Portrait of the Writer and Artist

Sara Baume & Elizabeth Macneal

Friday 22 May, 5.30pm

National Centre for Writing

Tickets: £7.50

Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2020 has been cancelled

It is with regret that we have taken the very difficult but ultimately inevitable decision to cancel the 2020 Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

With the rapidly escalating health-crisis and with the safety of our audiences, staff and artists at heart, we have taken the decision that it is impossible for us to deliver the Festival this May.

If you have booked a ticket for the Festival, you do not need to do anything. You are entitled to a refund and we will be in touch soon. Please bear with us during this difficult time. If you have the capacity to make a donation of part or all of your ticket value, we would be extremely grateful – it would help ensure we’re well-placed to support artists and be able to present future Festivals.

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What does it mean to create and live as an artist? A fascinating glimpse into the daily process of making and writing from Sara Baume (Spill Simmer Falter Wither) and Elizabeth Macneal (The Doll Factory). Through writing, sculpture and ceramics, they will offer reflections on isolation, motivation, nature and beauty.

Sara is a sculptor and award-winning novelist. She describes her debut non-fiction book handiwork (Feb 2020) as ‘a love-child of my art and writing practises’; charting the connection between handicraft and bird migration, as well as simply the account of a year spent making hundreds of small, painted objects in an isolated house. Elizabeth is a ceramicist and writer; her Sunday Times-bestselling novel The Doll Factory is a story of painting, collecting, love, obsession and possession.

‘A writer touched by greatness’ Joseph O’Connor on Sara Baume

‘Astounding . . . I recommend it wholeheartedly’Jo Whiley, BBC Radio 2 Book Club on The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Important information

Venue: National Centre for Writing

Duration: 1 hour

About the writers

Sara Baume was born in Lancashire and grew up in County Cork, Ireland. She studied fine art and creative writing, and her fiction and criticism have been published in anthologies, newspapers and journals such as the Irish Times, the Guardian, the Stinging Fly and Granta magazine. She has won the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, an Irish Book Award for Best Newcomer and the Kate O’Brien Award. Her debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Scotland and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.


Tickets: £7.50

Select a performance


22 May

05:30 pm


City of Literature Weekend is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by National Centre for Writing.

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