In recent years, the North, always rich in literary heritage, has seen a spectacular new flourishing of home-grown literary and publishing talent, with some of the most exciting, diverse (and award-winning) new literature, poetry and theatre in the country coming from Northern artists and publishers. Now, with some of our national cultural institutions and major publishers also looking to open Northern hubs, could we finally be seeing the dawn of a less London-centric literary ecosystem?

Join our panel as they unpack the successes of the Northern literary ‘renaissance’ to date and share why more major institutions are looking to the North as the ideal ‘regional’ presence. Industry experts,  Caroline Norbury, Jamie Andrew and Emma Layfield, will share their vision for the North as a national literary hub.

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About The Speakers

Caroline Norbury

Caroline Norbury, MBE is the founding Chief Executive of Creative UK and dedicated to championing the creative industries.   Creative UK invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses, harnessing the power of the creative sector to build a fairer, more prosperous world. 

Creative UK uses its extensive membership and networks in the creative industries to advocate for change, building the right environment for the future of the sector. 

Caroline sits on the Creative Industries Council and chairs the Investment for Growth working-group of the Council.  She is a non-executive director of Crowdfunder, the UK’s largest rewards-based crowdfunding platform; a member of BAFTA and the Royal Society of Arts; the Chairwoman of the charity, The Music Works, and a trustee for the PRS Foundation, a charity supporting new music and talent.  She is a Creative Ally for the BBC and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex and the Arts University Bournemouth.


Jamie Andrew

Jamie Andrew is Head of Culture and Learning at the British Library, leading the public programmes and collaborative cultural partnerships, including the HM Treasury-funded ‘British Library in China’ project. He co-established our ‘Everyone Engaged’ portfolio, and currently lead our ‘Leeds Presence’ (British Library North) capital project. He previously led the development of the library’s literature collections and curatorial departments. He is on the Boards of Forward Arts Foundation, Oxford House, and the Brangwyn Trust at the William Morris Gallery, and previously served as a Trustee at Sheffield Theatres Trust and De Montfort University. He works closely with Local Authorities, and co-chair the Camden Cultural Education group, and sit on Cultural Camden and the Leeds Cultural Consortium. He is a Clore Fellow and continues to mentor for Clore.

Headshot of Hatchett UK's Emma Layfield

Emma Layfield

Emma Layfield is Hachette UK’s Office Lead in Manchester and Picture Book Development Director, North, for Hachette Children’s Group. She is also co-chair of Hachette UK’s All Together Network which promotes the recruitment, retention and development of people from low socio-economic backgrounds and regional backgrounds. Emma also co-founded the independent network, Children’s Books North, for published children’s authors, illustrators and publishing professionals living in the North and Scotland.