Coming up: at
The Wheeler Centre

See all events »

Melbourne: a City of Literature

Melbourne’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature is acknowledgment of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s literary culture. Melbourne supports a diverse range of writers, a prosperous publishing industry, a successful culture of independent bookselling, a wide variety of literary organisations and a healthy culture of reading and engagement in events and festivals.


The Wheeler Centre: bookshelf detail

  • The city is home to an array of literary organisations, including the Writers Victoria, Express Media, the Australian Poetry Centre, the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers' Festival.
  • It has the largest literary publishing sector in Australia and largest number of independents, with an exceptional mix of small, medium and large publishers
  • A third of all Australian bookstores are in Victoria, 41 per cent of Australian booksellers are based in Melbourne generating 43 per cent of total book sales in Australia
  • The city has been home to some Australia’s greatest writers, past and present including Marcus Clarke, C J Dennis, Peter Carey, Helen Garner, Christos Tsiolkas and Nam Le to name just a few
  • Nearly a third of all Australian writers live in Melbourne (approximately 1300) with 97,600 people identifying writing as a hobby
  • There are 287 local libraries in Victoria, with 2.5 million members who borrow around 50 million items each year
  • Melbourne is home to the State Library of Victoria, the first major cultural institution to be established in Melbourne since its founding in 1854, with over 1.5m visitors annually
  • Melburnians consume more books, magazines and newspapers per capita and enjoy the highest concentration of community book clubs in the country

Full details on Melbourne’s City of Literature credentials



City of Literature Calendar

Find out what’s going on in literary Melbourne – or add your own event. Visit the City of Literature Calendar.

Privacy Policy|Community Guidelines | Site by Inventive Labs.