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To be a centre for national and international literary exchange in a world class UNESCO City of Literature 


Writers’ Centre Norwich’s mission is to put literature at the heart of contemporary culture. Through pioneering and collaborative projects we will explore the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation.

Aim 1: To produce, commission and curate innovative new work that stimulates debate and reflects the diversity of society

Aim 2: To create opportunities for writers and literary translators, supporting a diverse and vibrant literary ecology

Aim 3: To develop diverse audiences and participants for creative writing, reading and literary translation.

Background & History 

Established in 2004 as the New Writing Partnership we have an eleven year history of literature development with writers, readers, translators and audiences at home and internationally.

The New Writing Partnership was a groundbreaking collaboration between University of East Anglia, Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council. It was a unique cultural experiment with the aim of extending the remarkable literary activity of UEA by placing it in the city where it historically belonged and socially, would have the most impact. 

Growing from three staff in 2006 as one of Arts Council England’s regional literature agencies to 15 FTE staff under the current chief executive, Chris Gribble, WCN has had an outstanding period of achievement and growth and has become England’s leading literature development body.

In 2009 we changed our name and our visual identity (designed by Norwich company The Click) with assistance from the Arts Council England funded AmbITion project. By this time the organisation had evolved to become a driving force behind the rapid development of the city’s creative industries and a leading national literature development agency with a special interest in the social, economic and cultural impact of creative writing.

In 2012 WCN led the successful bid for Norwich to be named as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.  

In 2014 we moved to Dragon Hall, one of Norwich’s most iconic buildings, a 15th century former trading hall. 

Thanks to its partnerships, artistic and organisational strengths, WCN is uniquely placed to provide such a voice through its plan to develop into a National Centre for Writing (NCW) in Norwich due to open in early 2018.