Posted on June 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Neil Gaiman and Naomi Alderman became fellows of Britain's Royal Society of Literature on Monday, reports The Bookseller.

The society welcomed thirty-one new fellows — fifteen are normally elected in a year, according to its website — and added another historic twist.

George Eliot’s pen was among those that could be used to sign the roll book, marking the first time in society history that a female writer’s pen was available.

Newly initiated fellows could also use pens belonging to T.S. Eliot or Lord Byron.

The society is dedicated to “furthering the making, reading, discussion, and enjoyment of literature in all its variety.”

Fellowship is awarded from writers to other writers, who must have published at least two works of outstanding literary merit, or the equivalent material, in order to be considered.

Alderman is an award-winning author of novels and short fiction who also contributes frequently to media outlets such as the BBC and The Guardian.

She was mentored by Margaret Atwood as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and has been named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Gaiman is a bestselling and award-winning author of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living postmodern writers.

UPDATED JUNE 7: The society specified that it welcomed thirty-one new fellows.

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