Cultural leaders from 28 countries will come to the UK in May 2019 for a global gathering of the UNESCO Cities of Literature. Norwich and Nottingham (two of the UK’s four Cities of Literature) have been successful in a joint bid to host the week-long programme of cultural events. It will be the first time that the prestigious international forum has taken place in England. Literature is one of the seven fields that form the UNESCO Creative Cities Network which currently consists of 180 members from 72 countries.
 
The two-stage gathering – Nottwich 2019 – will bring together writers and practitioners from across the world and act as a catalyst for future artistic collaboration. Representatives from the UNESCO Cities of Design, Film, Music and Media Arts will be involved in the planning to ensure a cross art-form opportunity for creative exchange.
 
The UNESCO Cities of Literature network boasts a combined population of over 26 million and includes 1250 libraries, 130 literary festivals and over 1200 bookshops. Nottwich 2019 will deepen strategic and practical integration between the UNESCO Cities of Literature and raise awareness of the cultural and economic impact of the network.
 
The UK’s Creative Cities generate an estimated £2.4 million a year through association with UNESCO. Twenty-eight cities have been awarded the status of City of Literature to date, from Baghdad and Barcelona to Melbourne and Milan. The programme for Nottwich 2019 and how to get involved will be announced later in the year.