Nominations for the 2020 Ruth Rendell Award open on National Writing Day

24 June 2020

To mark National Writing Day and celebrate the fantastic UK authors and writers who have helped to raise the literacy levels of children and young people over the past year, nominations are now open for the ALCS-sponsored Ruth Rendell Award 2020

From 24 June, publishers, booksellers, libraries, schools, charities and families are invited to nominate the author or writer they believe has had the most significant influence on literacy in the UK in the past year. Nominations close on 30 September 2020 and the winner will be announced in December 2020.

The award was first launched in 2016 in honour of the author Ruth Rendell, who tirelessly championed literacy throughout her lifetime. Former winners include Andy McNab and Cressida Cowell, and last year Tom Palmer was honoured for his outstanding services to literacy, inspiring children to engage in reading through sport.

In response to recent school and library closures, countless authors and writers have continued and increased their support for children, families, schools and charities during this unprecedented time. Many have been incredibly creative in the ways they engage children with reading and writing, where face-to-face visits and events are no longer able to take place.

Tom Palmer, children’s author (Rocky of the Rovers, Football Academy, Rugby Academy) and winner of the Ruth Rendell Award 2019, said:“Winning the Ruth Rendell Award helped me truly understand that being an author is about more than writing stories and selling books: it is about collaborating with libraries and schools, parents and charities like the National Literacy Trust, to help children and young people discover a love of reading that can – reader by reader – change the world for the better.

“I look forward to seeing who wins this year’s award. Authors have been so innovative and generous in promoting literacy during Covid-19, the judges will have a tough job choosing!”

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive at ALCS, said: “This year, authors have excelled in rising to the unique challenges that COVID-19 has presented and we’re thrilled that we’re able to celebrate their achievements with the Ruth Rendell Award, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. Writers are integral to helping parents and teachers support children in their literacy, throughout lockdown and beyond, so we’re looking forward to recognising those that have gone above and beyond.”

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said:We are thrilled to launch the Ruth Rendell Award 2020 in partnership with ALCS to celebrate the authors and writers who have shown such dedication to championing literacy over the past year. In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, writers have gone the extra mile to support the literacy and wellbeing of children and families across the UK in creative, engaging and safe ways. They have been true inspirations and beacons of hope. We are delighted to be part of celebrating their amazing work.”

To find out more or submit a nomination to the Ruth Rendell Award 2020, please visit: literacytrust.org.uk/ruth-rendell-award