National Centre for Writing

Due to open in summer 2018 the National Centre for Writing will celebrate the best in world literature. A programme of innovative collaborations will engage writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, in projects that support new voices, new stories and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing.

The initiative, supported by Arts Council England, will transform the 15th century Dragon Hall into a physical embodiment of Norwich’s UNESCO City of Literature status:

  • A new south wing will provide a high-tech education space for young people and school groups
  • The north wing will be home to community space for writers and translators
  • Improvements to the Great Hall will create a 120 seat multipurpose cultural venue
  • The onsite cottage will be refurbished  as a residence for writers and translators visiting from the UK and around the world, with a particular focus on writers at risk within the ICORN network, reflecting Norwich’s status as England’s only International City of Refuge

The work is being carried out by locally-based building firm John Youngs part of the RG Carter group, working to the plans of Norfolk architects Lucas Hickman Smith.

"We are creating something very special and helping to write the next chapter for literature in this country.” Chris Gribble, Chief Executive, Writers' Centre Norwich

When the new centre opens, Writers’ Centre Norwich (WCN) will become known as the National Centre for Writing. The opening programme will include collaboration with the British Council to showcase emerging UK writers to new audiences; a partnership with the prestigious creative writing course at the University of East Anglia will see hundreds of writers engage with an online campus; and cross art form projects such as The Story Machine will present live literature in cities up and down the country.