Inaugural RSL International Writers Announced

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. 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.

The inaugural 12 RSL International writers are: Don Mee Choi, Annie Ernaux, David Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić.

Readers and writers were asked to recommend writers outside the UK for nomination. Daniel Hahn chaired a panel of Fellows and Honorary Fellows including Lisa Appignanesi, Syima Aslam, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sophie Collins, Sasha Dugdale, Max Porter, Philippe Sands, Elif Shafak and Boyd Tonkin. The panel nominated the RSL International Writers, who were then appointed by Council.

We are delighted to announce that the programme is now open for 2022 nominations and this year’s panel is chaired by Daniel Hahn and will feature Daniel Hahn (Chair), Mojisola Adebayo, Nick Barley, Sharmilla Beezmohun, Maureen Freely, Nell Leyshon, Nadifa Mohamed, Daljit Nagra and Katherine Rundell.

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Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.