Festival Diaries - Writers' Centre chief exec Chris Gribble

Mary HamiltonChris Gribble, chief executive, of the Writers' Centre Norwich, shares his diary for the day.Mary Hamilton

Chris Gribble, chief executive, of the Writers' Centre Norwich, shares his diary for the day.

I'm not normally a superstitious person, but this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival feels almost propitiously timed.

Writers' Centre Norwich (WCN) hands over its bid for Norwich to become the first English UNESCO City of Literature tonight at Ian McEwan's reading at UEA, and on the penultimate evening of the Festival, the City submits its bid to become the UK's first City of Culture in 2013.


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What the Festival reminds me each and every year is that Norfolk and Norwich are already rich in culture, ambition and expectation.

This is already a City of Culture - it's just a matter of the rest of the country catching up.

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WCN's events this year demonstrate that beyond a shadow of a doubt: Ian McEwan, Sir Andrew Motion and Les Murray are world class writers with strong connections to the region though their work and publishing histories, and all three are here to help us celebrate the literary heritage of Norwich and Norfolk.

This year my parents are visiting me for five days over the Festival. They're booked in to see about eight events during their stay - including Paco Pena, Jordi Savall and La Vie.

I've already warned them that if they come home singing after a night at the Spiegeltent there'll be trouble.

I've waited years to say, 'while you're under my roof, you'll abide by my rules,' and I intend to relish the moment!

An Evening with Ian McEwan is at Lecture Theatre One at the University of East Anglia at 7pm today.

An Evening with Andrew Murray and Les Motion is at the Playhouse at 7.30pm on May 18.

Paco Pena is at the Theatre Royal at 8pm on May 13.

Jordi Savall is performing in Les Voix Humaine at St Peter Mancroft Church at 7.30pm on May 13 and in Jerusalem at the Theatre Royal at 7.30pm on May 15.

La Vie is at the Spiegeltent at 7.30pm every night until May 17.

To book tickets call 01603 766400 or visit www.nnf10.org.uk

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