Nominations open for the annual Ruth Rendell Award

To mark National Writing Day on 23 June and celebrate the brilliant and dedicated authors and writers who have helped to raise children and young people’s literacy levels in the UK over the past year, the National Literacy Trust and ALCS have opened nominations for the annual Ruth Rendell Award 2021.

The award began in 2016 in honour of the author Ruth Rendell, who tirelessly championed literacy throughout her lifetime and supported the National Literacy Trust since its foundation in 1993. Former winners include Andy McNab, Cressida Cowell, Tom Palmer and last year Karl Nova was honoured for his outstanding services to literacy, inspiring children to engage in reading and writing through hip hop and poetry.

From 23 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 20 September 2021 and the winner will be announced at the end of November. Visit to find out more.

Karl Nova, winner of the Ruth Rendell Award 2020, said: “It was a wonderful surprise and honour to be awarded the Ruth Rendell Award last year. It’s fantastic to know that my writing helps young people to get into reading and find joy in it. I do what I do because I love helping others find that connection with words that makes them feel empowered. I’ve had so many fantastic experiences collaborating with libraries, schools, communities and charities and I know there are many writers doing amazing things and striving to find new and exciting ways to reach and inspire young people all the time. I can’t wait to see who wins this year’s award!”

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive at ALCS, said: “The Ruth Rendell Award is the perfect opportunity to recognise the achievements of writers who have gone above and beyond to support children’s literacy development, and we’re delighted that nominations for this year’s award, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, are now open. Previous winners of this award, like Karl Nova and Cressida Cowell, have excelled in inspiring reading in children who otherwise may not have been interested, which goes to show how integral authors are to children’s reading journeys and why they deserve to be celebrated with awards like this one.”