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Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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By Adam Roberts | June 5, 2018
Categories: Book News

Yesterday evening I was one of the latest batch of Fellows elected to the Royal Society of Literature. We all gathered in a venue in Bloomsbury, with existing Fellows and friends and family, for the induction process. The Society's President, Marina Warner, made a speech, and one by one we went on stage and signed the RSL's big book—the same one that they've used since the Society's creation, by George IV, in 1820. To sign our name we were offered the choice of: Byron's quill, George Eliot's quill, or T S Eliot's fountain pen. I chose the last of these. Above you can see my signature, top right; middle-left is that of my friend (and amazing writer) Frances Hardinge, just above Anthony Horowitz. So: my name, in the book itself! Blimey.

Amongst the other inductees were two friends and colleagues from the RHUL Creative Writing department, Nikita Lalwani and Ben Markovits. Royal Holloway Creative Writing is a subset of the English Department and not a large outfit as these things go nationally; but since our colleagues Jo Shapcott and Lavinia Greenlaw are already Fellows our small department is now home to five FRSLs. That's unmatched and, I think, unprecedented anywhere in the country.

Being made a Fellow gives me the right to add the letters FRSL after my name, and to take part as much or as little as I wish in the Society's various outreach and literary activities (I think I'll aim for the more rather than the less, so far as I'm able). It is, I hardly need to say, an immense and indeed rather staggering honour, wholly unexpected on my part, and just as wholly delightful and wonderful. As I sat and looked at the calibre of the writers around me being inducted, and reminded myself I was joining a select group that included my beloved Samuel Taylor Coleridge, not to mention Tolkien, Yeats, Kipling, Hardy, Shaw and Chinua Achebe (and amongst the living: Margaret Atwood, David Hare, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, Paul Muldoon, Zadie Smith, Nadeem Aslam, Sarah Waters and J. K. Rowling) I found it, simply, hard to believe. And yet here we are. Honoured and humbled doesn't begin to cover it.

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4 Comments to-date;

4 Responses to “FRSL”

  1. Paul Says:
    June 6th, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Congratulations, and what an honor that is. Puts the "mismatched blurb" discussion in perspective...

  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    June 6th, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks, Paul!

  3. Scott Says:
    June 13th, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Congratulations Adam! What an amazing honour. As a long-time reader of yours I feel it is richly deserved.

  4. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 2nd, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you, Scott!