RSL International Writers

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

The RSL International Writers programme was announced in 2020 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.

The second cohort of RSL International Writers were announced as part of our 202nd Birthday: Anne Carson, Maryse Condé, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Cornelia Funke, Mary Gaitskill, Faïza Guène, Saidiya Hartman, Kim Hyesoon, Yōko Ogawa, Raja Shehadeh, Juan Gabriel Vasquez and Samar Yazbek. 

This cohort joins the 12 authors announced in 2021: 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 now taking recommendations for 2023, which will be reviewed by the following panel – Maureen Freely (Chair), Sandra Agard, Kit Fan, Daniel Hahn, Margaret Jull Costa, Hannah Khalil, Musa Okwonga and Gaby Wood.


2022’s panel featured Daniel Hahn (Chair), Mojisola Adebayo, Nick Barley, Sharmilla Beezmohun, Maureen Freely, Nell Leyshon, Nadifa Mohamed, Daljit Nagra and Katherine Rundell. 

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.