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Andy McNab wins inaugural Ruth Rendell Award for the author who has done the most to champion literacy

7 Dec 2016

The Ruth Rendell Award was today presented to bestselling author and former soldier Andy McNab by Ruth’s son, Simon Rendell, at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group Winter Reception. The Award was launched in memory of the novelist Ruth Rendell by the National Literacy Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, to celebrate the author or writer who has done the most to raise literacy levels in the UK.

Andy McNab fought off stiff competition to win the award, thanks to his tireless championing of literacy over the course of many years. Andy has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, visiting factories, colleges, schools, prisons and libraries 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 finally learning to read and write. His message is very simple; 'if I can do it, anyone can'.

Andy has also contributed four Quick Read novels, 250,000 copies of which have been printed, raising awareness of literacy issues and giving new readers the encouragement to change their lives. In 2015, Andy went one step further in his championing of literacy by undertaking an epic trek to the South Pole, to raise funds for The Reading Agency.

Andy McNab said:

“I’m delighted and very proud to be receiving this award. The literacy work I do is deeply personal. Had it not been for the education I received from the army as a 17-year-old, when I had the literacy of a 9-year-old, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Receiving this award gives me even more incentive to get out there and make sure that as many people as possible are helped to achieve, and change their lives for the better.”

Baroness Gail Rebuck, DBE who nominated Andy for the Ruth Rendell Award said:

“Andy’s honesty and down to earth approach has given so many people of all ages and from all backgrounds the confidence and inspiration to give reading a chance. My nomination is supported by a host of organisations and individuals, from schools, libraries and charities to bookshops and prisons, all of whom have experienced the life-changing benefits of his campaigning work.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said:

'We’re very proud to be giving the first Ruth Rendell Award to Andy McNab, who is an incredibly worthy winner. He has campaigned tirelessly for the importance of literacy, and has inspired, enthused and encouraged thousands of children and adults to get reading. He has given many the tools to turn their lives around.” 

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive of ALCS said:

“Ruth was for many years an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group, and a great advocate for writers and literacy, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be involved in this fitting tribute to her.”

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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.