The National Centre for Writing celebrates the best in world literature. Our programme of innovative collaborations engages writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, in projects that support new voices and new stories, and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing.
Norwich has been a literary city for over 900 years: a place of ideas where the power of words has changed lives and transformed literature. In 2012 Writers’ Centre Norwich (now the National Centre for Writing) led the successful bid for Norwich to become England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, joining a prestigious network of cities worldwide.
We celebrate Norwich’s heritage as a place of ideas. We nurture the city’s contemporary writers while our Lit from the Inside programmes gives young people the opportunity to explore their creative skills. Our work ranges from major international partnerships with organisations such as British Council, to vibrant public events including the City of Literature weekend at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
We organise residencies and exchanges for writers and translators with a range of national and international partners, including other UNESCO cities of literature. There are articles by previous writers and translators available on our website in the residencies section and in the Walking Norwich section.
The National Centre for Writing is based at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich. The 15th century medieval merchant’s hall is a creative hub, with public events taking place in our Great Hall and an education space in our new south wing.
We host our residency programme for writers and translators from around the world in our cottage. Our residencies are focused on time to write and translate; the tranquil surroundings of Norwich, two hours from London by train and close to a spectacular coastline, make it an ideal location to write, translate, read and dream. We offer residents the opportunity to attend events and meet the literary community in Norwich during their stay.
Writers and translators in residence are hosted in our cottage, a small two-bedroom house, with shared kitchen, bathroom and living space. There is a terrace leading to the Dragon Hall garden. Residents have the use of a library, and desk space in our main building when required. Dragon Hall is by the river, close to the train station and not far from the city centre.
We offer a range of residencies, each with their own application process. Details of opportunities as they arise are available on our website.
In most cases, we ask for details of the writing or translation project to be undertaken during the residency. We assess applications based on the reasons a writer or translator wants to do the residency, how they meet the aims of that particular residency, what they will bring to the residency and what they hope to gain from it.
As well as a willingness to promote contemporary writing and culture, and to engage in the literary and cultural life of Norwich, we ask that the writers or translators in residence be available for any interview, filming or media opportunity that may arise during their stay. We also ask them to contribute to our Walking Norwich section, sharing their reflections on the city and their experience of the residency.