On 27 June 2018 the RSL is introducing 40 new Fellows under the age of 40:
Bola Agbaje, Jenn Ashworth, Laura Bates, Jay Bernard, Emily Berry, Hannah Berry, Lucy Caldwell, Sophie Collins, Inua Ellams, Lara Feigel, Edmund Gordon, James Graham, Rosalind Harvey, Daisy Hay, Rachel Hewitt, Ella Hickson, Sarah Howe, Robert Icke, Lucy Kirkwood, Sabrina Mahfouz, Kei Miller, Nadifa Mohamed, Helen Mort, Barney Norris, Irenosen Okojie, Chibundu Onuzo, Vinay Patel, Sarah Perry, Lucy Prebble, Ross Raisin, Gwendoline Riley, Amy Sackville, Sunjeev Sahota, Warsan Shire, Deborah Smith, Polly Stenham, Sara Taylor, Adam Thirlwell, Eley Williams and Evie Wyld.
The RSL celebrates not only the United Kingdom’s diverse literary heritage but also the best in contemporary English language writing in Britain. The 40 Under 40 initiative honours the achievements of Britain’s younger writers, and introduces a new generation of writers to the Society’s existing Fellowship of over 500.
In Autumn 2017, a specially convened panel of RSL Fellows considered recommendations and writing samples submitted by literary agents, publishers, arts organisations, writer development agencies, theatres, and writers. After the panel made a group nomination to the RSL Council and Vice-Presidents, the forty new Fellows were elected. Our nominating panel was: Tahmima Anam, Lisa Appignanesi, Helen Edmundson, Bernardine Evaristo, Lavinia Greenlaw, Alexandra Harris, David Hare, Blake Morrison, Daljit Nagra, Ali Smith and Sarah Waters. The panel was chaired by Kamila Shamsie.
The 40 Under 40 announcement was attended by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The Society is honoured and thrilled that this will be The Duchess’s first public appearance as the Society’s new Patron.