VisitEngland has cited 2017 to be the year of the Literary Hero, a subject Norwich knows much about considering its rich literary history spanning over 900 years and its status as UNESCO City of Literature (awarded in 2012); it was the first English city to achieve this. Norwich was home to Julian of Norwich - the first woman to be published in the English language - as well as the first recognisable novel, the first blank verse, the first provincial library and newspaper, the first British MA in Creative Writing, the first UK City of Refuge for persecuted writers, and so it continues. The literary arena today in Norwich is vast, with the University of East Anglia and Writers' Centre Norwich behind much of the literary offering - Writers' Centre Norwich is due to open the National Centre for Writing in April 2018, in their beautiful medieval merchant's house – Dragon Hall.

Norwich celebrates its literary legacy with a host of annual and one off events, workshops and author lectures throughout the calendar year, from the University of East Anglia's (UEA) Spring and Autumn Literary Festivals to the City of Literature programme at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, and the 4-day crime writing extravaganza Noirwich in September.  

During 2017 Norwich, the City of Stories blog by VisitNorwich will be writing about Literary Heroes from Norwich or with Norwich connections. The aims of these posts are to inspire people who love literature, history and travel, to visit the city to learn more about authors such as Anna Sewell of Black Beauty fame, as well as writers most will not have heard of, from the Meir of Norwich, a 13th century Jewish persecuted poet whose works are held in the Vatican archive in Rome, to Harriet Martineau, a determined 19th century author of political essays and 35 books who had close friendships with Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Florence Nightingale.  Martineau is also widely recognised as being the world's first female journalist.

All twelve fascinating writers to be featured in the blog have interesting tales to tell, with places and memorabilia to visit or see, which brings the story to life even more. There are further plans for a new guided walking tour to take visitors through the City of Literature, organised by the Tourist Information Centre.