Melbourne Literary Salon

Monthly gatherings for writerly folk

Introducing the Melbourne Literary Salon

Created as a relaxed evening event, Melbourne’s new Literary Salon is a friendly monthly gathering, a space for writers and storytellers to share ideas, meet those new in town and chat about current projects.

It happens on the last Tuesday of every month except December, at Beer Deluxe in Federation Square.

The Lit Salon is for all who work with books and stories: illustrators and animators, librarians and book artists, graphic novelists, journalists, producers and storytellers.

Let’s all get together and have a drink, shall we?

So, what *is* the Literary Salon?

There’s a lot going on in literary Melbourne, with fabulously funky sessions several days a week. The #LitSalon is a little different, designed as an informal meet up. There’s a 60-second speech to round up the month’s happenings, and then it’s all about sharing news, ideas, projects.

Who’s involved?

You’ll be greeted at the door by a team of booze hounds respectable wordy people, some known and new faces. We’ll make sure you find a good conversation, and we promise not to bite.*


A bit of background

The Melbourne Literary Salon was created by Anna Burkey, founding host of the long-running Edinburgh Literary Salon, in a fellow UNESCO City of Literature. Now that she’s moved to Australia, she’s assembled a crack squad of fellow literary ninjas to help her bring together the literary community on a regular basis.

Anna also ran a pilot Salon when visiting Cape Town, through which she met many excellent South African writers.

More about Literary Salons elsewhere >

*Unless you ask, and even then, meh.

Featured post

March at a glance


In light of our March Salon next week, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at some of the literary news and happenings over the past month, and also share some of our favourite reads from the past few weeks.



  • On Wednesday 8 March, International Women’s Day, the  2017 Stella Prize shortlist was announced! Here is the list:

Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke

Poum and Alexandre by Catherine de Saint Phalle

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor

  • Black Inc. will be publishing Writers on Writers, a groundbreaking collaboration between Black Inc., the University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria. In a series of six short books, each author will reflect on another Australian writer who has inspired and influenced them.
  • Linh Nguyen (Melbourne Lit Salon’s own coord) has launched an online publication, Liminal Magazine! Liminal Magazine is dedicated to Asian-Australians doing good things, and will publish an interview each Monday. Read the first one here. 


  •  My Feminism by Maxine Beneba Clarke in The Victorian Woman’s Trust 



See you next week on Tuesday the 28th, 6pm at Beer Deleuxe, Federation Square. We’ll be in the table near the atrium!

February at a glance


In light of our February Salon next week, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at some of the literary news and happenings over the past month, and also share some of our favourite reads from the past few weeks.


  • The 2017 Stella Prize Longlist  was announced earlier this month, with twelve titles from a list of incredible Australian women.

Congratulations to Julia Baird for ‘Victoria: The Queen’; Georgia Blain for ‘Between a Wolf and a Dog’; Maxine Beneba Clarke for ‘The Hate Race’; Catherine de Saint Phalle for ‘Poum and Alexandre’; Madeline Gleeson for ‘Offshore’; Julia Leigh for ‘Avalanche‘; Emily Maguire for ‘An Isolated Incident‘;  Fiona McFarlane for ‘The High Places‘; Elspeth Muir for ‘Wasted‘; Heather Rose for ‘The Museum of Modern Love’; Cory Taylor for ‘Dying: A Memoir‘; and Sonya Voumard for ‘The Media and the Massacre.’

The Stella Prize shortlist will be announced on 8 March 2017, and the winner on 18 April 2017.

  • JLF Melbourne, the Melbourne Writers Festival in partnership with Asia TOPA, was a massive success. Read this write up of JLF Melbourne by Nithya Iyer at Peril Magazine.


  • ‘But the oppressed do not owe the oppressor anything. I don’t owe white people anything. I don’t owe men anything. I don’t owe strangers anything. It is the luxury of the privileged to expect things, to feel entitled to things’ Nayuka Gorrie writes in her essay ‘Things that are not my job
  • For the Sydney Review of Books, Ellen Van Neervan reviews Desert Writing: Stories from Country in her essay ‘Centre of the Story‘: ‘Desert Writing brings to readers stories of desert communities and the individuals who form them that are not often featured in literature or media. Train lines have been built, and airports made but the places aren’t any closer; these are remote places – far away from Australia’s heavily populated coastal cities, far from major centres; and far from the imagination of the mainstream population. This distance is what makes these places so interesting, their pasts and futures significant.’


  • Episode Two of Sisteria Podcast has dropped! Sisteria is ‘a podcast about women’s experiences as creators & consumers of arts & culture’, and for their second episode Stephanie Van Schilt and Veronica Sullivan chat to Amy Gray. Have a listen to Episode One as well, featuring Hannah Kent
  • The Messenger,  a podcast produced by From Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre: ‘brings you into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island – and reveals, in intimate detail, one man’s experience of what it’s really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat’.


  • This video of two babies having a length discussion over FaceTime

We’ll see you at Beer Deluxe, Fed Square from 6pm-9pm next Tuesday, February the 28th!

Melblitsalon on instagram!

The Melbourne Literary Salon now has an instagram! Follow us at @melblitsalon and check out our photos from Jaipur Literary Festival Melbourne! #JLFMelb

We have some ch-ch-changes to announce!

By Linh Thuy Nguyen

It’s a new year, and a new #MelbLitSalon.

Firstly, the Melbourne Literary Salon is now officially a Scribble Creative project, under the behest of the indomitable Sarah Jansen. Secondly, I will be stepping in as the Coordinator for the Melbourne Literary Salon, and I hope to make this year at the Salon as exciting as possible.

A little about myself: I’m a literature student, studying honours in Comparative Literature at Monash University. Last year I was an Associate Producer for the Independent Publishing Conference (which is how I met Sarah and became involved with the Salon). I live with more cats and more books than I can handle.

Our first Salon of the year is on Tuesday 31 January, from 6 to 9pm at Beer Deluxe. I’d love to meet you all, so please swing by and say hello!

For those who are joining us for the first time, the Salon is a friendly gathering where the literary community can come together, mingle, and get to know one another in an informal and social setting. The format of the Salon has always been very casual and flexible, with an emphasis on meeting people and sharing ideas over drinks and pizza. If you’re working on anything at the moment or have a creative project you’d like to share, let us know.

This year we’d really like to raise the profile of the Lit Salon and maybe introduce some new things into the mix. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on what you want from the Salon, so if you have any ideas and suggestions drop me a line at

See you next Tuesday!

Linh x

October Salon: Spooky Stories

Let’s get spooky!  Come to chat about all things literary, with a healthy dose of your favourite scary stories.

From Edgar Allan Poe and M R James to the creepiest thing you wrote, read or watched recently, come talk about them in a brightly lit room with like-minded people.

Let’s get together and talk, fellow word nerds.

See you there!

Spooky Books

September Salon: spring is in the air

Welcome to Spring! There’s (slightly) warmer weather enticing you out for the evening to spend an hour or two with your fellow book and storytelling enthusiasts.

Prepare for chatting and sipping and nerding out on books and stories and games and theatre and films. Given recent developments around arts funding, we may even touch on politics.
Let’s get together and talk, fellow word nerds. 

Spring Book

August Salon: MWF Edition

Our August Salon is on during the Melbourne Writers Festival again!

We will be in our regular spot at Beer Deluxe from 6pm Tuesday 25 August.

Afterwards we might head up to ACMI to see Jacqui and David Morris’s BAFTA-nominated documentary, McCullin, which is screening as part of MWF. The film charts the extraordinary career of British photographer Don McCullin, whose collected works Susan Sontag called “the photography of conscience”.

The details:

Where: Beer Deluxe, Fed Square (downstairs, inside)

When: 6-8pm (drop in and out as you wish)

What: chatting and sipping and nerding out on books and stories and games and theatre and films.

Who: anyone who loves books and stories

Accessibility: good mobility including bathrooms, no fluoro lights, sitting and standing available, enter from the Fed Square Atrium side for mobility

Questions: email or call 0408875577.

June Salon

Glowing winter readingAfter a bustling May Salon celebrating the Emerging Writers’ Festival, we return to our usual haunt at Beer Deluxe for an evening of literary chatter.

It’s been a corker of a month, and there’s plenty to celebrate and discuss: from the announcement of Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep as the Miles Franklin winner (congrats, Sofie!) to the galloping momentum of the #freethearts campaign. It’s a big time for the arts industry in Australia, with federal proposals set to have a negative impact on individual writers, artists, storytellers and small literary organisations.

Submissions to the Senate enquiry into the impact of the proposed federal arts cuts are due on 17 July – more details on how to submit here. Meanwhile in Melbourne, there are opportunities to have your say on the new Creative Victoria strategy – attend a workshop or write a submission on their website.

Find out what other people are saying and air your views at our next Literary Salon. Let’s get together and talk, fellow word nerds.

See you there!

New to the Salon? The Salon team plus friendly regulars will be there to greet you at Beer Deluxe. Come along to meet writing, publishing, editing and other fine storytelling types.

The Salon is a welcoming drop-in event, but you can RSVP here, so we can keep an eye out for you.

May Salon: EWF Opening Night Extravaganza Edition

EWF post image

This month, the Salon will be a bit different. Why? It’s Emerging Writers’ Festival season!

In an excellent coincidence, the May Salon is on the same night as EWF’s Opening Night Extravaganza. And it’s going to be at the Deakin Edge — literally next door to our meeting place of Beer Deluxe.

Here’s the plan: we’ll meet up at our usual spot at Beer Deluxe, at our usual starting time of 6pm, have a drink and quick catch‑up, before wandering the 50 metres or so to EWF’s schmancy event.

The festival launch will:

celebrate incredible writing talent, with the announcement of the recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, as well as the Monash Prize for Undergraduate Creative Writing winners. We’ll hear from international guest, writer Emily St. John Mandel, as well as getting the scoop on what to expect this festival.

It’s free, but you should book. The rest of EWF’s program is here, all filterable and searchable, just the way we like it.

And for those who like to stay up late (and catch writers, editors and festival staff when they’re chilled out and imbibing), there’s also a noir-themed After Party at the Kelvin Club just around the corner on Russell Street.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: