We are delighted to announce that NCW Chief Executive Chris Gribble and Executive Director Peggy Hughes have both been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL), in recognition of their significant contribution to the advancement of literature.
The announcement was made at a special ceremony on Wednesday 12 July at the Garden Museum, London, hosted by President of the RSL Bernardine Evaristo.
Chris Gribble said:
‘It’s such a pleasure and surprise to be honoured by the Royal Society for Literature with an Honorary Fellowship in this way. I’m joining a wonderful cohort of Fellows and Honorary Fellows who have all served the worlds of writing, stories and the arts in many and various ways and I’m just really delighted to be among their company.’
Chris has been Chief Executive of NCW for 17 years and led the bid for Norwich to become England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. He worked at Carcanet Press in Manchester for several years, ran Manchester Poetry Festival for two years and set up Manchester Literature Festival in 2005 before joining National Centre for Writing (New Writing Partnership, then Writers’ Centre Norwich) in 2006. He was a Board Member of the International Cities of Refuge Network between 2009 and 2023, working as Chair for the last six years. He sits on the board of Carcanet Press and was a past member of the Board of Modern Poetry in Translation as well as a previous Co-Chair of the National Association for Literature Development. He was a member of the UK Poet Laureate Selection Panel in 2019.
Peggy Hughes said:
‘The RSL’s roster of Fellows and Honorary Fellows features so many of my favourite stars in the same sky, and I’m thrilled to be invited to join them. Such inspiring company working for words, and alongside some old friends and hopefully many new ones. I’m thoroughly delighted and honoured to be included, thanks very much to the amazing Bernardine Evaristo and the RSL.’
Peggy has been Executive Director at the National Centre for Writing since January 2022, and was Head of Programmes for four years before that. She comes from Northern Ireland, went to university in Scotland, and stayed to spend her formative years in literature organisations there, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Peggy’s various trustee roles include being current Chair of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry, and former Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland.
Founded in 1820, the RSL has around 600 Fellows, including the very best novelists, short-story writers, poets, playwrights, graphic fiction writers, biographers, historians, travel writers, literary critics and scriptwriters at work today. They include Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, Ali Smith, Neil Gaiman, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jackie Kay, Ian McEwan and Sir Salman Rushdie.
Honorary Fellows are those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature as publishers, agents, librarians, booksellers or producers, or who have rendered special service to the Society.
Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature is a lifetime literary honour.
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