RSL International Writers

Celebrating the power of literature to transcend borders and bring people together

The RSL International Writers programme was announced last year as part of RSL 200, a five-year festival launched in 2020 with a series of major new initiatives and 60 new appointments championing the great diversity of writing and writers in the UK. The programme is a new award recognising the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders to bring people together. At a time of rising nationalism, RSL International Writers celebrates the many ways in which literature can shape a future world. A life-long honour, new writers will be invited to join the RSL’s International Writers each year forming an ever-expanding global community of authors. While the RSL is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature, we recognise and seek to celebrate the power of literature to bring us together, beyond borders and across cultures.

We invited public recommendations of writers from you, their writer peers and readers.  The first year recommendations were reviewed by our panel of RSL Fellows: Lisa Appignanesi, Syima Aslam, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sophie Collins, Max Porter, Philippe Sands, Elif Shafak and Boyd Tonkin, led by panel Chair, Daniel Hahn.

Announced on the 30 November – the inaugural 12 RSL International writers are: Don Mee Choi, Annie ErnauxDavid Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin MaaloufAlain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić.

We are delighted to announce that the programme is now open for 2022 nominations and this year’s panel will feature Daniel Hahn (Chair), Mojisola Adebayo, Nick Barley, Sharmilla Beezmohun, Maureen Freely, Nell Leyshon, Nadifa Mohamed, Daljit Nagra and Katherine Rundell. Recommendations must be for writers not resident in, or citizens of, the UK, who have published two works of outstanding literary merit (where works are translated into English, or originally written in English). You can read the full eligibility and guidelines here and the deadline to submit is Friday 29 April 2022.


This programme is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and the International Authors Forum (IAF). IAF represents authors from the text, screenwriting and visual arts sectors and their interests in copyright. Its members are over 70 organisations representing well over 700,000 authors worldwide. IAF campaigns for authors in a variety of areas including fair contracts, remuneration rights and copyright issues.