Peggy Hughes appointed CEO of National Centre for Writing
‘I can’t wait to open our doors wide to new opportunities and adventures in writing, translating and reading for all our artists, communities and audiences.’

We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer to run our organisation from its home at Dragon Hall in the heart of Norwich UNESCO City of Literature.

Peggy Hughes, Executive Director of NCW, will step into the role from 25 September 2023 and usher the literature house and cultural venue into an exciting next chapter.

Peggy has an extraordinary track record in the literature sector and brings an enthusiastic voice and fresh ideas to NCW’s work with writers, translators, readers and communities. She will lead on future plans for Norwich as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Peggy said:

‘I’m thrilled to be appointed as the new CEO of National Centre for Writing. NCW is a unique proposition — a literature house rooted in our medieval home in Norwich UNESCO City of Literature and open to the world, supported by an incredible set of funders, partners and friends.  It’s an honour to build on Chris Gribble’s exceptional and pioneering tenure, and a genuine joy to be able to lead our wonderful team into the next chapter.

‘I can’t wait to open our doors wide to new opportunities and adventures in writing, translating and reading for all our artists, communities and audiences, working together to build an NCW that is fit for the future and open to all.’

Peggy was appointed Executive Director at NCW in January 2022 after four years as their Head of Programmes. She comes from Northern Ireland, went to university in Scotland, and stayed to spend her formative years in literature organisations there, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Peggy’s various trustee roles include being current co-Chair of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, and former Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland. She was recently made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature for her significant contribution to the advancement of literature.

Alan Waters, Chair of the Board at NCW, said:

‘After a highly competitive process, the Board and our stakeholders are very pleased that Peggy Hughes has been appointed to the CEO role at National Centre for Writing.

‘While acknowledging all we’ve achieved as an organisation in recent years, Peggy has a strong vision of her own and the experience and skills to make it a reality over the coming years. Peggy excels at making and sustaining partnerships and with experience across higher education, festivals, libraries and venues, she’s in a great position to lead us into the next chapter of our story.’

Since its founding in the early 2000s, NCW has grown into an important landmark in the UK’s literature scene and a thriving cultural centre for Norwich and the region. The organisation led the bid for Norwich to become England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012 and continues to play a vital part in the cultural, civic and economic life of the city and county.

Peggy succeeds Chris Gribble, who will step down from his role in September after 17 years to join The Forum Trust as CEO.

Chris Gribble said:

‘I’m delighted that Peggy will be NCW’s new leader. After leading our recent capital project to open new spaces within Dragon Hall, heading up the NPO application process and developing our new Community Advisory Board, she is in a great position to bring her energy and new ideas to our physical and digital communities locally, nationally and internationally.

‘Peggy has strong local knowledge backed by national and international experience and is a born collaborator.’

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