Introducing the
National Centre for Writing

The National Centre for Writing is a physical and virtual space for writers, literary translators and those working in the world of literature to meet, learn and collaborate.

We have three guiding principles:

Developing the artform

Our next chapter will support writers, translators and new thinking for literature.

  • Curating and commissioning new work
  • Supporting talent and skills development
  • Engaging associate artists
  • Supporting creative diversity
  • Promoting the import and export of new writing
  • Stimulating debate and new thinking

“Both domestically and internationally, an irreplaceable resource for writers and readers.”
Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent


Image from Kumkum Malhotra: A Live Story, co-commissioned and co-produced by National Centre for Writing and Norfolk & Norwich Festival in collaboration with Story Machine Productions. Based on the story by Preti Taneja. © Thom Law Photography

Creating learning opportunities

Our next chapter will improve lives through reading, writing and literary translation.

  • Opportunities for young people and schools
  • Writing workshops for all at Dragon Hall
  • Creative writing online courses
  • Writing and translation mentoring, particularly for those who have experienced barriers

“We’ve enjoyed wonderful storytelling sessions in Dragon Hall. To have the National Centre for Writing on our doorstep is so inspiring.”
Vicky Lubbock, teacher at Angel Road Junior School


Image from the Children’s City of Literature Anthology launch. © Thom Law Photography

Building a sense of place

Our next chapter will promote Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, as a home for excellence, exchange and innovation

  • Work in partnership to increase cultural tourism, employment and training
  • Promote the outstanding publishing scene in our city and region
  • Welcome writers from all over the world to our residency cottage
  • Make Norwich’s UNESCO City of Literature status work for the people of our city

“A place for something seminal to happen with every meeting.”
Ali Smith, patron of the National Centre for Writing


Image from the annual Noirwich Crime Writing Festival at Dragon Hall. © Joanna Millington

Listen to the launch podcast

Chief Executive Chris Gribble and Programme Director Peggy Hughes discuss the opening.

Find out more about the NCW Podcast >>

Watch the ‘Here’ poem

To celebrate the launch of the National Centre for Writing in Norwich we commissioned new work from acclaimed poet and UEA graduate Luke Wright.

Find out more about the references and story in the poem >>

And so they built it here
this city of incomers and refugees
where Boudicca’s chariot
first asserted her cause of public liberty.

They built it here because
our rivers run with ink,
enduring love and dark materials.

This place of language, pubs and churches
of ballads, plays and verses
where Dame Julian dared to conjured God as Mother.

Here where they threw wide the library doors
and said these shelves, these books, these words are yours.

Here where we du diffrunt, gob and lip
the job lot of us struck off the papal list.

Here where the Wensum meets the Yare
looking east to Europe.
Here where we fight for what is fair
the rights of man and woman.

Here the home of Hansard
and the first local rag
where hacks first dispatched in ink
the savagery of battle.

Here the home of Martineau,
of Bale, Borrow, Fry and Sewell
a plus ton of languages
darned with dialect
and printed on the page.
A thousand years of love and genius and rage
dispatched from this place
to change the world beyond.
And so they built it here.

Find out more about the National Centre for Writing

More from the National Centre for Writing

Patron Margaret Atwood in conversation

‘The National Centre for Writing is not merely desirable, it is essential’

Literary Norwich on BBC Front Row

‘A welcoming and a homecoming to the literary world’

This is the House the Word Built

Based in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, the National Centre for Writing will explore how writing as an art form can inspire, challenge and change the world we live in.

Find out more about our UNESCO status >>