Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Emma Dabiri, others become fellows of the Royal Society of Literature

The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) has announced 62 new fellows, including Sarah Ladipo Manyika and Emma Dabiri.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika is a writer and academic and Emma Dabiri is a broadcaster and writer. Also on the list are young adult author Patrick Ness, Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik and poet Anthony Anaxagorou.

The RSL, a UK charity aimed at advancing literature, announced its 62 new fellows during a ceremony at the Garden Museum in London on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. 

Half of the fellows were elected through the second year of the RSL’s Open initiative, which aims to recognise writers from backgrounds currently underrepresented in UK literary culture. The latest cohort includes a “broad range” of writers from “different parts of the UK, from different communities, different demographics,” said Bernardine Evaristo, the Booker prize-winning president of the RSL. 

The Open initiative was established as a two-year programme as part of the RSL’s bicentennial celebrations in 2020 to induct 60 new writers into the society. The initiative improves the “literary gene pool of the United Kingdom” because a lack of variety “causes weakness,” added Tade Thompson, one of the new fellows. The society also announced changes to the fellowship election process from next year onwards, which Evaristo described as a “radical move”. Drawing on the Open initiative – which ends this year – readers and writers across the UK will be invited to put forward names of fellows and honorary fellows alongside suggestions from the existing fellowship.

Alongside the Open fellows, 15 writers were elected by the regular process, which involves being nominated by two existing fellows for a body of writing including at least two works of “outstanding literary merit”. 

All new fellows signed their names in the RSL Roll Book using a pen of a famous writer from the charity’s collection, including those of Andrea Levy, Jean Rhys, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, TS Eliot and Lord Byron.


This year’s new fellows in full

The 15 new fellows

Karin Altenberg

Tash Aw

Josh Cohen

Gavin Francis

James Hamilton-Paterson

Michael Hofmann

Maya Jaggi

Toby Litt

Nesrine Malik

Beverley Naidoo

Suniti Namjoshi

Owen Sheers

Peter Stothard

Erica Wagner

Bee Wilson


The 31 new Open fellows

Leila Aboulela

Moniza Alvi

Anthony Anaxagorou

Romalyn Ante

Carys Bray

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Jan Carson

Joseph Coelho

Patricia Cumper

Emma Dabiri

Tishani Doshi

Wendy Erskine

Jenni Fagan

Janice Galloway

Rosie Garland

Seán Hewitt

Anthony Joseph

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Patrice Lawrence

Roy McFarlane

Darren McGarvey

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Benjamin Myers

Patrick Ness

Kaite O’Reilly

Glenn Patterson

Laline Paull

Leone Ross

Sunny Singh

Preti Taneja

Tade Thompson


The 16 new honorary fellows

Nelle Andrew

Mohit Bakaya

Richard Beswick

James Currey

Georgina Godwin

Chris Gribble

Mark C Hewitt

Peggy Hughes

Andrew Kidd

Robyn Marsack

Henderson Mullin

Emma Paterson

Sue Roberts

Aki Schilz

Bill Swainson

Sylvia Whitman



Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date