RSL International Writers

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

To mark its 200th birthday, the Royal Society of Literature launched RSL International Writers. The programme – a new lifetime literary honour – will recognise the contribution of writers from across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders. At a time of rising nationalism, RSL International Writers celebrates the many ways in which literature can shape a future world.

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. These will be 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). Your recommendations will be 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, who will make a recommendation of writers to be appointed RSL International Writers.

We sought recommendations of writers of diverse literary forms, including writers of drama, fiction, graphic fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenplays.

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.

This year’s recommendations closed on 12 April – the 2021 RSL International Writers will be announced in November.