2020 RSL Literature Matters award-winners announced

2020 RSL Literature Matters award-winners announced

The winners of this year's Royal Society of Literature's Literature Matters Award have been announced.

Now in its third year, the award provides writers with financial support to undertake new projects that "extend the reach of literature."

Charlotte Ansell and Janett Plummer will receive £3,000 for their project Chosen, which will offer "writing workshops, performance and pamphlets for Generation Z adopted young people." Ansell's third poetry collection Deluge (Flipped Eye) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation for 2019. Plummer is the author of Lifemarks pamphlet (also Flipped Eye) and the founder of Inspired Word, a women's poetry organisation.

Alison Armstrong, who was longlisted for the 2019 Nan Shepherd prize, is also the recipient of £3000 for her site specific play The Lost Voices of Morecambe Winter Gardens. She joins Zillah Bowes and Jonathan Edward's, receiving £2,000 for their poetry series Night Riders, which document the experiences of passengers on the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff train line.

Judith Bryan and Carol Russel will receive £3,800 for their initiative Raised Voices: Recovering the Voices and Vision of Black Women Playwrights Over 45. The project will see a series of public, script-in-hand play readings at the Young Vic theatre, showcasing new work by black women over 45. The project was described by Williams as "such an important mission statement, that refuses to play lip service to such an important issue. More unheard voices will have a chance to be heard."

A play inspired by the testimonials of mothers, whose sons have been involved and victimised by violent crime and incarceration, A Mother's Courage creator Eva Edo will receive £2,700.

Jennifer Johnstone and Annie MacDonald's "Radical Mountain Women" podcast will receive £2,500, described by Morley as "a project as refreshing as Scottish mountain air, with a wonderfully long historical view into the lives and stories of women and nature writing".

Poet Rebecca Sharp has been awarded £3,000 for Rough Currency: The Poetics of Oil, a "hybrid poetic text" which is set to feature a digital soundscape response by Philip Jeck. 

Funds were allocated by a panel of judges including playwright Roy Williams, Tessa Hadley and David Morley.