We are excited to present the first in a series of films about Norwich, telling stories about the city and its people.
Rowan Whiteside was born in South Africa, but has lived in Norwich for most of her adult life. She has a BA in English and American Literature from the University of East Anglia, and graduated from the UEA Masters in Creative Writing (Prose) in 2015. Rowan spent five years working as a Senior Bookseller at Waterstones, and is currently the Communications Coordinator for Brave New Reads, a Writers’ Centre Norwich shared reading programme. She has had stories published online and in print in the first Words and Women anthology. She also writes articles for Standard Issue Magazine.
Visit Rowan's website and follow her on twitter!
L: What’s your absolute favourite place to write in?
Rowan: My absolute favourite place to write in is a tree on the edge of UEA lakes. It's basically a floating bench, soft and bemossed, with views of the river and the lake. It's peaceful, and nobody ever notices me, so it's great for eavesdropping too... (I'm not going to reveal its exact location because it's mine and I don't want to share.) I'm also very keen on writing near one of the rivers in town. Again, I have a spot beneath a willow tree, where the fronds sway slowly from side to side and form a dappled cave.
L: Where would you go in Norwich if you really needed some inspiration?
Rowan: If I really needed inspiration, I'd go to a bookshop. Any of the Norwich bookshops are excellent, although I love Dormouse Books and have a particular affinity for Waterstones, where I work as a bookseller. There's something about seeing all those stories which makes anything possible.
L: Do you have a favourite reading spot in Norwich?
Rowan: I read everywhere and anywhere, although I do need to take a moment to praise the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library which is packed full of crannies and corners where you can get lost in a book.