After 200 years of existence, the Royal Society of Literature finally steps towards the future by appointing 40 new writing fellows under the age of 40, including eight African writers.

Nigerian Author of Welcome To Lagos, Chibundu Onuzo, has been elected into the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) as part of its 40 Under 40 initiative. Seven other African writers which include poets Warsan Shire and Inua Ellams, novelists Sabrina Mahfouz, Nadifa Mohamed and Irenosen Okojie, and playwright Bola Agbaje.

In addition, street rapper Mojisola Adebayo and poet Kwame Dawes, were inducted as Honorary Fellows.

The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) “celebrates not only the United Kingdom’s diverse literary heritage but also the best in contemporary English language writing in Britain.”

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The RSL’s 40 Under 40 initiative had creative organizations put forward a list of names to a panel of RSL fellows, who were looking to honor “the achievements of Britain’s younger writers” with the selection of a new generation of fellows.

The 40 Under 40 announcement, which was on June 28, was attended by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, who was making her first public appearance as the Society’s new Patron.