Writers' Centre Norwich is delighted to announce that it has received news of a funding award of £465,000 from the Arts Council's National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence Programme, in order to create 'East Out'.

East Out is an ambitious three-year programme of commissioning, showcasing, residencies, exchanges and collaborations to celebrate Norwich as a national and international centre of literary excellence. Enabling us to bring together partnerships locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, East Out will celebrate the opening of the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall, in the heart of Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

At the heart of our programme are three key strands of work:

New Work and New Ways of Working

Commissioning new work for audiences physically and digitally, with excellent and diverse artists and partners:

  • A set of commissions - ‘Radical East’ - in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich Festival exploring the radical history of writing, print and protest in our region  
  • An associate artist programme that will see new work being made and developed in Norwich
  • A series of four digital commissions/projects that will engage new audiences and partners online
  • A set of National Sector roundtables and discussions to bring together writers, literary translators, publishers and all those passionate about literature and its impact on the world

International Literature Showcase+

Building on the success of the www.litshowcase.org platform and research, ILS+ will take the project to a new level by delivering six online showcases and a physical showcase in Norwich in 2020. This will enable us to support 200 UK writers and 40 UK organisations/practitioners to showcase their work to international partners, support the export of the best work in our sector and create a legacy of collaborative practice. 

Norwich, UNESCO City of Literature

We will:

  • work with Salt Publishing and Galley Beggar Press over a three year period to celebrate the best in literary fiction from Norwich and Norfolk, to expand their national and international markets and increase their global reach
  • host the first UK meeting of the UNESCO Cities of Literature in partnership with Nottingham in 2019
  • offer a programme of writer-and-translator-in-residence exchanges with our UNESCO partners
  • work with Norwich Business Improvement District on cultural tourism projects based on our outstanding literary heritage and contemporary literary scene

Our core partners are Arts Council England, University of East Anglia, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and British Council. 

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich said:

"We’re delighted Arts Council England has chosen to support East Out and our plans to develop as National Centre for Writing through the National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence programme. The support will enable new work, new partnerships and new conversations to flourish. It will help us reach larger audiences, explore innovative collaborations and support the development of outstanding writers, literary translators, publishers, and performers nationally as well as in our own region. East Out, with Arts Council England’s support, will help unlock talent, new voices and new ways of working in the literature sector and we can’t wait to get going."

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said:

“We’re proud to support Writers’ Centre Norwich ambitious ‘East Out’ project. It outlines exciting plans to not only develop the organisation’s role locally, nationally and internationally, but also to support widespread development across the literature sector. Literature is a hugely important part of our cultural offer in England and a significant contributor to our international reputation for excellence. It is exciting to be able to invest in projects like East Out, which will help our best artists establish international partnerships, find new markets and share best practice, as well as supporting sector development in England. It is through projects like this that talented artists will realise greater success and our international reputation for excellence will continue to grow.”

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