06/04/2016 11:55 BST | Updated 06/04/2017 06:12 BST

Ruth Rendell Award Launched to Find Author Who Has Done the Most to Champion Literacy

Schools, libraries, booksellers and individuals are being encouraged to make nominations for a brand new award in memory of a bestselling novelist.

The Ruth Rendell Award, which was launched by the National Literacy Trust and is sponsored by the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, will recognise the author or writer who has done the most to raise literacy levels in the UK either through their writing and books or through their advocacy and championing of the cause of literacy.

Ruth Rendell, who died last year aged 85, was a bestselling author known for writing thrillers and psychological murder mysteries including the Inspector Wexford series. She also wrote under the pen name Barbara Vine and won a number of awards for her books in a career which spanned six decades.

Ruth Rendell was a long-time supporter of the National Literacy Trust since the charity's launch 21 years ago.

Nominations for authors or writers who have had a significant influence on the literacy cause in the past year are being sought from schools, charities, libraries, booksellers and individuals. The closing date for entries is 31 May.

Joining me on the judging panel will be writer Jonathan Fryer, an ALCS board member, Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Reading Agency and Ginny Lunn, Chief Executive of Beanstalk. The Reading Agency and Beanstalk are both members of the National Literacy Forum, convened by the National Literacy Trust, which includes representatives from Government, business, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector.

We are delighted that Ruth's son, Simon, has agreed to present the Ruth Rendell Award at a ceremony at the House of Commons in December 2016 as part of the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group annual reception. The person who nominates the winning author or writer will be invited to attend the award ceremony. For more information about the Ruth Rendell Award and to make your nomination, visit:

The National Literacy Trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Our research and analysis make us the leading authority on literacy. We run projects in the poorest communities, campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents, and support schools. To find out more, visit: