A ‘What’s My Scene’ post with Melbourne Literary Salon
WB: What is Melbourne Literary Salon and what makes it unique?
MLS: The Melbourne Literary Salon is a regular, friendly and informal meeting place for all those who are active in the literary world: writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, librarians, journalists, booksellers, arts programmers. It’s a welcoming environment that’s designed as a relaxed networking session: writers and artists tend to spend a lot of time working alone, and the Salon is a space to connect with like-minded literary types.
Unlike most literary events, there are no readings or extended talks: the focus is on getting to know one another, sharing ideas and expertise and generally providing a supportive, interesting environment. We’re all about that bit that normally starts to happen at the very end of other events: the fascinating conversations that don’t quite happen because everyone has to leave before their car parking expires.
In short, it’s where storytellers meet!
WB: How did these events come to be?
MLS: I set-up and then hosted the Edinburgh Literary Salon from 2005-2011, designing it as a meeting place for writers, publishers and all those working with books and festivals. We got a great mix of people, who began cooking up projects with new-found colleagues, and it’s still going strong eight years later. When I moved from that City of Literature to this one, there seemed to be opportunity for a similar space: there’s an equally strong creative community here, and I wanted a way to meet everyone.  It has turned out to be a great and simple way for the literary community to regularly get together.
WB: If I come along to Melbourne Literary Salon, what will my experience be like?
MLS: We’re very friendly. You’ll be met near the door, usually by me, and can say hello and grab a drink from the bar before having chance to chat to the other writers and storytellers. I give a very short 60-second speech rounding up news, opportunities and projects from around the literary city, and do some introductions. Any first-timers will be adopted by regular attendees, to make sure that they feel comfortable and get to meet a range of people: and then it’s all about the mingling.
WB: When and how can I join in?
MLS: We meet form 6-8pm on the first Tuesday of each month at LOOP on Meyer Place, in Melbourne’s CBD. It’s a nice central, accessible space that let’s us order pizza if we get carried away late into the evening with the chatting and the idea sharing. The next first Tuesday is Cup Day, but we’ll be at the Salon, ready to talk books.* We’re looking forward to meeting you.
*Sometimes we also talk about things other than books.You don’t have to be a book nerd – it just helps.
The What’s My Scene series gives writers groups, projects and collectives a chance to share what they do. If you’re part of something you feel is worth sharing, get in touch with our editor Sam van Zweden on editor@beta.thewritersbloc.net/wpblog
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