The NCW Podcast-logo

The NCW Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts >

The National Centre for Writing celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation.

The National Centre for Writing celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation.
More Information


United Kingdom


The National Centre for Writing celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation.




#62 Fiction & Fact: George Alagiah's 2019 Noirwich Lecture

Today we have something particularly special on the pod, in the form of George Alagiah's 2019 Noirwich Lecture. George is of course best known for his journalistic work with the BBC, in particular as presenter of BBC News at Six. He's just released his first work of fiction, The Burning Land, and in his lecture he talks about the power of fiction to better illuminate facts, and how the book complements the factual work he's done as a journalist throughout his career. Hosted by Simon Jones....


#61 Translators Jeremy Tiang & Anton Hur

Jeremy Tiang returns to the pod, this time accompanied by fellow translator Anton Hur and Kate Griffin. In this wide-ranging chat they take in their inaugural Dragon Hall translator residencies, the BCLT summer school, how mentorships can help people getting into translation, the work of Tilted Axis, the history of Singapore and queer Korean literature. The residencies were supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. Hosted by Simon...


#60 Bookbugs & Dragon Tales + Primadonna Festival

How do you start a new bookshop in 2019? Leanne Fridd from Bookbugs & Dragon Tales tells us about her new children's bookshop and why she left a comfortable job to start a new business. Meanwhile, Steph and Simon catch up about the first Primadonna Festival, which took place last weekend in Suffolk. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Sign up to our newsletter: Music by Bennet...


#59 Writing crime fiction protagonists with Claire McGowan

Claire McGowan is the prolific writer of crime fiction including the Paula MacGuire series and the recently release What You Did. Ahead of her workshop during the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival we got her on the pod to discuss techniques for crafting characters for crime fiction. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Find out more about Noirwich: Book onto Claire's workshop: Claire's website:...


#58 The Golden Hare And Lighthouse Bookshops

Earlier this month our intrepid explorers Steph McKenna and Roisin Batty ventured up to Edinburgh for the festival. While there they had the opportunity to visit two independent bookshops and speak to the people who work there: Julia Danskin of The Golden Hare and Mairi Oliver from Lighthouse Books. Apologies for some of the audio quality in the first interview: due to being on location we didn't have access to our usual equipment! Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Golden Hare Books:...


#57 Val McDermid's 10 compelling LGBTQI+ writers in the UK

"I think words change the world, reader by reader." Val McDermid joins us on this very special episode, talking with Guardian Books Online editor Sian Cain about her newly revealed International Literature Showcase selection of UK-based LGBTQI+ writers. The International Literature Showcase is produced in partnership with the British Council. Find out more at Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Music by Bennet Maples.


#56 Alicia Morgan in a Room of Her Own

90 years ago, Virginia Woolf published her ground-breaking essay 'A Room of One's Own', which posited that to be a writer, a woman needed money and a room of her own. We joined forces with the Royal Society of Literature to offer a week-long residency at Dragon Hall to address this: giving a female-identifying writer the time, space and support to write whatever they wanted. Alicia Morgan was selected from many amazing submissions. She is a poet, playwright, performer and culture maker now...


#55 Jeremy Tiang, Writer And Translator

Today we have NCW chief exec Chris Gribble talking with Jeremy Tiang, New York-based writer and translator who was the Inaugural Literary Translator of the Fair at London Book Fair earlier this year. Today's interview is timed to coincide with the release of issue 53 of In Other Words, the literary translation journal. You can find out more about it on our website. Chris interviewed Jeremy on a panel in the Literary Translation Centre at LBF. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Find out...


#54 Henry Sutton On Noirwich 2019

Henry Sutton, co-director of the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, joins us on the pod to discuss this year's amazing festival line-up and dive into the themes being explored this September. Tickets for Noirwich are available now at Hosted by Simon Jones. Find out more about our work at Music by Bennet Maples.


#53 Debby Lukito Goeyardi & Mitch Johnson

"You have to be alive to the possibility that there is a story waiting to be told or discovered all around you." So says Mitch Johnson on today's episode, in which he talks with visiting Indonesian author Debby Lukito Goeyardi and Vicki Maitland about writing children's literature. Hosted by Simon Jones, who claims at the start that this is episode 52 despite it evidently being episode 53. It was going to happen eventually. Find out more about our projects and writing opportunities at...


#52 JY Yang on writing the Tensorate series

Fantasy writer JY Yang joins us on the pod to discuss their Tensorate series. JY was our writer in residence at Dragon Hall in June and it was the perfect opportunity to explore their approach to world building, the origins of the series and what is coming next. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Find out more about our work at Music by Bennet Maples.


#51 Kelsey Beachum on writing Outer Wilds

Indie game Outer Wilds has been rapturously received and we were very excited to talk with Kelsey Beachum, writer on the project. We discuss writing non-linear stories, how to handle player agency and interactions, mixing game mechanics with storytelling and how to inject characterful dialogue into exposition. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Find out more at Music by Bennet Maples.


#50 Chris Gribble on year one of the National Centre for Writing

"Books are the closest thing to magic." Chief Exec of the National Centre for Writing Chris Gribble is back on the podcast for episode #50, celebrating not only a year of the podcast but also the first full year of the Centre re-opening after the refurbishment of Dragon Hall in 2018. Inside this very podcast you will find out which two books changed Chris' life, his favourite books of the last year and who would win in a fight: Jane Austen or George Eliot. Also: the 10-year journey to bring...


#49 Sarah Perry gives the Harriet Martineau Lecture

Author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth, Sarah Perry, delivered this year's Harriet Martineau Lecture at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Sarah explores the notion of the 'Essex girl', invoking unexpected moments from history and popular culture. This year's lecture was made possible thanks to the support of The Martineau Society. Hosted by Steph McKenna and Simon Jones from the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall in Norwich. Find out more at


#48 Ivanka Mogilska on finding time to write as a new parent

Today we've got an interview with Bulgarian writer Ivanka Mogilska, who stayed with us back in 2018. In the interview she discusses the writing of a new short story, 'The Miracle of St Peter Mancroft', which we're excited to also include in this very episode courtesy of a special reading from Peggy Hughes. We also talk about the monthly Dragon Hall Salons, our big writerly social get-togethers. If you haven't been along to one yet make sure you put July 16 in your diary! Find out more about...


#47 Carl Gorham on grief And hope

Today we've got an interview with the lovely Carl Gorham about his 2017 book The Owl at the Window: A Memoir of Loss and Hope. In it Carl writes about the loss of his wife and his attempts to rebuild his life with their six year old daughter. You have probably encountered Carl's work on TV, such as with the animated series Stressed Eric and the CITV adaptation of Meg and Mog. On the other end of the interview today is Hannah Garrard, our Learning & Participation Programme Manager. It's a...


#46 Reda Gaudiamo In Conversation

In March this year, we were joined by Indonesian writer Reda Gaudiamo. Her residency was in partnership with the British Council as part of the Indonesia Market Focus at The London Book Fair 2019. In today's podcast Kate Griffin sits down for a chat. Reda is also a nationally renowned singer, of well-loved Indonesian poems turned into songs. All we're saying is that you must make sure you listen all the way to the end of this episode... Hosted by Simon Jones. Find out more about the National...


#45 Kelleigh Greenberg Jephcott talks Swan Song

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, writer of the Women's Prize for Fiction longlisted book Swan Song, joins us on the podcast to discuss her debut novel and it's 10-year road to publication. Also on the pod today: We talk about the Nottwich gathering of delegates from the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, which took place earlier this week, and this weekend's exciting Norfolk & Norwich Festival literature extravaganza. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna, with guest Flo Reynolds. Find out...


#44 Walking Norwich and Kathleen Vereecken

It's a bumper episode this week, featuring an in-depth conversation between Sarah Bower and Belgian writer Kathleen Vereecken in which they discuss writing historical novels, the relationship between facts and storytelling and finding time to write in and around your assumed or imposed responsibilities. Kathleen was in Norwich on a residency, staying in the writer's cottage here on the Dragon Hall campus. You can find out more about residencies here:...


#43 Literature at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival is upon us! Simon, Steph and Peggy get over-excited about our line-up for the City of Literature weekend and the festival programme as a whole. If you're looking for tips on which events to go to (spoiler: all of them) give this a listen ASAP. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna. Book your tickets for the festival: Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: Music by Bennet Maples:...