September 7, 2017

In 2018 the RSL is undertaking to elect 40 new Fellows under the age of 40.

Fellowship of the RSL is a unique literary honour, awarded by the RSL since its foundation in 1820. Each Fellow must have published at least two works of literary merit in the UK. There are currently 506 Fellows, with an average age of 70. For 2018, the RSL has made the unprecedented decision to appoint 40 new Fellows aged under 40. For the first time, too, the RSL has invited publishers, literary agents and others outside the Society to put names forward for consideration. The 40 Under 40 will be in addition to the RSL’s usual annual election of 30 new Fellows of all ages.

We are delighted to confirm that the panel which will assess the recommendations: Tahmima Anam, Helen Edmundson, Bernardine Evaristo, Lavinia Greenlaw, David Hare, Alexandra Harris, Blake Morrison, Daljit Nagra, Ali Smith and Sarah Waters. The panel will be chaired by novelist Kamila Shamsie, who is long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. With literary experience including playwriting, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, all the members of the panel are RSL Fellows.

‘As someone who became an RSL Fellow a couple of years shy of my 40th birthday I know what a boost the Fellowship affords to younger writers. There is nothing quite like being recognised by other writers and asked to join their ranks.

On the other side of the equation, finding a group of younger writers of quality is an exciting part of the growth and renewed vigour of the RSL.’
Kamila Shamsie FRSL, Chair of Panel

We are seeking recommendations of writers of diverse literary forms, including writers of drama, fiction, graphic fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screenplays. Click for more information.

Closing date for recommendations is 30 September.

View the press release announcing the panel.