Welcome to the International Literature Showcase (ILS)


The International Literature Showcase (ILS) aims to export UK writers and dynamic UK literature organisations and support international collaboration. This is a major two-year partnership between British Council, Arts Council England and Writers’ Centre Norwich.

ILS will include a series of live broadcast events, newly commissioned content, webinars and profiles of writers and literature organisations. It will support professional development of writers and literature professionals and support new touring work nationally and internationally. 

Information for Writers
Submit your application for the International Literature Showcase before midday on Monday 9 May 2016. 

Writers’ Centre Norwich and British Council seek writers with a clear and proven record of publication and critical acclaim. If you are keen to build your international profile and develop a career across the globe, then ILS is for you. 

Past ILS writers include; Patience Agbabi, Bidisha, Joe Dunthorne, Emma Healey, Anjali Joseph, Tom McCarthy, Jon McGregor, Kei Miller, Molly Naylor, Luke Wright, Evie Wyld and many others. Writers and performers have gone on to travel the world and develop new work, new writing, and new partnerships. 

In 2016 and 2017 the ILS will promote 80 writers and performers. Each will benefit from exposure and introductions to festival programmers and literature professionals around the world, a dynamic and searchable web-profile, new audio-visual content, commissions for new writing, and much more besides. 

We are convening a dedicated selection team, made up of senior staff from Writers’ Centre Norwich and British Council, along with three leading Independent Advisors. Selection will be based on artistic merit, and we will seek to reflect both the diverse fabric of the UK population and the widest range of literary artforms. 

Writers selected will:
Live in the United Kingdom and be happy to be promoted under a British Council banner;
*Have their nomination supported by an existing literature professional – this could be a publisher, agent, academic, festival curator, librarian, bookseller, or similar. Unless otherwise permitted, no organisation, individual, or publishing imprint may nominate more than two writers. 
Demonstrate commitment to their career in writing. This is likely to be demonstrated by having sold rights for at least one and probably two books, by being part of at least two substantial collaborations with recognised partners, or having developed two shows,; 
Demonstrate a track record of acclaim. This is likely to be demonstrated by having been recognised by at least one prize, and/or through achieving at least two positive reviews in reputable publications.

To apply (writers) 
Please submit the following to ILS@writerscentrenorwich.org.uk, by midday on Monday 9 May 2016:

- A short (200 word max) biography, detailing your major writing achievements;
- A complete bibliography; 
- A portfolio of critical acclaim (for example links to reviews)
- A copy of your most recent book, supplied in epub format;
- A letter of nomination from an existing literature professional*see notes above

Information for Literature Sector Professionals

We want to hear from:
Literary promoters, festivals and events here in the UK and internationally 
Cultural promotion bodies from around the world interested in the UK market  
Literary Translators
Library personnel interested in international exchange and development 
Writers looking for new markets and collaborative projects to expand their horizons 

Register your interest:
Make sure you are on our radar to recommend writers, gain access to international partners and find out about all the latest opportunities. 

To register, please add "1 Free Event" to your basket, then "proceed to checkout" and sign in, or create a user account with us, and answer the questions. You can do this here.

Meet our Independent Advisors

Our Independent Advisors form part of the selection panel for ILS delegates. They are joined by Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of WCN, Jonathan Morley, WCN Programme Director, and Cortina Butler, Director of Literature at British Council.

Peggy Hughes
Peggy is Manager of Literary Dundee, a University of Dundee initiative that celebrates the creative talent within the University of Dundee and brings together writers and readers via a spectrum of events and activities including the annual Dundee Literary Festival and Dundee International Book Prize. By night and weekend she tours about interviewing authors and talking about books. Peggy co-founded the West Port Book Festival and Electric Bookshop, and sits on the boards of the Craigmillar Literacy Trust and Highlight Arts. 

Sameer Rahim
Sameer Rahim is Arts and Books Editor of Prospect Magazine. A critic and journalist for 10 years, previously he worked on the Books Desk of The Daily Telegraph and at the London Review of Books. In 2013 he won a William Hazlitt Prize for an essay on the historical origins of Islam.

Elena Schmitz 
Elena Schmitz has over ten year’s experience of working in the Welsh arts and literature sector and is based in Cardiff. She is Head of Programmes at Literature Wales and part of the Senior Management Team.

She has overseen and managed many significant literature projects, including the Young People’s Writing Squads, the Dinefwr Literature Festival, Writers on Tour funding scheme and the literary tourism and education component of the Dylan Thomas Centenary celebrations. She has been involved in a number of international projects and exchanges and is particularly interested in developing younger audiences through participatory literature projects and works closely with her colleagues on new forms of engagement, such as developing Youth Slams and the Young People’s Laureate. She is particularly interested in creative expression that crosses genres and pushes the boundaries of traditional art forms. 

Originally from Osnabrueck in North Germany, Elena came to the UK in 2004 as part of her MA in British Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin. Prior to this she gained an MA in English Linguistics/Literature and Communication Studies at Essen University. She has worked for various visual arts organisations in Cardiff before joining Literature Wales, including Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art, Wales Arts International, g39 Gallery and Chapter Arts Centre. 

International Literature Showcase 2015

Running from the 18th - 21st March 2015, the International Literature Showcase brought together 54 talented people from the literary world to share their work, discuss ideas and form exciting creative plans for the future.

Get Involved 

Over three days we introduced audiences to some wonderful writers and writing, and to thought-provoking ideas about what literature can achieve, through live streaming and live tweeting, along with blogs, podcasts and public events, including Wild Words: with Jeanette Winterson & Helen Macdonald, and the UEA Spring Literary Festival with Ali Smith. Readings and discussions from Eimear McBride, Emma Healey and Bidisha, as well as talks and debates on the state of the literary community with Stella Duffy, and the effect of our digital world on literature with Bill Thompson.

See below, for podcasts and videos of the events, and do have your say virtually using the hashtag #ILShowcase

Event Programme 

Wednesday 18th  March 
UEA Spring Literary Festival: Ali Smith
7pm - 8pm 
Leading novelist Ali Smith discusses her most recent novel How to be Both (shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Book Award) in conversation with Philip Langeskov.*This event will not be live streamed but will be available as a podcast*

Thursday 19th March
Eimear McBride and Stella Duffy 
12.30pm - 1pm
Eimear McBride author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (winner of the 2013 Goldsmith’s Prize and 2014 Bailey’s Prize) and Stella Duffy writer, actor and co-founder of the Fun Palaces campaign, will read from their work.

Digital Literatures with Bill Thompson
2pm - 3.15pm 
Digital guru Bill Thompson leads a discussion on how literature’s intersection with the digital world has changed. He explores what it means to be ‘a writer’ and examines the artistic and creative implications for readers, writers and arts programmers of the information age.

Next Generation Poets: Rebecca Goss, Luke Kennard , Patience Agbabi and Zaffar Kunial 
3.45pm - 5pm 
Rebecca Goss, Luke Kennard, Patience Agbabi and Zaffar Kunial perform their work, and discuss their work, hosted by Ted Hodgkinson (British Council)

Friday 20th March
Hannah Silva
9am - 9.30am 
Hannah Silva read and performed her powerful feminist satire - Schlock!

Literary Communities 
10am - 11.15am 
The strength of a literary culture is dependent on the diversity, literacy and confidence of its readers, and yet to many people the arts as a whole can seem closed off, at worst exclusive and elitist. Stella Duffy, co-founder of Fun Palaces, discusses ways in which organisations can develop successful outreach programmes, and then chairs a panel debate on the subject. 

New Fiction: Kirsty Logan, James Scudamore and Kerry Young
11.45am - 1pm
Readings from Kirsty Logan, James Scudamore and Kerry Young, followed by a debate hosted by Kate Griffin (International Programme Director, the British Centre for Literary Translation)

Alex Preston 
2pm - 2.30pm 
Alex Preston reads from his work.

Shock of the New
3pm - 4.15pm
The artistic mainstream is continually refreshed and invigorated by encounters with new artistic models, outside voices and emergent forms. Geraldine Collinge leads a conversation on literature from outside the mainstream: be it experimental, in translation or simply deemed other.

New Fiction: Cynan Jones, Emma Healey, Selma Dabbagh 

4.45pm - 6pm
Readings from Cynan Jones, Emma Healey and Selma Dabbagh, followed by a discussion hosted by Swithun Cooper (British Council Literature).

Wild Words with Jeanette Winterson and Helen Macdonald
7.30pm - 9pm Norwich Playhouse  
An evening considering nature, memoir and writing with two of Britain’s finest authors.

Saturday 21st March
Daljit Nagra
9am - 9.30am
Daljit Nagra reads and performs from The Retold Ramayana.

Nonfiction and Memoir: Charlotte Higgins, Patrick Barkham and Bidisha
9.45am - 11am
Readings from Charlotte Higgins, Patrick Barkham and Bidisha, followed by a discussion, hosted by Jonathan Morley (Programme Director, Writers’ Centre Norwich).

Short Stories: Philip Langeskov, Francesca Rhydderch and Clare Wigfall
11.30am - 12.45pm
Readings from Philip Langeskov, Francesca Rhydderch and Clare Wigfall, followed by a discussion hosted by Sophie Wardell (British Council Literature).

The Networked World 
1.45pm – 2.05pm
How many ideas and plans run aground due to lack of connections, money time or specific skills? This session considers how to make the best of networking opportunities and how to manage your time efficiently. Hosted by Sarah Thelwall.

Meet 2015's ILS Guests

UK Writers
Including Patience Agbabi, Bidisha, Patrick Barkham, Emma Healey, Helen Macdonald and Eimear McBride.

UK Delegates
Including Tom Chivers - Penned in the Margins, Lucy Crompton-Reid - Apples & Snakes, Hannah Trevarthen - English PEN and Eleanor Lang - Free Word Centre.

International Delegates
Including Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire - The Centre for African Cultural Excellence (Uganda), Hung Hung - Taipei Poetry Festival (Taipei), Ayesha Husain - Khayaal Creative Network (Pakistan) and Antoine Lewis - Literature Live! (India)

Find out more about the ILS
The International Literature Showcase (ILS) is a global network connecting emerging and established literature development professionals. Founded by the British Council and Writers’ Centre Norwich, with support from Arts Council England, it offers access to new partnerships and collaborations and the chance to develop expertise and explore new ideas across the international sector. It promotes best practice across a community of writers, creative producers, literary festivals, publishers, libraries, educators, and entrepreneurs.

The ILS 2015 brings together 54 of the most talented people working in literature from around the world with a programme featuring 24 outstanding writers from across the UK. 

There is an online forum for  ILS Alumni – to continue the conversations and shape the global literature landscape in the years to come. Plus, a fund is available for delegates to support early stage development of the new partnerships and collaborations brokered and discussed in Norwich.

Following the successes of the Norwich Showcase in 2012, ILS joins the British Council’s extensive portfolio of arts and literature programmes which develop opportunities for collaboration around the world with British writers and the UK literature sector.


About the Norwich Showcase 2012

An International Platform For British Writing

9th-13th March 2012

"We hope that as a result of this first Norwich Showcase, we are able to 
inspire new partnerships, ideas and work within the UK and internationally.” Chris Gribble, Writers' Centre Norwich

The international platform for British writing and literature development called the Norwich Showcase, presented by Writers' Centre Norwich and British Council ran from March 9th – March 13th in venues across Norwich.

The Norwich Showcase introduced international literature specialists to innovative British writers and translators and brought together literature specialists from across the world, literature organisations from the UK and some of the best writers out of the UK.

Watch this film for an overview of the Norwich Showcase and find out how our international delegates got on.

 Take a look at some of the images from the Norwich Showcase on Flickr.

Catch up with the events
Events were filmed and live streamed on Friday 09th and all day on Monday 12th March. Click here to view the following events: 

Poetry Readings with Lavinia Greenlaw and Hannah Lowe

Watch Hannah Lowe read at the Norwich Showcase.

New Fictions Reading with Joe Dunthorne, Yvvette Edwards and Ross Raisin

Watch Joe Dunthorne at the Norwich Showcase.

Watch Yvette Edwards at the Norwich Showcase.

Watch Ross Raisin at the Norwich Showcase.

Historical Fiction Panel and Reading with Sarah Dunant, Mark Mills and Rebecca Stott

Watch Sarah Dunant at the Norwich Showcase.

Watch Mark Mills at the Norwich Showcase.

Watch Rebecca Stott at the Norwich Showcase.

Translation Slam with Daniel Hahn, Ros Schwartz and Frank Wynne

Poetry Panel and Reading with Lavinia Greenlaw, David Harsent and Frances Leviston

Watch David Harsent at the Norwich Showcase.

Watch Frances Leviston at the Norwich Showcase.

Blogposts and Articles from Norwich Showcase Delegates

Umapagan Ampikaipakan writes a blog for the British Council and a longer article for New Straits Times.

Chandrahas Choudhury writes about his experiences at the Showcase on his blog The Middle Stage.

Sahar Elmoughy describes her time at the Showcase for the British Council.

Briony Everroad writes for Vintage about her participation in the Showcase.

Rajni George interviews fellow Showcase attendee Lakshmi Holmstrom.

Martin Janowski explains what he enjoyed about his time in Norwich.

Nicholas Laughlin talks about the Norwich Showcase.

Toni Marquez writes in Portuguese about his Norwich Showcase experience. (Open the page in Google Chrome and click the translate button for a rough translation)

Watch out for podcasts soon on the following topics:

6 X 8 Delegate Presentations 
Interested in finding out more about the delegates from around the world? Listen to their fascinating presentations here soon. Each delegate had eight minutes to tell us about the work they do and it was really enlightening stuff.


Lavinia Greenlaw and Hannah Lowe

Emily Berry, Kei Miller and Tom Warner

Moniza Alvi, Adam Foulds and George Szirtes

Lavinia Greenlaw, David Harsent and Frances Leviston.

Live Literature
Live Literature Shorts from Molly Naylor and Luke Wright
Literary Death Match with Francesca Beard, Siddhartha Bose, Martin Figura and Ross Sutherland. 

New Fictions 

Samantha Harvey, Anjali Joseph and Evie Wyld.

Joe Dunthorne, Yvvette Edwards and Ross Raisin.

Granta: A Cultural Space
Granta Deputy Editor Ellah Allfrey in conversation about new writing, literature beyond the book and how the magazine is evolving.

Literature, Internationalism And Change
Featuring Chris Gribble, Susanna Nicklin, Jonathan Heawood and special guests.

Writing Landscapes
Readings and discussion with Robert Macfarlane and Adam Foulds. Hosted by Jon Cook.

On Translation
Featuring readings from Lakshmi Holmström and Adam Thirlwell and discussion with Briony Everroad. Hosted by Valerie Henitiuk of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

Historical Fiction
Readings and discussion with Sarah Dunant, Mark Mills and Rebecca Stott.

Translation Slam
Featuring Daniel Hahn, Ros Schwartz and Frank Wynne.
Creative Non-Fiction
Readings and discussions with William Fiennes, Kathryn Hughes and Alexander Masters.

Fiction and Forms
Readings and discussion with Tom McCarthy and Jon McGregor. Hosted by Christopher Bigsby.

View the conversation on Twitter and say hello on the hashtag: #LitShowcase12 

The Norwich Showcase International Delegates:

Fatma Cihan Akkartal (Turkey) – Kalem Copyrite Agency 
Umapagan Ampikaipakan (Malaysia) – New Straits Times 
Doreen Baingana (Uganda) – FEMRITE Ugandan Women Writers Association
Chandrahas Choudhury (India) – The Caravan Magazine 

Najwan Darwish (Palestine) Palfest

Sahar Elmougy (Egypt) – Cairo University 
Rajni George (India)- Punctum
Theotonius Gomes (Bangladesh) – Brine Pickles
Tsila Hayun - (Israel) Hotam Cultural Projects
Nicholas Laughlin (Trinidad and Tobago) – The Caribbean Review of Books 
Peng Lun (China) – SHANGHAI 99 Readers Club 
Jorge Antonio Marques (Brazil) – FLUPP Festival 
Ryoichi Niimoto (Japan) – The Kyoto University of Art and Design

Martin Njaga (Kenya) – Storymoja Publishers

Marella Paramatti (Italy) – Festivaletteratura 
Devyani Saltzman (Canada) - Luminato Festival
Bogdan-Alexandru Stanescu (Romania) – Festivalul International de Literatura Bucuresti 
Bilal Tanweer (Pakistan) – LUMS UNIVERSITY 
Véronique Tadjo (From South African organisation/Nationality Côte d'Ivoire) – Wits Arts & Literature Experience (WALE) 

Full information about the international delegates and organisations.


Naomi Alderman, Moniza Alvi, Francesca Beard, Emily Berry, Christopher Bigsby, Siddhartha Bose, Jon Cook, Sarah Dunant, Joe Dunthorne, Yvvette Edwards, Briony Everroad, William Fiennes, Martin Figura, Adam Foulds, Lavinia Greenlaw, Daniel Hahn, David Harsent, Samantha Harvey, Lakshmi Holmström, Kathryn Hughes, Anjali Joseph, Frances Leviston, Hannah Lowe, Robert Macfarlane, Alexander Masters, Tom McCarthy, Jon McGregor, Kei Miller, Mark Mills, Molly Naylor, Don Paterson, Ross Raisin, Rebecca Stott, Ross Sutherland, George Szirtes, Adam Thirlwell, Tom Warner, Luke Wright and Evie Wyld

View Writer Biographies

UK Literature Organisations:

Ellah Alfrey - Granta
Julia Bird - Jaybird
Viv Bid - Booktrust
Kevin Conroy-Scott - Tibor Jones Associates
Peter Florence - Hay Festivals
Jonathan Heawood - English PEN
Naomi Jaffa- Poetry Trust
Lucy Macnab- Ministry of Stories
Claire Malcolm - New Writing North
Miranda McKearney - Reading Agency
Maria Moorwood- Arts Council England
Martin Pick - Tibor Jones Associates
Sophie Rochester - Literary Platform
Samantha Schnee - Words Without Borders
Stefan Tobler - And Other Stories
Katie Waldegrave - First Story

Full information about the UK organisations and representatives.

Find Out More About The Programme

Over the five days the delegates attended a series of readings, discussion and performances and allowed the writers and literature specialists to look at new ways of working together. The programme was designed to forge international ties, create connections and to encourage creative ideas that will germinate and continue to flourish long past the five days of the programme.

Download the full Norwich Showcase brochure.