Norwich and Nottingham to host prestigious UNESCO global literature gathering

The welcome to Norwich sign at the Bowthorpe roundabout on the A47. Picture: Denise Bradley

The welcome to Norwich sign at the Bowthorpe roundabout on the A47. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

Two of the UK's four Cities of Literature have won the right to co-host the UNESCO global literature gathering in 2019.

Norwich and Nottingham were successful in a joint bid to host the week-long programme of events, which will take place in May 2019 across both cities.

Cultural leaders from 28 countries are set to visit for the prestigious forum and this will be the first time it has ever taken place in England.

Dubbed Nottwich 2019, the two-stage gathering which aims to raise awareness of the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, will bring together writers from across the world.

The network boasts a population of over 26 million, which includes 130 literary festivals, 1,250 libraries and more than 1,200 bookshops.

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Representatives from the UNESCO Cities of Design, Film, Music and Media Arts will also be involved in the event planning to ensure there is an opportunity for creative exchange.

Chris Gribble, CEO of Writers' Centre Norwich, said: 'We are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase Norwich and Nottingham as centres of literary excellence.

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'This global gathering will send a unified message on the importance of collaboration, dialogue and creative partnership. We hope that this forum will inspire many more exciting artistic projects and international exchanges.

'The celebration will form part of our year-long programme of activity - starting in summer 2018 - to mark our opening as the National Centre for Writing in England's first UNESCO City of Literature.'

Laura McGillivray, Chief Executive of Norwich City Council, added: 'This is a very exciting development building on Norwich's achievement as England's first City of Literature and following hot on the heels of the National Centre for Writing's new building launch this summer in Norwich.

'As a cultural city, Norwich is delighted to celebrate its literary participation and engagement and to showcase the work of the city alongside the other UNESCO cities.'

The programme for Nottwich 2019 and further information on how to get involved is set to be announced later in the year.

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