2017 is the year of the Literary Hero, so says VisitEngland – and we wholeheartedly agree!
This is a theme we can really get behind (and do, on a regular basis!), because Norwich has a long and interesting history of producing ‘literary heroes’ over the years; in fact Norwich was the first English UNESCO City of Literature (awarded 2012), an accolade we’re incredibly proud of.
Image: George Saunders is part of the line-up for the UEA Spring Literary Festival - photograph by Chloe Aftel
NORWICH’S LITERARY BUZZ
This is a city of literary firsts and excellence; not only has it produced the first recognisable novel, the first blank verse and the first provincial library and newspaper, but also the first British MA in Creative Writing (UEA) and the first UK City of Refuge for persecuted writers – and many more to boot! We’re lucky enough to have both the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Writers’ Centre Norwich here, and in April 2018 the Writers Centre Norwich will open a National Centre for Writing.
To celebrate 2017 as a year of literary heroes, here are our favourite literary events taking place throughout 2017, so you can get planning with plenty of time to spare!
LITERARY EVENTS FOR YOUR DIARIES
Taking place in the wonderfully historic Dragon Hall (home to Writers’ Centre Norwich, who are in collaboration with UEA for this event), UEA LIVE will showcase the past, present and future of UEA writing talent, with headline authors from across the university’s Creative Writing programmes. There’ll be three main events: one in January, February and March, all starting at 6.30pm and all free! Find out more here.
Image: Ed Balls by Chris Harris
The UEA Literary Festival is a bi-annual event which has been running since 1991, and which always features some excellent authors and speakers. The 2017 Spring festival is no exception - definitely one to get very excited about!
The line-up this spring is brilliant, and includes Ed Balls, Lionel Shriver, Louise Doughty (BBC TV series Apple Tree Yard is based on Doughty's novel of the same name, starring Emily Watson), Ali Smith, George Saunders, Michael Penningtom and Elif Shafak. They'll be speaking not only about their work but also about themselves and the world they’re writing in. Tickets £8, £4 for students (season tickets: £48). Find out more here and follow the Literary Festival on Twitter for updates and news.
Image: Race Horse Sundays Super Sunday - photo by Peter Hellman
Held each year in May, this internationally-renowned festival takes place in various venues across the city and has become a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar. Expect more than 100 performances over 17 action-packed days, covering music, theatre, dance, circus, literature and visual arts from all over the world – and plenty of free outdoor events to enjoy. Some shows have already been announced and tickets are on sale now.
Part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival is the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s City of Literature programme, which last year boasted the biggest programme to date! Expect plenty more amazing events this year; stay tuned for the 2017 line-up!
Image: Noirwich Crime Writing Festival
Four days of blood-curdling festivities await you at this brilliant crime writing festival, taking place across three fantastic venues in Norwich. Expect author talks, Q&As, book launches and social events, as well as workshops for aspiring writers from the experts! Stay tuned for line-up details as they’re announced.
UEA AUTUMN LITERARY FESTIVAL (DATES TBA, USUALLY OCTOBER – DECEMBER)
The Autumn festival’s line-up is yet to be released, but expect fantastic authors as well as journalists, illustrators, scientists, economists, broadcasters and more! Full line-up to follow when announced.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.