Welcome to our new season programme.
It has been a busy time here at Dragon Hall; this new season of events, workshops and courses includes our community programme for families, young people, writers and publishers alongside announcing the new cohort of talented translators from around the world who will be participating in this year’s Emerging Translator Mentorships.
There’s also been the launch of the new Book Benches across Norwich, celebrating the thriving community of authors, poets, historians, novelists and story tellers living and working in our UNESCO City of Literature.
For now have a look at our programme and we hope to welcome you back to Dragon Hall in person or online in the very near future!
Ghost Stories by Candlelight
THU 19 OCTOBER, 7.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, PAY WHAT YOU CAN
What happens when the ghosts of the past creep up on us today? Gather close for a candlelit evening of chilling, contemporary tales and
haunting new folk music from the ‘Witch Counties’ of East Anglia.
In partnership with HighTide productions
This is My ******* Country! Bad Language and Good Living in the UK
TUE 24 OCTOBER, 1PM, ONLINE, FREE
Mukahang Limbu, Sanjay Sharma and Premila van Ommen explore the
experiences of Nepali Gurkhas living in the UK to understand how the use of language – or the inability to use a specific language – defines their identities.
Part of our Meet the World series.
Supported by Visible Communities
An Evening of Bewitching Fiction with Margaret Meyer & Stacey Thomas
TUE 31 OCTOBER, 6.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Join us on Halloween for a discussion with two exceptional novelists whose
visceral, atmospheric writing takes us back to a dark era of witch-hunts and holds up a mirror to acts of misogyny, courage and resistance still seen today.
TUE 7 NOVEMBER, 7PM, ONLINE, FREE
Alex Flemming, Rosie Hedger and Megan Turney explore the joys and
challenges of translating genre fiction – from Scandinavian noir to horror to speculative fiction and fantasy.
Part of our Meet the World series.
Supported by Visible Communities
On Tour with Bad Betty Press
WED 15 NOVEMBER, 7PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Join us at Dragon Hall for an evening of live poetry from Bad Betty Press’ roster, a local support act and open
mic. Featuring performances from Amy Acre, Tiffany Atkinson, Jasmine
Cooray and James Kearns.
An Evening with Andrew McMillan
FRI 23 FEBRUARY, 6.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Join award-winning poet and author Andrew McMillan as he discusses his hotly-anticipated debut novel, Pity, exploring community, masculinity and post-industrialisation in Northern England. In conversation with novelist Ashley-Hickson Lovence.
Image © Sophie Davidson
City of Literature Publishing Fair
SAT 2 DECEMBER, 10AM-4PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, FREE
Our popular Publishing Fair returns for Christmas! Drop in and explore the vibrant independent publishing culture of the East of England.
Meet the publishers, browse their work and stock up on gifts for friends and family. There’ll be festive refreshments on offer, too!
The perfect weekend event for writers, readers, editors and creators of all kinds.
Participating publishers to be announced shortly.
Celebrating Norwich UNESCO City of Literature, programmed by National Centre for Writing
A Celebration of New East Anglian Writing
THU 15 FEBRUARY, 6.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £6 PER TICKET (INCLUDES A GLASS WINE)
Come along for an evening of discussion and celebration of books, writers and publishers who have been shaped by, and have helped to shape, the culture of the East of England this past year.
We will announce the winners of the East Anglian Book Awards 2023.
In partnership with Eastern Daily Press and Jarrolds
In association with University of East Anglia
Dragon Hall Social
WED 4 OCTOBER, WED 8 NOVEMBER, WED 6 DECEMBER, WED 7 FEBRUARY, 6PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, FREE
Open to anyone who makes, reads and works with words, this monthly drop-in event is an opportunity to grab a drink from the bar, meet people, cook up plans and compare notes, to talk books, and to hear what’s happening in Norwich.
Children & Young People
Writing Ghostly Stories
WED 25 OCTOBER, 10AM-12NOON, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £5
Get into the spooky spirit this Halloween and learn how to create spine-tingling suspense, gruesome monsters and stories that will haunt the imagination… if you dare.
Together we’ll play games, practise structuring a story and design characters. By the end of the session, you will have the skills and confidence needed to develop your own spooky stories. Led by award-winning children’s writer Mitch Johnson.
Suitable for ages 9-11 years.
Self-paced online courses
Our free online courses offer young people the time to explore writing through fun, engaging prompts and activities for all tastes and genres! From character development to plot twists, writing lyrics to playing with words, there is something for every young writer to enjoy.
Courses available for children and young people aged 6-17 years.
Image © Jo Millington
Our creative writing courses, workshops and mentoring are delivered by award-winning tutors, authors and industry experts. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced writer taking the next step in your career, this season’s Academy programme offers a wide range of new online courses, workshops and mentoring sessions.
Writing Ghost Stories with Adam Z. Robinson
SAT 14 OCTOBER, 10AM-12.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR
WRITING, £45 (£35 CONC)
Learn to write chilling ghost stories with writer and theatre-maker Adam Z. Robinson, looking at how to build atmosphere, create riveting narratives and backstories, and structure.
The Pitfalls of Poetry with Jo Bell
SAT 28 OCTOBER, 10AM-12.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £45 (£35 CONC)
Bring your poems to life in this quick-moving session with Jo Bell where you will tackle the common pitfalls of poetry and produce new work that is concise, energetic and fit for purpose.
Image © Lee Allen
Exploring Essay Writing with Stephanie Y. Tam
SAT 25 NOVEMBER, 10AM-12.30PM, £45 (£35 CONC)
Discover the incredible freedom and flexibility of essay writing in this workshop with writer, researcher, and audio producer Stephanie Y. Tam.
How to Start Your Romance Novel with Owen Nicholls
SAT 10 FEBRUARY, 10AM-12.30PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £45 (£35 CONC)
Learn how to effectively structure your romance novel, understand (and push) the limits of your chosen subgenre, and develop the best way to mirror your story’s start with its end.
Online tutored courses
Unlock your creativity with a high quality, in-depth creative writing course that fits around your busy schedule.
Our practical and carefully supported online courses are aimed at developing work-in-progress, honing your craft and boosting your confidence. They include exercises, interactive Zoom sessions, hand-picked resources and fortnightly tutor feedback on your work. You’ll share the experience with a small group of your peers.
Image © Andi Sapey
I’m very new to writing, just building my skills and confidence, and feel like the course has brilliantly equipped and supported me in both areas.
Crime Writing Masterclass with Elly Griffiths
FRI 10 NOVEMBER, 10AM-1PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £45 (£35 CONC)
Join CWA Dagger-winning author Elly Griffiths for an exclusive masterclass in crime writing where you will learn how Elly builds such captivating characters and suspenseful plots. Q&A included.
Image © Sara Reeve
Poetry Masterclass with Andrew McMillan
SAT 24 FEBRUARY, 10AM-1PM, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING, £45 (£35 CONC)
Multi award-winning poet and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Andrew McMillan will lead a masterclass in contemporary poetry-writing, focusing on developing and honing your craft. Suitable for poets at all levels; will include an author Q&A.
Online, self-paced courses
These short online courses make it easy to progress even while balancing work, school or family commitments. Explore writing habits and routines, boost your confidence, tackle character and plot or experiment with a new genre.
Choose from courses in:
- Publishing knowledge
- Writing unreliable narrators
- Productivity and routine building
- Short form poetry
- Writing real people in memoir
- Characters for middle grade fiction
- Creating suspense in fiction
Many of our courses are free! Paid-for courses begin at £75.
Hour long, one-to-one sessions with an expert mentor.
Our expert mentors are uniquely placed to help writers of all levels, from the finer details of a specific project to the bigger picture of your life as a writer. Working one-to-one, each session is focused on how best to help you, wherever you are in your writing journey.
Industry support, developing your creative practice
Writing for children and young adults
Fiction, drama, creative non-fiction
Fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, journalism
£95 per session. Book three sessions with the same mentor together in a single transaction to receive a 10% discount.
Each year, our Escalator talent development programme provides emerging writers from the East of England with mentoring, masterclasses, industry connections and showcase events.
So far, we have helped 130+ diverse writers hone their craft, earn critical acclaim, get published, and more.
‘Escalator has transformed many lives, including my own. We have so many talented writers our region, don’t let their voices go unheard’ – Kate Worsley
Today, we need you to help take new writers to the next level. Every donation, big or small, will help discover new voices and new stories.
‘Escalator is all about saying ‘yes’, to diversity, inclusivity, to championing every kind of writer’ – Jon Ransom
Donate to Escalator
Visit www.nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/escalator-donation. You can post cash or cheque to Dragon Hall, 115-123 King Street, Norwich, NR1 1QE.
Free gift with donation!
Receive an A5 screen print when you donate, featuring quotes from famous Norwich literary figures: Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Browne, Meir Ben Elijah and Harriet Martineau.
Writer and translator opportunities
Residencies at Dragon Hall
NCW hosts a year-round residency programme for UK and international writers and translators, a mix of in-person residencies in the Dragon Hall cottage and virtual residencies. We work with a wide range of partners and funders to support our residencies and exchanges.
Our residents for October to February include Korean playwright and director Lee Yeon Ju and writer, filmmaker and translator Elhum Shakerifar.
Image © Hannah Hutchins
UNESCO City of Literature residencies
Writers and literary translators living in Norwich are regularly invited to apply for residency opportunities taking place in other UNESCO Cities of Literature across the world. We promote upcoming international residencies on our website, alongside open calls for in-person and virtual residencies at NCW.
For full details and the latest residency opportunities, visit nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/get-involved/writers/residencies
TLC Free Reads
An Arts Council-funded bursary scheme designed for low-income writers living in the East of England. Each year we offer up to ten applicants a free manuscript assessment by a professional from The Literary Consultancy. Priority is given to writers who are under-represented on UK bookshelves. Submissions can be fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, children’s books or scriptwriting.
Applications open on Tuesday 1 November and close on Tuesday 31 January.
Norwich UNESCO City of Literature
Explore 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, promoted parliamentary democracy, fomented revolution, fought for the abolition of slavery and transformed literature.
Today, Norwich remains a key destination for poets, novelists, biographers, playwrights, translators, literary critics, historians, environmentalists and philosophers. A place for writers as agents of change.
Discover Norwich of the past, present and future by taking an audio walking tour of the city. Featuring newly commissioned poems from five brilliant writers.
A Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by National Centre for Writing
Stories From the Quarter
Explore the lives of Bengali and Sylheti-speaking communities living and working in the Cathedral and King St quarters of Norwich. Hear first-hand accounts of the lives of residents; their memories of migration, of growing up as second and third-generation Bengalis, and of how Norwich has changed over time.
Image © Andi Sapey
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund
Norwich Book Benches
Sit, meet, read and enjoy the sights and sounds of Norwich from nine beautifully designed book benches scattered across the city centre. Many of the book benches have been inscribed with authors or stories that have a connection to the city, the county or region, either living, working or the book is based here.
Image © Visit Norwich
Made possible by the EXPERIENCE Project
A jewel in the crown of Norwich’s medieval history
The National Centre for Writing is based in the magnificent Dragon Hall on King Street ‒ a rare example of a medieval merchant’s trading hall, built in about 1430 at the crossroads of Norwich’s great trading routes. Dragon Hall hosts regular open days, heritage tours and community events. Everyone is welcome.
Guided Heritage Tours
Take a tour of the historic Dragon Hall. Learn more about the architectural and
social history of this fascinating 15th-century building from an experienced
FREE ENTRY (SUGGESTED DONATION £5). BOOK YOUR PLACE IN ADVANCE OR TURN UP ON THE DAY.
Mon 16 October, 2pm
Mon 20 November, 2pm
Mon 18 December, 2pm
Mon 15 January, 2pm
Mon 19 February, 2pm
Volunteer at Dragon Hall
If you are interested in history or old buildings, and enjoy working with like-minded people, there may be a volunteering opportunity for you! The Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers are seeking new members to act as guides or assistants.
Contact Heather Pfeiffer at [email protected] to find out more.
Marry. Celebrate. Meet.
The 15th-century Dragon Hall is a magnificent timbered trading hall and courtyard garden in the heart of Norwich. Blending historic detail with sleek contemporary touches, it’s the perfect creative canvas for weddings, parties and important events that seek to do things a little differently.