by Stefani Sloma
Started in September 2005, the Edinburgh City of Literature literary salons brings together bookish folk from around Edinburgh for a night of conversation, drinks, and community.
On the last Tuesday of every month, people from every part of literary Edinburgh gather in the Wash Bar on the Mound for a couple of hours of convivial and very informal chatter. The evening kicks off at 6 p.m., but it is drop-in so visitors can come whenever they’d like. There’s free wine, snacks, and banter… what more could you want?
Based on the literary tradition of salons – those meeting in Parisian cafés which brought together writers, poets, philosophers and more – Edinburgh’s lit salons draw in authors, journalists, literary agents, students, publishers, librarians, and many more people for ‘an animated and thoughtful night navigating the sea of book-people’.
Don’t worry if you’re shy: the regular lit salon folk will welcome you with open arms and stimulating conversation. Lit salon nights are low-key and give visitors the chance to interact with like-minded people.
Personally, my first time at the lit salon started off as intimidating and nerve-wracking but everyone there was so warm and welcoming that I have since gone back three consecutive months. While there, I have met some amazing people from all areas of the literary scene in Edinburgh.
Being able to get together with some of the people who are responsible for that scene once a month is something I look forward to the whole month. Once there, at the Wash, I see authors, publishers, journalists, booksellers, and more who now know me and with whom I have interesting and lovely conversations, and I get to be the person who welcomes newcomers with open arms.
Once you take that first step into the literary scene in Edinburgh, you will never want to leave. Why not let the City of Literature’s lit salons help you on that first step?
All photos by Chris Scott (Edinburgh's One-man Literary Paparazzi) - see more of Chris' photos of the Literary Salon here.
Follow Stefani on twitter: StefaniSloma