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 and through our UNESCO Young Ambassador programme support young people to share their love of reading, writing, books and ideas with their schools and wider community.
Our work ranges from major international partnerships with organisations such as British Council, to vibrant public events including the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival and the City of Literature strand at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
We have organised residencies for writers and translators in partnership with a number of organisations, including the Nippon Foundation, Passa Porta, the National Book Committee of Indonesia, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, National Arts Council of Singapore, Literature Translation Institute of Korea and the Arts Council of Korea. There are articles by previous writers and translators available on our website.
The National Centre for Writing is based at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich. The 15th century medieval merchant’s hall is now a creative hub, with public events taking place in our Great Hall, an education space in our new south wing, and a writers’ colony and library.
We are expanding our residency programme for writers and translators from around the world in our recently refurbished cottage. Some of our residencies are more focused on time to write and translate. Other residencies include the opportunity to take part in other literary activities, workshops and events, and to meet other writers.
Writers and translators in residence are hosted in our two-bedroom cottage, with shared kitchen, bathroom and living space. They have the use of desk space in our writers’ colony and library. Dragon Hall is by the river, close to the train station and not far from the city centre. The tranquil surroundings of Norwich, two hours from London by train and close to a spectacular coast line, make it an ideal location to write, translate, read and dream.
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 learning resources, and write a short blog about the residency.