Daunt, James

James Daunt

Elected: 2017

James Daunt is the founder of Daunt Books – now a chain of six bookshops across London which manage to combine an independent ethos with commercial success. They are renowned for their good-quality stock, knowledgeable staff and literary events, and for welcoming customers to browse and read in comfortable chairs. In 2011, Daunt became Managing Director of Waterstone’s, which at the time was in danger of collapse. He has returned the company to profit, as well as reviving the company’s reputation with discerning book buyers. In an era when most book sales take place in supermarkets or online, Daunt has ensured the presence of bookshops on Britain’s high streets. Since August 2019, he has also been CEO of Barnes & Noble, the American bookstore chain.

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Geraldine McCaughrean

Catherine Peters

Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.