City of literature journey: Art in an emergency
Interrogate the role of art as a force of resistance and repair by drawing upon the stories of our past through the writers of our future

It is with regret that we announce that Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2020 (and the City of Literature Weekend) has been cancelled

For a full statement, please visit the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website.

This year the National Centre for Writing has put together a series of literary journeys that will guide you through our exciting City of Literature programme at Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2020.

With a programme of fresh and original literary voices, along with award-winning writers and publishers, we invite you to celebrate Norwich as a UNESCO City of Literature and a home to writers, thinkers, storytellers and readers. Browse the curated journeys we’ve suggested and book all four events together to get a £1.00 discount per ticket.

Our second City of Literature journey is titled ‘Art in an emergency’ and asks the question: what does it mean to be an artist in today’s turbulent social climate? Through these events we examine the role of art as a force of resistance and repair – drawing upon the stories of our past through the writers of our future.

Art in an emergency


Owen Sheers presents…

Friday 22 May, 12noon, The Adnams Spiegeltent, Festival Gardens, £8.50

Owen SheersOwen Sheers (‘a prodigiously talented writer’ – New York Times) reveals his selection of ten incredible, socially engaged writers who write to reflect on and hopefully change our times. Owen will be joined by three of these writers as he explores what makes their work so vital.

Presented by the National Centre for Writing and British Council as part of the International Literature Showcase. With support from Arts Council England and Creative Scotland.


On the Same Page

Saturday 23 May, 10.30am, The Adnams Spiegeltent, Festival Gardens, £8.50

Royal Society of Literature logoA unique event in which the Royal Society of Literature will present two of the most exciting writers working in the UK today, who would not normally share a stage, to discuss the role of the writer in uncertain political times. Expect lively discussion and fascinating insight into the pressures and pleasures of the writing life. Names to be revealed!

In partnership with the Royal Society of Literature as part of the RSL 200, celebrating 200 years of literature in the UK.


Art in an Emergency – Olivia Laing

Saturday 23 May, 12noon, The Adnams Spiegeltent, Festival Gardens, £8.50

Olivia LaingAcclaimed writer and critic Olivia Laing makes a compelling case for why art matters. Exploring loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body, she celebrates art as a force of resistance and repair – an antidote to a frightening political time.



Harriet Martineau Lecture – Ellah P. Wakatama

Saturday 23 May, 2pm, The Adnams Spiegeltent, Festival Gardens, £12 / £10.20 conc / £7.50 under 26

Ellah P WakatamaThe Harriet Martineau Lecture celebrates the legacy of a remarkable, world-changing woman by inviting globally-renowned radical speakers to respond to her life and work. This year we welcome Ellah P. Wakatama, literary critic and Editor-at-large for Canongate fiction. Supported by The Martineau Society.


Tickets are available from the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website. A discount of £1.00 per ticket will be automatically applied to your basket when you book these four events together.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival logo

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