 Fellows, who are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRSL.

New fellows of the Royal Society of Literature are elected by its current fellows. To be nominated for fellowship, a writer must have published two works of literary merit, and nominations must be seconded by an RSL fellow. All nominations are presented to members of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, who vote biannually to elect new fellows. Nominated candidates who have not been successful are reconsidered at every election for three years from the year in which they were proposed. Newly elected fellows are introduced at the Society's AGM and summer party. While the President reads a citation for each, they are invited to sign their names in the roll book which dates back to 1820, using either T. S. Eliot's fountain pen or Byron's pen. In 2013, Charles Dickens' quill was retired and replaced with Eliot's fountain pen, [12] and in 2018 George Eliot's pen was offered as a choice, the first time in the RSL's history that a pen that belonged to a woman writer was an option. [13]

In 2018, the RSL honoured the achievements of Britain's younger writers through the initiative "40 Under 40", which saw the election of 40 new fellows aged under 40. [18]

In 2020, pens belonging to Andrea Levy and Jean Rhys were added to the choices offered to fellows for signing the RSL roll book. [14] [19]

The RSL's 2022–23 Open initiative aimed to recognise writers from backgrounds currently underrepresented in UK literary culture by electing 60 fellows over a two-year period from communities, backgrounds and experiences currently under-represented in UK literary culture, through drawing on a broad range of writers from "different parts of the UK, from different communities, different demographics", as Bernardine Evaristo noted. [20] [21]

Current fellows

The current list of approximately 600 fellows:
FellowYear of
election
*Julia Abel Smith 2008
Leila Aboulela 2023
*Melanie Abrahams2020
Peter Ackroyd 1984
Donald Adamson 1983
Fleur Adcock 1984
Sulaiman Addonia 2022
Diran Adebayo 2006
John Agard 2007
*Sandra Agard 2022
Bola Agbaje 2018
Patience Agbabi 2017
Hanan al-Shaykh 2019
*Clare Alexander2021
Monica Ali 2019
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 2022
Keith Alldritt 1978
*Ellah Wakatama Allfrey 2019
David Almond 2011
*David Altaras1996
Karin Altenberg2023
Moniza Alvi 2023
Mark Amory 1996
Tahmima Anam 2017
Anthony Anaxagorou 2023
*Linda Anderson2020
*Adjoa Andoh 2022
*Nelle Andrew2023
Carole Angier 2002
Romalyn Ante2023
Raymond Antrobus 2020
Kwame Anthony Appiah 2017
Lisa Appignanesi, Vice-President2015
Anne Applebaum 2021
Michael Arditti 2022
Chloe Aridjis 2020
Simon Armitage, Vice-President2004
Claire Armitstead 2022
Karen Armstrong 2005
Bruce Arnold 1994
Mona Arshi 2022
Michael Asher 1996
Rosemary Ashton 1999
Zawe Ashton 2021
Jenn Ashworth 2018
Nadeem Aslam 2010
*Syima Aslam 2019
Polly Atkin2022
Kate Atkinson 2010
Margaret Atwood 2010
Tash Aw 2023
Sir Alan Ayckbourn 1991
*Pete Ayrton2019
David Baddiel 2019
Paul Bailey 1999
*Bibi Bakare-Yusuf 2019
*Mohit Bakaya 2023
Sarah Bakewell 2012
John Banville 2007
Richard Barber 1971
Juliet Barker 2001
Pat Barker 1995
Damian Barr 2020
Sebastian Barry 2009
Susan Bassnett 2007
Sir Jonathan Bate 2004
Laura Bates 2018
Martin Bax 2002
Sally Bayley2021
Dame Mary Beard, Vice-President2019
Dame Gillian Beer 2006
Sir Antony Beevor 1999
*Sharmilla Beezmohun2019
Rosalind Belben 1999
Jay Bernard 2018
Emily Berry 2018
*Richard Beswick2023
Homi Bhabha 2021
*Xandra Bingley2019
*Robert Binyon2000
Dea Birkett 2000
Julia Blackburn 2002
Terence Blacker 2017
Malorie Blackman 2009
Sir Quentin Blake 2013
Rachael Boast 2022
*Ruth Borthwick 2018
Elleke Boehmer 2019
Malika Booker 2022
*Mair Bosworth 2020
William Boyd 1982
Susie Boyt 2022
Melvyn Bragg 1971
Carys Bray 2023
Piers Brendon 2010
Howard Brenton 2017
Simon Brett 2015
Robin Briggs 1999
*Jenny Brown2021
*Tony Brown2020
Alan Brownjohn 1999
James Buchan 2001
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan 2023
Moira Buffini 2014
Melvin Burgess 2022
Anna Burns 2021
John Burnside 1999
*Margaret Busby 2017
Jez Butterworth 2019
A. S. Byatt (Dame Antonia Byatt )1983
David Cairns 2001
Lucy Caldwell 2018
Sir David Cannadine 1999
Vahni Capildeo 2019
John Carey 1982
Peter Carey 1989
Ciaran Carson 2014
Jan Carson 2023
Miranda Carter 2011
Helen Castor 2017
David Caute 1998
Nick Cave 2022
Hugh Cecil 1997
Aidan Chambers 2009
*Charles III 2002
Debjani Chatterjee 2019
Amit Chaudhuri 2009
Tracy Chevalier 2008
Kayo Chingonyi 2022
Anne Chisholm, Vice-President1989
Rupert Christiansen 1997
Kate Clanchy 2010
Susannah Clapp 2013
Gillian Clarke 2000
John Clay 1998
*Michael Codron 2019
Jonathan Coe 2012
Michaela Coel 2022
Joseph Coelho 2023
J. M. Coetzee 1988
Josh Cohen2023
Richard Cohen 2017
*Gill Coleridge2021
Linda Colley (Lady Cannadine)2004
Sophie Collins 2018
Cressida Connolly 2020
Tony Connor 1972
P. J. Conrad 1974
Peter Conradi 2010
David Constantine 2007
*Jon Cook2021
Artemis Cooper (Lady Beevor)2016
Susan Cooper 2020
Wendy Cope 1992
John Cornwell 1985
Frank Cottrell Boyce 2012
Cressida Cowell 2021
Jim Crace 1999
Robert Crawford 2021
Kevin Crossley-Holland 1998
Patricia Cumper 2023
*James Currey 2023
Tony Curtis 2000
Rachel Cusk 2012
Emma Dabiri 2023
David Dabydeen 2000
Fred D'Aguiar 2022
William Dalrymple 1995
Richard Davenport-Hines 2003
Andrew Davies 1996
Carys Davies2022
Norman Davies 2013
Paul Davies 1999
Russell T. Davies 2022
Stevie Davies 1998
Dick Davis 1981
Richard Dawkins 1997
Jill Dawson 2020
April De Angelis 2020
Louis de Bernières 2006
Margreta de Grazia 2021
Alain de Botton 2011
*Tim Dee2017
Ferdinand Dennis 2022
Edmund de Waal 2021
Kit de Waal 2022
Anita Desai 1978
Imtiaz Dharker 2010
David Dilks 1986
Maura Dooley 2006
Tishani Doshi 2023
*Jonathan Douglas2021
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst [22] 2015
Roddy Doyle 2003
Dame Margaret Drabble 1973
Jane Draycott 2020
Dame Carol Ann Duffy 1999
Maureen Duffy, Vice-President1985
Sasha Dugdale 2020
Ian Duhig 2006
Douglas Dunn 1981
Jane Dunn 1999
Nell Dunn 2004
Geoff Dyer 2005
Will Eaves 2021
Reni Eddo-Lodge 2021
David Edgar 1985
Helen Edmundson 2015
Yvvette Edwards 2020
Max Egremont (Lord Egremont)2001
Menna Elfyn 2015
Inua Ellams 2018
Anne Enright 2010
Wendy Erskine2023
Diana Evans 2020
Sir Richard Evans 1999
Bernardine Evaristo 2004
Sir Richard Eyre 2011
Jenni Fagan 2023
Ruth Fainlight 2007
Duncan Fallowell 2015
Kit Fan 2022
Paul Farley 2012
Sebastian Faulks 1994
Lara Feigel 2018
James Fenton 1983
Adam Fergusson 2009
Maggie Fergusson 2007
William Fiennes 2009
Orlando Figes 2003
Anne Fine 2003
Tibor Fischer 2003
Leontia Flynn 2022
Richard Ford 2012
Aminatta Forna 2012
Richard Fortey 2009
Roy Foster 1992
Adam Foulds 2009
Gavin Francis 2023
*Dan Franklin2019
Peter Frankopan 2020
Lady Antonia Fraser 2003
Robert Fraser 2007
Michael Frayn 1969
Maureen Freely 2012
Esther Freud 2019
Stephen Fry 2019
Athol Fugard 1986
John Fuller 1980
Neil Gaiman 2018
Patrick Gale 2021
Janice Galloway 2023
Jane Gardam 2005
*Anthony Gardner 2004
Philip Gardner 1986
Rosie Garland 2023
Alan Garner 2011
Timothy Garton Ash 2005
Jamila Gavin 2015
*Kate Gavron2020
Maggie Gee, Vice-President1994
Adèle Geras 2013
Amitav Ghosh 2009
Peter Gill 2019
Sir David Gilmour, 4th Baronet 1990
Paul Gilroy 2016
Lesley Glaister 1994
Victoria Glendinning, Vice-President1982
Julian Gloag 1970
Salena Godden 2020
*David Godwin2020
*Georgina Godwin2023
Vesna Goldsworthy 2021
*Lennie Goodings 2020
Edmund Gordon 2018
Lyndall Gordon 2002
Warwick Gould 1997
James Graham 2018
Colin Grant 2020
Linda Grant 2013
*Victoria Gray2021
Anthony Grayling 2006
Peter Green 1956
Lavinia Greenlaw 2004
Bonnie Greer 2022
Germaine Greer 2016
John Gribbin 1999
*Chris Gribble2023
Niall Griffiths 2022
Romesh Gunesekera 2004
Kirsty Gunn 2020
Xiaolu Guo 2022
Tanika Gupta
Abdulrazak Gurnah 2006
Jen Hadfield 2021
Tessa Hadley 2009
John Haffenden 1986
William Hague (Lord Hague)2009
Daniel Hahn 2020
Sarah Hall 2016
John Halperin 1985
James Hamilton-Paterson 2023
Sir Christopher Hampton 1976
Sir David Hare 1985
Kiran Millwood Hargrave 2023
Claire Harman 2006
Richard Harries (Lord Harries of Pentregarth)1996
Alexandra Harris 2013
Joanne Harris 2022
Robert Harris 1996
Tony Harrison 1984
David Harsent 1999
Rosalind Harvey 2018
Sir Max Hastings 1996
Lady Selina Hastings 1994
Roy Hattersley (Lord Hattersley)2003
Daisy Hay 2018
Cameron Hazlehurst 1973
John Hemming CG2013
Philip Hensher 1998
W. N. Herbert 2015
*Mark C. Hewitt2023
Rachel Hewitt 2018
Seán Hewitt 2023
Ella Hickson 2018
Rosemary Hill 2010
Tobias Hill 2011
Bevis Hillier 1997
Tim Hilton 1993
Henry Hitchings 2015
Peter Hobbs 2014
Eva Hoffman 2007
Michael Hofmann 2023
*Andrew Holgate 2020
Tom Holland 2016
Alan Hollinghurst 1995
*Richard Hollis 2019
Richard Holmes 1975
Sir Michael Holroyd President Emeritus1968
Jeremy Hooker 2021
Christopher Hope 1990
Nick Hornby 1996
*Sarah Hosking2021
Sarah Howe 2018
Kerry Hudson 2020
Kathryn Hughes 2006
*Peggy Hughes2023
Lucy Hughes-Hallett 2010
Roland Huntford 2001
Aamer Hussein 2004
Angela Huth 1978
*Sir Nicholas Hytner 2019
Armando Iannucci 2019
Robert Icke 2018
Robert Irwin 2001
Kazuo Ishiguro 1989
Howard Jacobson 2012
Maya Jaggi 2023
Kathleen Jamie 2009
Deborah Jay 2005
Alan Jenkins 2002
Sir Simon Jenkins 2003
Liz Jensen 2005
Catherine Johnson 2019
Linton Kwesi Johnson 2013
*Paula Johnson2008
Jennifer Johnston 2009
Cynan Jones 2019
Steve Jones 2011
Anthony Joseph 2023
Gabriel Josipovici 1997
Alan Judd 1990
Margaret Jull Costa 2013
Meena Kandasamy 2022
Bhanu Kapil 2022
Jackie Kay, Vice-President2002
Jonathan Keates 1992
Laurence Kelly 2003
Peter Kemp [23] 2015
Thomas Keneally 1973
A. L. Kennedy 1999
*Prince Edward, Duke of Kent 1978
Hannah Khalil2022
Mimi Khalvati 2009
Andrew Kidd 2023
Thomas Kilroy 1972
Lucy Kirkwood 2018
Matthew Kneale 2003
Zaffar Kunial2022
Hari Kunzru 2014
Hanif Kureishi 2008
Kwame Kwei-Armah 2014
David Kynaston 2010
Olivia Laing 2019
Nick Laird 2013
John Lanchester 2002
Robin Lane Fox 1974
Lee Langley 1996
James Lasdun 2009
Bryony Lavery 2002
Patrice Lawrence 2023
Mark Lawson 2015
Zachary Leader 2007
Dame Hermione Lee 1992
Brendan Lehane 1999
Mike Leigh 2008
Rebecca Lenkiewicz 2017
Deborah Levy 2017
Paul Levy 1980
Gwyneth Lewis 1999
Alison Light 2021
Joanne Limburg 2022
Toby Litt 2023
Dame Penelope Lively 1985
Samuel Lock 2001
David Lodge 1976
Michael Longley 1988
*Sharmaine Lovegrove2021
Hannah Lowe 2022
Edward Lucie-Smith 1964
Andrew Lycett 2010
Richard Mabey 2011
Alexander McCall Smith 2014
Karen McCarthy Woolf 2022
Geraldine McCaughrean 2009
Val McDermid 2016
Ian McDonald 1970
Ian McEwan CBE1983
Robert Macfarlane 2011
Roy McFarlane2023
Darren McGarvey 2023
Lisa McGee 2022
Roger McGough 2004
Patrick McGrath 2002
Patrick McGuinness 2019
Jamie McKendrick 2014
Andrew McMillan 2020
Ian McMillan 2022
Ben Macintyre 2014
Shena Mackay 1999
Rory MacLean 2007
*Christopher MacLehose 2021
Margaret MacMillan 2003
Tessa McWatt 2021
Candia McWilliam 1994
Sabrina Mahfouz 2018
Sir Noel Malcolm 1997
Nesrine Malik 2023
David Malouf 2008
Norman Manea 2011
Alberto Manguel 2010
Philip Mansel 2010
Sarah Ladipo Manyika 2023
Patrick Marber 2002
Patrick Marnham 1988
Justin Marozzi 2021
*Robyn Marsack2023
Philip Marsden 1996
Rosalind Marshall 1974
Adam Mars-Jones 2007
Yann Martel 2014
Francesca Martinez 2022
Allan Massie 1982
Hisham Matar 2012
Douglas Matthews 1998
Glyn Maxwell 1999
*Shirley May2020
Jonathan Meades 2019
James Meek 2020
Gita Mehta 2021
Pauline Melville 2018
Edward Mendelson 2003
Jeffrey Meyers 1983
China Miéville 2015
Andrew Miller 2012
Kei Miller 2018
Michael Millgate 1983
Pankaj Mishra 2008
Rohinton Mistry 2009
David Mitchell 2013
Julian Mitchell 1985
Deborah Moggach 1999
Nadifa Mohamed 2018
Ray Monk 2015
Caroline Moorehead 1993
David Morley 2018
Sir Michael Morpurgo 2004
Sinéad Morrissey 2019
Blake Morrison, Vice-President1988
Helen Mort 2018
Sarah Moss 2019
Kate Mosse 2020
Sir Andrew Motion 1984
Sir Ferdinand Mount 1991
Fiona Mozley 2022
Paul Muldoon 1981
*Henderson Mullin2023
Raman Mundair 2022
Alice Munro 2002
Richard Murphy 1968
Benjamin Myers 2023
Daljit Nagra 2017
Beverley Naidoo 2023
Suniti Namjoshi 2023
*Susheila Nasta 2019
Patrick Ness 2023
Charles Nicholl 2005
Grace Nichols, Vice-President2007
Virginia Nicholson 2019
William Nicholson 1999
Adam Nicolson (Lord Carnock)2005
*Alastair Niven 2021
Gerard Noel 1999
Barney Norris 2018
Edna O'Brien 2011
Sean O'Brien 2007
Bernard O'Donoghue 1999
Maggie O'Farrell 2021
Andrew O'Hagan 2010
Redmond O'Hanlon 1993
Kaite O'Reilly 2023
Irenosen Okojie 2018
Ben Okri 1997
Musa Okwonga 2022
David Olusoga 2019
*Sir Christopher Ondaatje 2003
Michael Ondaatje 2012
Chibundu Onuzo 2018
Susie Orbach 2019
*Deirdre Osborne 2022
*Ursula Owen 2020
Helen Oyeyemi 2012
Ruth Padel 1998
*Stephen Page2019
Sir Michael Palin 2020
Peter Parker 1997
Sandeep Parmar 2020
Vinay Patel 2018
Don Paterson 2004
*Emma Paterson2023
Brian Patten 2003
Glenn Patterson 2023
*Polly Pattullo 2022
Laline Paull 2023
Tim Pears 2012
Sarah Perry 2018
Pascale Petit 2018
*Ruthie Petrie2021
Adam Phillips 2012
Caryl Phillips 2000
Mike Phillips 2000
Winsome Pinnock 2020
David Plante 2002
Stephen Poliakoff 1985
Peter Pomerantsev 2021
Max Porter 2020
Lucy Prebble 2018
*Alexandra Pringle 2017
*Stuart Profitt2019
(Baron) David Profumo 1995
*Simon Prosser2021
David Pryce-Jones 1980
Philip Pullman, Vice-President2001
Craig Raine 1984
Nina Raine 2019
Ross Raisin 2018
Ian Rankin 2016
Nicholas Rankin 2009
Frederic Raphael 1964
Sigrid Rausing 2020
Piers Paul Read 1972
Anne Redmon 1980
Christopher Reid 1999
Sir Christopher Ricks 1970
Jane Ridley 2007
Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley 1999
Denise Riley 2019
Gwendoline Riley 2018
William Rivière 2000
Graham Robb 1999
Andrew Roberts 2001
Michèle Roberts 1999
*Sue Roberts2023
Robin Robertson 2010
Roger Robinson 2020
*Fiammetta Rocco 2021
Monique Roffey 2022
Jane Rogers 1994
Stephen Romer 2011
Jacqueline Rose 2022
Michael Rosen 2006
Meg Rosoff 2013
Jacob Ross 2006
Leone Ross 2023
J. K. Rowling 2002
Anthony Rudolf2005
Carol Rumens 1984
David Runciman (Viscount Runciman of Doxford)2021
Katherine Rundell 2020
Sir Salman Rushdie 1983
Frances Ryan 2022
Amy Sackville 2018
Sunjeev Sahota 2018
S. F. Said 2021
Lawrence Sail 1998
Edward St Aubyn 2011
*Marina Salandy-Brown 2020
Fiona Sampson 2010
*Sarah Sanders2020
Philippe Sands 2020
Sathnam Sanghera 2016
J. J. Scarisbrick 1969
Sir Simon Schama 2016
*Aki Schilz2023
Ann Schlee 1997
Michael Schmidt 1993
*Patricia Schute 1991
Lawrence Scott 2019
Ruth Scurr 2015
Simon Sebag-Montefiore 2003
Anne Sebba 2021
Elisa Segrave 2001
Richard Sennett 1999
*Kadija Sesay 2021
Vikram Seth 1994
Miranda Seymour 1996
Elif Shafak, Vice-President2019
Nicholas Shakespeare 1999
Kamila Shamsie, Vice-President2011
Jo Shapcott 1999
Owen Sheers 2023
Warsan Shire 2018
Elaine Showalter 2011
Nikesh Shukla 2019
*William Sieghart 2019
Posy Simmonds 2004
Helen Simpson 1996
Iain Sinclair 2009
Sunny Singh 2023
Adam Sisman 2015
Lemn Sissay 2022
Robert Skidelsky (Lord Skidelsky of Tilton)1978
Gillian Slovo 2013
Dorothea Smartt 2019
Ali Smith 2007
Cherry Smyth 2022
Deborah Smith 2018
*John Saumarez Smith, Benson Medallist1996
Zadie Smith 2002
*Nicola Solomon2019
Ahdaf Soueif 2002
*Wole Soyinka 1983
Frances Spalding 1984
*Nicholas Spice2019
Jean Sprackland 2021
Francis Spufford 2007
Hilary Spurling 2005
Sir John Spurling 2010
Martin Stannard 1999
C. K. Stead 1995
Polly Stenham 2018
Rory Stewart 2009
Stanley Stewart 2001
Sir Tom Stoppard 1972
Peter Stothard 2023
Rebecca Stott 2021
Sir Roy Strong 1999
Andrea Stuart 2014
Kate Summerscale 2010
*Tom Sutcliffe 2020
John Sutherland 1990
*David Sutton 2012
*Bill Swainson2023
Graham Swift 1984
Charlie Swinbourne2022
Meera Syal 2017
Michael Symmons Roberts 2014
George Szirtes 1982
Bryan Talbot 2018
Preti Taneja 2023
D. J. Taylor 1997
Joelle Taylor 2022
Sara Taylor2018
Kae Tempest 2015
Adam Thirlwell 2018
Dame Emma Thompson 2021
Tade Thompson 2023
Ian Thomson 2003
Rupert Thomson 2015
Jack Thorne 2020
Colin Thubron President1969
Ann Thwaite 1987
Stella Tillyard 2019
Gillian Tindall 1983
Colm Tóibín, Vice-President2007
(Count) Nikolai Tolstoy 1979
Claire Tomalin, Vice-President1976
*Boyd Tonkin 2020
Barbara Trapido 2011
Jeremy Treglown 1989
Dame Rose Tremain 1983
Lynne Truss 2004
Jenny Uglow, Vice-President1998
Erica Wagner 2023
James Walvin 2006
Alan Warner 2013
Dame Marina Warner 1984
Sarah Waters 2009
Robert Wells 1994
Stanley Wells 2013
Timberlake Wertenbaker 1999
Sara Wheeler 1999
*Sylvia Whitman 2023
Helen Wilcox 1999
Verna Wilkins 2021
Eley Williams 2018
Hugo Williams 1988
Nigel Williams 1994
Lord Williams of Oystermouth 2003
*Mary-Kay Wilmers 2017
A. N. Wilson 1982
Bee Wilson 2023
Frances Wilson 2008
Dame Jacqueline Wilson 2005
Jeanette Winterson 2016
*Gaby Wood 2021
James Wood 2011
Michael Wood 1992
Gerard Woodward 2005
Pamela Woof 1999
Kit Wright 1997
Ann Wroe 2007
Evie Wyld 2018
*Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey 2020
Gary Younge 2021
Adam Zamoyski 2006
Theodore Zeldin 1999

The * before the name denotes an Honorary Fellow. The list is online at the RSL website. [24] [25]

RSL International Writers

The RSL International Writers programme is a new life-long honour and award recognizing the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders in bringing people together, the inaugural list of recipients being announced in 2021. [26]

YearWriterCountryLanguage(s)Genre(s)Panel of Nominators
2021 [26] Don Mee Choi (b. 1962)Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Korean and
English
poetry, translation
Annie Ernaux (b. 1940)Flag of France.svg  France French novel, memoir, autobiography
David Grossman (b. 1954)Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Hebrew novel, essays
Jamaica Kincaid (b. 1949)Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
English novel, essays, short story
Yan Lianke (b. 1958)Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Mandarin novel, short story
Amin Maalouf (b. 1949)Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon
Flag of France.svg  France
French novel, essays
Alain Mabanckou (b. 1966)Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Republic of Congo
Flag of France.svg  France
French novel, poetry, essays
Javier Marías (1951–2022)Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Spanish novel, short story, essays, translation
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (b. 1938)Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya English and
Kikuyu
novel, drama, short story, essays
Claudia Rankine (b. 1963)Flag of the United States.svg  United States English poetry, essays, drama
Olga Tokarczuk (b. 1962)Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Polish novel, short story, poetry, essay, screenplay
Dubravka Ugrešić (1949–2023)Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Croatian novel, essays
2022 [27] Anne Carson (b. 1950)Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada English poetry, essays
Maryse Condé (1937–2024)Flag of France.svg  France French novel, drama, essays
Tsitsi Dangarembga (b. 1959)Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe English novel, drama, essays, screenplay
Cornelia Funke (b. 1958)Flag of Germany.svg  Germany German novel
Mary Gaitskill (b. 1954)Flag of the United States.svg  United States English novel, short story, essays
Faïza Guène (b. 1985)Flag of France.svg  France French novel
Saidiya Hartman (b. 1960)Flag of the United States.svg  United States English essays
Kim Hyesoon (b. 1955)Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Korean poetry, essays
Yōko Ogawa (b. 1962)Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Japanese novel, short story, essays
Raja Shehadeh (b. 1951)Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine Arabic memoirs, essays
Juan Gabriel Vásquez (b. 1973)Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia Spanish novel, short story, essays
Samar Yazbek (b. 1970)Flag of Syria.svg  Syria Arabic novel, short story, essays
2023 [28] Tony Birch (born c.1957)Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia English novel, short story, essays
Yussef El Guindi (b. 1960)Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
English drama
Lorna Goodison (b. 1947)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica English poetry, essays, memoir
Yaa Gyasi (b. 1989)Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
English novel
Han Kang (b. 1970)Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Korean novel
Yiyun Li (b. 1972)Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
English short story, novel
Attica Locke (b. 1974)Flag of the United States.svg  United States English novel
Valeria Luiselli (b. 1983)Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Spanish and English essays, novel
Anne Michaels (b. 1958)Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada English poetry, novel
Scholastique Mukasonga (b. 1956)Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda
Flag of France.svg  France
French short story, novel
Maria Stepanova (b. 1972)Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Russian poetry, novel, journalism
Gao Xingjian (b. 1940)Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of France.svg  France
Chinese novel, drama

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