Nomination. Potential new Fellows must have have published two works of literary merit. They are first nominated by an existing Fellow; that nomination must then be seconded by another Fellow.
Becoming a Fellow of the RSL is an honour like no other. We are elected not by some faceless bureaucratic committee but by our fellow writers and professional peers. Fellowship means everything to me.
Voting. Our Council elect new Fellows twice a year. Previously, Council members would place counters into a ballot box, which now serves a purely decorative role. Nominated candidates who have not been successful are reconsidered at every election for three years from the year in which they were proposed.
Election. 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 include the signatures of every Fellow since the Society’s foundation in 1820 – using either T.S. Eliot’s fountain pen or Byron’s pen.