Edinburgh Literary Salon is a community organisation with no public funding, run by friends’ generosity. We’re asking for help with funding from just £1 a month.
In recent years, the scope of our organization has changed. The ‘presentation’ section of our gatherings has expanded since holding purely online Salons during the Pandemic, and we continue our aim to host up to three events in accessible venues. Added to this is our intention to live-stream each Salon where possible. We have continued to add to our technical ‘kit’ to ensure decent quality, but we still need a dedicated laptop.
While technological advances don’t yet allow us to offer refreshments over zoom, everyone who can join us in person is offered a glass of wine on arrival. Anyone is welcome to attend our Literary Salon. Crucially, we do not charge for registration.
Unfortunately, some of the platforms and facilities do charge! We pay subscriptions to Mailchimp, Eventbrite, and Zoom. Other expenses include printing and sundries. We ask for donations towards the wine, but they rarely cover the full cost. We are fortunate that The Outhouse sponsors the Salon by letting us have the Function Room for free (it would cost up to £100 an evening at primetime) and granted us exclusive venue-hire for the last three Birthday Bash (and Book Launch) parties.
As we’ve said, Edinburgh Literary Salon is a voluntary organisation, and our Steering Group puts in a great many hours behind the scenes, as well as in presenting each event. Added to this ‘payment-in-kind’ is the fact that we cannot offer our guest authors – whether emerging or world famous – any payment. The industry standard author fee is currently £185. Last year we featured 24 writers* all appearing for free!
Our B.B.C. Speech
At the end of each ‘Salon Presentation’ we invite donations through ‘B.B.C.’ – that is, put money in our Bucket, purchase our Books, or buy us a Coffee. The first option is easy for those attending in person. For the second, we always have copies of our two lovely anthologies, and these are also available to purchase from our website shop. But our Buy Me a Coffee platform is a great way for people to sign up for a monthly subscription, ensuring us a regular income.
There are various options, which we have labelled Flash Fiction, Short Story, Novella, or Novel, and subscriptions cost from £1 to £20 per month. Naturally, you don’t get an actual novel or a novella, but from time to time we send a link to our YouTube channel which has snippets of content from previous events. And the usual applies to cancelling subscriptions any time.
The basic cost of a Salon is £125 per event. If a fraction of our mailing-list subscribers, our 3,232 followers on Instagram, 3,773 Twitter fans, 300+ followers on Facebook, and the same number who follow us on Eventbrite bought us a coffee, we’d be rich! If you can offer just £1 per month, we’d only need a hundred more to keep the Salon going.
X is for…
Without wishing to mention the new name for Twitter, we also invite people to sponsor an individual Salon event, chiefly by paying towards the cost of wine. We do this by name or anonymously, simply by stating your initial on our name-labels! In the past friends have offered up to £80 per event, but any amount is welcome – a single bottle costs £18.50. If anyone would like to do this, or any other form of private sponsorship, let us know.
So here ends our B.B.C. Speech. We hope as many of our friends, fans, and followers as possible will be able to help keep our literary community alive. For those who cannot afford to contribute, we will say once again that registration is free, and anyone with an interest in the literary world of Edinburgh and beyond is welcome to attend our events.
Picture: Birthday Bash & Book Launch for The Golden Hours, August 2023
*2023’s guests included storyteller Fiona Herbert, poet Samuel Tongue, Y.A. writers Philip Caveney and Keith Gray; in June Mary Paulson-Ellis interviewed Ian Rankin, with Stuart Johnstone reading; July we interviewed Joy Hendry of Chapman, and poet Naomi Head. Launching our 2nd Anthology, The Golden Hours, we had readings from Catherine Simpson, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Britta Benson, David McVey and Philip Caveney. Anthology authors, Rosie Sumsion, Kirsten MacQuarrie, Ash Caton, and Mark Lewis have read; plus ghostwriters Vin Arthey and Erin Williams, and self-published authors Barbara Bryan and V.E.H. Masters were in conversation.