The National Centre for Writing launched in summer 2018 but the organisation has a much longer and illustrious history, dating back to the early 2000s. Growing from just three staff in 2006, then under the name Writers’ Centre Norwich, the organisation experienced an outstanding period of achievement and growth under the leadership of Chief Executive Chris Gribble. Now home to a team of eighteen and an ever-expanding network of writers, translators and industry professionals, the National Centre for Writing continues to be a driving force in the literary sector.
In 2012 we led the successful bid for the city to be recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature, becoming the first in England. This status acknowledges the city’s rich literary heritage and the continuing creative drive of its people.
In 2015 we moved into our base at Dragon Hall in Norwich, a medieval merchant’s hall that contains tales of witches, 15th century commerce and river trading and has been, at times, 19th century housing for over 150 people, a butchers and a pub. Extensive renovation and the construction of a new south wing began in 2017, converting the site into the National Centre for Writing where we are able to provide workshops for schools, residencies for visiting writers and translators and host literature events in the Great Hall.
We provide a space where established and emerging writers are supported and nurtured, where the best in world literature is made easily accessible to audiences and readers, and where local communities benefit from innovative education programmes.