Debby Lukito Goeyardi is a writer of children’s and teen literature from Indonesia. She recenly visited Norwich with Avianti Armand and Nuril Basri for a week-long residency funded by the Indonesian Book Committee.

I fell in love with Norwich once I stepped on its roads and breathed its fresh and pure air. I fell in love with the warmth of the people once they greeted me. I met many lovely persons whom I will hold in my heart dearly, such as Kate Griffin, Sophie Scott-Brown, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Angel Igov, Isabelle King as well as Fairless who is indeed a very talented guitarist!

I fell in love with the warmth of the people once they greeted me

I am so thankful to Writers’ Centre Norwich and British Council (both in London and Indonesia) as they have organized a very inspiring and meaningful schedule for us to join. My first schedule was to attend WCN’s Children’s Literature Day School. I was surprised as all attendees were so enthusiastic in discussions. They brought various amazing books. I got new knowledge from the speakers. First session was about ‘Writing Young Adult Prose’ with Tanya Landman. She strongly advised us to write the story that we really want to, to write a book with our heart and to write a story that we are strong at. Second session was more related to my works and was about ‘Children’s Illustration’ with Eva Sanchez Gomez. Now I am able to understand much better in regards to how an illustrator works. I never knew before that it was so complicated!

It was a moment-to-remember when I visited Norwich Lower School. I read my book of Waktunya Cepuk Terbang (It’s Time for Cepuk to Fly) to 81 students of grade 3 and 4. I made quizzes about an owl’s life and surprisingly they knew most of the interesting things about an owl! We also watched a short video about Indonesia made by Indonesia’s National Book Committee and the children were surprised when they understood how many people live in Indonesia! It was a fantastic moment with the children that I would always treasure in my heart.

Time flies in Norwich. It was really hard to leave this city on the River Wensum in East Anglia, especially leaving very kind-hearted people I met during our visit. I’ll surely be back one day, Norwich ~ a city of literature!