Welcome to Norwich UNESCO City of Literature, a city of stories

Norwich has been a literary city for over 900 years: a place of ideas where the power of words has changed lives

Norwich was designated England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012

Take a literary walking tour of Norwich

Discover Norwich of the past, present, and future through Wandering Words, a self-led walking tour featuring poems from five brilliant writers.

Experience the city with fresh eyes, encountering the people and locations that inspired each writers’ work.

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Explore real and imagined Norwich through writing by resident and visiting artists

Through our Walking Norwich programme, we invite you to walk with the writers who were born or drawn here, to experience their Norwich and discover the layers of stories embedded in the city.

You can pick up a free print edition from our shop, or explore the online versions below.

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Norwich exemplifies the crucial role played by Cities of Literature in community well-being, growth, and sustainability.

UNESCO City of Literature report

Norwich Book Benches

Discover the brand-new Norwich Book Benches, inspired by famous authors and literary works from our county.

Each bench gives you the opportunity to stop and take a moment, watch people walk by, read a book, enjoying the historical elements of the city whilst learning and enhancing our knowledge of great writers with Norwich connections.

These benches form part of the EXPERIENCE project, partnering with Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and Norwich Business Improvement District (BID).

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Imagining the City

An ongoing programme of digital exchanges, fostering connections between Norwich writers and the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, with the aim of strengthening the links between cities, exploring shared concerns, and spotlighting places of literary importance.

We’ve had several iterations of this programme, featuring writers from Québec, Dublin, Dunedin, and more.

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Norwich is a fine city. None finer. If there is another city in the United Kingdom with a school of painters named after it, a matchless modern art gallery, a university with a reputation for literary excellence which can boast Booker Prize-winning alumni, one of the grandest Romanesque cathedrals in the world, and an extraordinary new state-of-the-art library then I have yet to hear of it.

Stephen Fry

Translating Science

An experiment and collaboration between the National Centre for Writing and Norwich Research Park which saw writers and scientists paired together to create new writing.

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Carousel images:

Kumkum Malhotra at the City of Literature strand of Norfolk & Norwich Festival © Thom Law

Hanya Yanagihara at UEA Live © Joanna Millington

View of Norwich from Mousehold Heath © VisitNorwich