It’s always a privilege to share opportunities to recognise excellence in the indie author community and the International Writers Programme is just that. Recently, an announcement popped into our ALLi inbox from the Royal Society of Literature that shared this exciting opportunity. Having studied the terms and conditions (the first thing I always turn to in awards), I can see nothing to suggest that indies are not eligible.
The UK’s Royal Society of Literature is looking for nominations for its International Writers Programme. The programme seeks in the RSL’s own words to “celebrate literary excellence in the global writing community and the power of literature to transcend borders.”
Founded in 2021, it is not completely clear what being one of the 12 writers accepted into the programme affords one other than prestige, and lifetime membership. But the stellar list of previous programme awardees suggests it is an accolade worth aspiring to. The first three years have seen success for the likes of Yiyun Li, Dubravka Ugrešić, Javier Marias, and Claudia Rankine.
Eligibility for International Writers Programme
Eligibility is restricted to writers who are neither a UK resident nor citizen, and have written two works in or translated into English. Nominations close on May 3rd. It would be absolutely wonderful to see some indie authors in such company, so if you know someone you think deserves a place, do nominate them!
An interesting note to end on. I came across a fascinating story in the Guardian about the UK’s project to create a national digital library. The LibraryOn project began in 2014, and was taken over by the British Library in 2018. So far £6m has been sunk into it. Far from producing a single interface allowing readers anywhere in the country to access ebooks held by any library, it seems the project hasn’t even been properly scoped in full. Campaigners, headed by former Waterstones chief Tim Coates, spoke out at the end of 2023 in condemnation of this lack of progress. It’s a sobering reminder just how complicated it can be to get software to talk to software, and the barrier that complication can present to great-sounding initiatives.