Get organised: The Royal Society of Literature

Over the coming months, we’ll be highlighting the sterling work of writers’ organisations around the UK, as well as the benefits of becoming a member. This month, we profile the Royal Society of Literature (RSL), the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature.

The RSL is dedicated to encouraging people of all ages to get excited about literature. Not only does it run surveys that delve into the nature of the nation’s relationship with literature – its 2017 survey asked what people thought about literature – but the organisation is also dedicated to advancing children’s interest in reading. For example, it runs a scheme in partnership with First Story in which 12 writers visit schools across the country to give inspirational talks that encourage children’s reading and writing.

The RSL also administers numerous prizes for all types of writers including the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction; the RSL Ondaatje Prize, which celebrates fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and the ALCS-sponsored VS Pritchett Short Story Prize. These awards help the RSL invest in and nurture writers’ careers, as the prize money is often crucial to their development. Find out more about the RSL’s prizes and awards, and how you can enter, here.

Recently, the RSL released the full report for its ALCS-funded authors’ survey A Room of My Own, which showed that writers need money, time and confidence in order to thrive. You can read more about this survey in last month’s ALCS News article by Lisa Appignanesi, RSL Chair, and hear more about it next month in the inaugural episode of our ALCS podcast, Writing Matters.

If becoming a member of the RSL is of interest to you, we’re pleased to announce that ALCS members can enjoy a 20% discount off RSL membership (£48 for Individual, reduced from £60, and £32 for Young Persons, reduced from £40). Membership is open to everyone and offers the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.

All RSL members can:

  • attend RSL events – over 20 each year – free of charge (forthcoming speakers include: Malorie Blackman, Esther Freud, Paul Gilroy, David Hare, Deborah Moggach, Sathnam Sanghera and Ali Smith)
  • bring a guest to each event at a discounted price of £5
  • subscribe for free to RSL Review magazine
  • attend RSL members-only book groups
  • attend the RSL Summer Party and presentation of new Fellows.

Enter discount code ALCS2019 here to receive your 20% discount.