Bookmarked… A New Northern Literary Salon

While I have been in and out, and in and out, and in and out of hospital, I have been planning and plotting, planning and plotting, and planning and plotting. One of the things that I noticed they didn’t really have up in the Manchester way books wise, apart from enough book shops (no independents at all in town), was that there didn’t seem to be a literary salon. Well what’s one to do except start one?

So I have been liaising with a colleague and friend of mine, Adam Lowe, and we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a new northern literary salon in Manchester from August called ‘Bookmarked’, the venue is 88% booked, the co-hosts – that’s Adam and I – are really excited, and we have a lovely logo (thanks to the very kind Gav Reads)…

So what the heck is the plan going to be? Well after having seen all your responses to your thoughts on what a Literary Salon should be maybe we have gone down the wrong route? The idea overall is an entertaining and enlightening evening of bookish chit-chat. We will have two authors and an audience. The latter will have hopefully read one or both of the specific titles we have chosen to discuss (and hopefully the audience will have read). Think of it as a slightly edgy twisted version of Richard and Judy only with two male hosts. The authors will read, we will interrogate and share our thought before handing over to the live audience and their questions. With an interval and refreshments between each author and their book, like an ad-break but with some booze and nibbles hopefully. There will also be readings and signings… and a chance to buy books.

It is all kicking off in August, with dates and authors to be announced (I can tell you that September looks like it is going to be a crime cracker – I will say no more for now) in due course. I will have high hopes that you will be visiting at some point if you can? We are thinking of doing vodcasts and podcasts if we can get some helping hands from anyone who knows how to do such things, anyone?

Oh and you can add us on twitter @BookmarkedSalon

So maybe I should ask that question again, because your advice and thoughts are always wanted here, but what would be your ideal literary salon, or literary night in this kind of format? Which authors would you love to see talking (feel free to give us a wish list) about their books? What has been the best literary event you have been to and why?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Bookmarked, Random Savidgeness

17 responses to “Bookmarked… A New Northern Literary Salon

  1. oh I ll =keep a eye for when this is if I m free I ll try and come ,all the best stu

  2. Louise

    Oh this is great, Simon!! It really sounds like a great bookish evening, and booze and nibbles too, fabulous!

    I spent a few days at Hay, wish I could’ve stayed longer!

    • It went so well I couldn’t quite believe it. Still room to make it better of course but there’s always going to be that. We’ve got a corking line up leading to Christmas.

  3. gaskella

    There’s no stopping you Simon! Sounds wonderful – love the name too. Shame I have no other reasons to venture up north these days. I hope it’ll be a great success, and look forward to hearing all about it.

    • Its been such a weird year for me, I think I need lots and lots of projects so I can keep myself a mixture of upbeat and busy. Plus I love books so thiswas perfect. Who knew it would actually work.

  4. Oh, Simon! Since you’ve let the cat out of the bag, I’ve had no choice but to do the same 😛

    Still, it’s always good for publicity if people actually know what crazy ideas we’re throwing out there, instead of us sitting on them for ages.

    I am so excited by this, needless to say! x

  5. this sounds amazing and I admire your energy. I moan about there being nothing much going on in Leicester but I never considered doing anything about it. Best of luck and every success for your new endeavour which sounds pretty good as it stands.

    • I would honestly suggest just going for it. I didn’t think we would get any authors, or people through the door, and we had the two biggest debut authors for the first night and one of the biggest crime writers coming next month. Have you thought about starting something like this with your local library?

  6. Oh brilliant! I’ll gobble that up!

  7. We’ll have to get together and bump heads! I’ve just set up the Bury Literary Salon with very similar goals, mainly because I’m sick of traipsing into Manchester for my Literary fix. We had our first event at Bury Library with Emma Jane Unsworth (who was glorious, her book is lovely and she is charming) and we have our next event on 18th July with Jenn Ashworth and a lot of pink wine.

    • Alison that sounds like a brilliant idea. Drop me an email and let’s meet up. I’d love to come to your event who is at the next one?

      Sorry for the very delayed response. I’ve been utterly rubbish at commenting back. Look forward to your email.

  8. Pingback: How Many Book Groups Make Too Many? |

  9. Siobhan Cottam

    This sounds fab, but I wanted to refute the point about there being no independent book shops in Manchester.. Paramount Book Exchange on Shudehill is still going, my first memories of trips to Manchester centre around going there and then to Dillons which was much more child-friendly!

    I’m moving back to Manchester in September, will look forward to attending Bookmarked! In terms of a wishlist.. I’d love to see Audrey Niffenegger, Marian Keyes, Maggie O’Farrell, Max Brooks, David Mitchell, David Nicholls.


    • Hi Siobhan, you must let me know when you have moved up! September is Val McDermid who should be a hoot (I interviewed her yesterday and she was lovely). Plus I’m going solo on the 6th with Sue Johnston which promises to be a good night.

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