The First Chapter

Year One of the National Centre for Writing

We are delighted to be able to celebrate and share with you the highlights of our first chapter as the National Centre for Writing. Norwich has been a literary city for over 900 years: a place of words and ideas − a city of stories − that has welcomed the world and in turn helped change it for the better.

At a time when global horizons seem to be shrinking and human rights are under increasing threat, we believe that sharing stories, helping stories travel, and supporting writers and translators has never been more critical. At home in the wonderfully restored and extended Dragon Hall, but alive online and across the globe through our many partnerships, we are committed to exploring how the written word can inspire, challenge and change the world we live in. Thank you for your support and help as we push the boundaries of writing and literary translation.

Chris Gribble,
Chief Executive, National Centre for Writing



We’ve provided intensive professional development to 42 early career writers and translators

NCW Patron Margaret Atwood tours Dragon Hall during the construction our new south wing.

“It will be Hermes presiding over Dragon Hall. The opener of doors, the God of travel and exchanges of all kinds.”
Margaret Atwood

© Thom Law Photography


We’ve held over 100 free events at Dragon Hall.

Photographer and curator Parni Ray and writer Samit Basu tour the Norfolk Broads as part of the Writing Places exchange with Kolkata.

“The National Centre for Writing has built a unique and vital support system with the Emerging Translator Mentorship programme, and it’s truly heartening to witness and become part of the NCW’s continued efforts to nourish early-career translators and champion voices from outside the Anglophone world.”
Yan Chen, 2019 Emerging Translator mentee

© Sarah Hickson Photography


We’ve paid 498 writers for original commissions and event appearances during our first chapter


We’ve welcomed 57,040 audiences and participants across our local, national and international programme

Young Arts Professional working during the Handover Festival.

“It has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learnt so much about the different careers involved in the arts and it has really helped to broaden my horizons. It has shown what young people can do and the positive impact we can have in our community… I was very nervous but it was such a rewarding experience. I feel like the whole experience has really helped me to become more confident in myself.”
Amelia Platt, Young Arts Professional at Handover Festival

© Taryn Everdeen


667 aspiring writers have taken part in our programme of workshops online and at Dragon Hall


We’ve worked with 4,440 children and young people from across Norfolk and Suffolk as part of our Learning & Participation programme


We have welcomed writers, translators and cultural representatives form 32 countries to the National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, Norwich.

Guests from the 28 UNESCO Cities of Literature present the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library with a collection of international children’s books.

“A fantastic opportunity to showcase England’s amazing literary prowess on the international stage. We’re very pleased to have Norwich and Nottingham jointly hosting this gathering, putting them at the forefront of global literary activity.”
Darrne Henley OBE, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

© Hannah Hutchins

“I chose to join when I discovered more about the work the National Centre for Writing does with young people. These are our readers and writers of the future. Any organisation that focuses on helping children to carry the extraordinary tool of reading and writing with them should have our support.”
Sarah Passingham, writer and Supporters’ Circle member

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