Nominations for the Ruth Rendell Award 2021 open on National Writing Day!

23 Jun 2021
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To mark National Writing Day on 23 June this year 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, we are delighted to open nominations for the annual Ruth Rendell Award 2021 with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

The award began in 2016 to 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 today, 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.

In response to an academic year of disruption to education and library closures, writers and authors all over the UK have gone above and beyond to support children, families, schools and charities.

Many have published new works which have inspired and comforted readers, many have adapted the work they do to engage young people via digital means and other creative ways, always with the aim of motivating and supporting young people, to work towards the National Literacy Trust’s mission to raise literacy levels and help young people succeed in school and beyond.

Our new research, published today shows that writing for pleasure can support children’s wellbeing and creativity.

Nearly a quarter (23%) who write in their free time at least once a month write because it makes them feel happy and half (50%) of these writers do so because it helps them feel creative. Many of these young people will have been inspired by authors who have been working hard to keep encouraging children to read and write.

Nominations close on 20 September 2021 and the winner will be announced at the end of November.

“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!”

Karl Nova, author of The Curious Case of Karl Nova (Caboodle Books) and winner of the Ruth Rendell Award 2020

To find out more or submit a nomination to the Ruth Rendell Award 2021, please visit: