Meet the Literary Salon

Our Literary Salon is a networking event for anyone with a professional interest in literature. This is an opportunity to make important contacts, discuss literature in Edinburgh, and make new friends. Every Salon hosts invited guest speakers, making for an informative, lively event.

We meet at the Wash Bar in Edinburgh on the last Tuesday of every month, except August and December, when, for various reasons, we all need a good lie down. We run from 6pm till late.  Join us early before the wine runs out!

How we got started

City of Literature Trust began these salons in September 2005 as a way of bringing together the individuals that make up Edinburgh’s literary sector, to strengthen the sense of community.  Over 100 people attended our opening night, so it seemed to be a good idea.

‘I first turned up at one of the salon events as a nervous unpublished author back in the day, not really knowing what to expect and feeling like I shouldn’t really be there, but everyone was so nice to me that I soon forgot about that and just joined in. Both Ali and Anna are really terrific in terms of making people feel welcome and encouraging writers to have the confidence to get out there, meet people, apply for stuff and all those aspects that can seem very daunting when you’re a new writer who doesn’t really know what they’re doing.’ – Rosy Barnes

The Literary Tradition of Salons

Salons have a fine literary tradition, from the Paris cafe meetings which brought together philosophers, writers and poets, to publisher John Murray’s famous ‘Four o’clock friends’ gathering, where he had afternoon tea each day with his writers.

Robert Burns came to Edinburgh in 1786 and took its literary salons by storm, meeting Sir Walter Scott who was then just fifteen, and left a lasting impression: ‘There was a strong expression of sense and shrewdness in all his lineaments: the eye alone, I think, indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a cast which glowed (I say literally glowed)’

Salons Around Scotland

The Highland Literary Salon, based on the successes of similar gatherings in Edinburgh and Glasgow, brings together those with an interest in literature to discuss writing, ideas, projects, publishing, and all things literary. The Salon is held on the third Tuesday of each month at Maverick’s, Young Street, Inverness.

Weegie Wednesday was inspired by our Edinburgh Salon evenings to provide a monthly gathering for the literary community in the West of Scotland.  Taking place on the middle Wednesday of the month, the event often features guest speakers and takes place in the Terrace Bar in the CCA, Sauchiehall Street from 7.30pm.

Literary Dundee’s Literary Lock-In is for Dundee’s literary community to mingle and mix in the appropriately literary George Orwell Pub on the last Monday of the month from 5.30pm.