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The Ruth Rendell Award

image of Ruth Rendell by Jerry Bauer









About the award

The Ruth Rendell Award, in association with the National Literacy Trust, will be presented to the author or writer who has gone above and beyond to support the work being undertaken to raise literacy levels in the UK in the past year. The award is sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

Bestselling author and former SAS soldier Andy McNab was the first winner of the Ruth Rendell Award in 2016. Andy McNab won the award for his tireless championing of literacy, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to encourage reluctant readers to take up the challenge of reading. He has inspired others with the story of how he struggled with literacy but turned his life around by learning to read and write when he joined the army. His message is very simple: “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Our panel of expert judges will consider the creativity and resourcefulness of every nominee and look at the scale of the author or writer’s reach and contribution.

The winner will be presented with their Award by Ruth Rendell’s son, Simon Rendell, at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group Winter Reception in London on 5 December 2017. 


If you would like to nominate an author or writer who you feel has had a significant influence on literacy in the UK in the past year, please complete the nomination form and email it to  

The closing date for entries is 30 July 2017.

The judges

Jonathan Douglas

Jonathan DouglasJonathan Douglas has been Director of the National Literacy Trust since 2007.

Jonathan has expanded the National Literacy Trust’s school programmes to reach 7,000 schools and early years settings, engaged a wide range of businesses in the campaign to raise literacy levels in the UK, formed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy, and developed the strategy for the 2008 National Year of Reading campaign which generated 2.5 million new public library members. 


Jonathan Fryer

image of Jonathan FryerJonathan Fryer is a London-based freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster who has been an elected member of the ALCS Board since 2014.

The author of a dozen non-fiction books including biographies of Oscar Wilde and Dylan Thomas, as well as histories of China and Kuwait, he is a long-standing member of the Royal Society of Literature, Society of Authors and English PEN, serving on the latter's Writers in Prison Committee until its dissolution. 



Ginny Lunn 

image of Ginny LunnGinny Lunn has been the CEO of the national children’s literacy charity Beanstalk since June 2015.

Ginny’s career started as a primary school teacher in Leeds, where she witnessed first-hand the importance of strong literacy skills in enabling young children to reach their true potential.




Sue Wilkinson

image of Sue WilkinsonSue Wilkinson is Chief Executive of The Reading Agency charity which aims to inspire children to read more and develop a love of reading. 

The Reading Agency is a member of the National Literacy Forum, a charity coalition of 19 partners convened by the National Literacy Trust. Partners use their collective expertise to develop a consensus on key literacy issues and inform the development of national policy and services.

Sue trained as a teacher and a museum educator and her previous roles include Director of Policy and Research at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Director of Government and Academic Liaison at Elsevier.


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.