Muddy Stilettos to launch literary salons across 18 counties

Muddy Stilettos to launch literary salons across 18 counties

Glamour’s former books editor has set up a new literary salon with plans to expand across 18 counties.

Kerry Potter covered the books literary section at the monthly magazine for three years until last month and is now associate editor at award-winning countryside blog Muddy Stilettos.

The first Muddy Stilettos salon will be on 12th October, as part of Thame Arts and Literature festival. The line-up at Thame Town Hall will feature five authors including Alexandra Heminsley and Tamsina Perry.

Potter told The Bookseller that when she moved from London to the countryside she missed literary events such as the Shoreditch House salons run by Damian Barr.

Potter, also formerly features director at Elle magazine, revealed she used her contacts to attract authors to speak at the event.

She said: "Literary salons are so well established in London but far less so outside of the city. I used to love Damian Barr's Shoreditch House salons back in the day but when I moved out to the countryside on the Bucks/Oxon border, I found there was nothing along those lines for local book-lovers. Lots of women attend living room book clubs and are voracious readers so we knew we'd have the audience to do something bigger, bolder and glitzier. And I knew with my contacts I could pull in some brilliant big-name authors.”

She added: “This is our first foray into the world of literary salons but we plan to establish them a regular event across our 18 counties.”

Potter also writes book reviews on a monthly basis for Muddy Stilettos and said the site aims to develop commercial partnerships with publishers, run future salons alongside other events and “bolster” its books offer.

In 2015, Perry told The Bookseller that the publishing industry needed to work out “how to put the entertainment into publishing” and called for more "personal interaction" with readers at the launch of Headline's first Rooftop Book Club.

Muddy Stilettos is a regional lifestyle site with 300,000 subscribers aimed at “professional women who used to live in cities”. It was set up by Hero Brown, formerly deputy editor of The Independent and deputy editor of Red magazine, in 2011.

It is billed as the "urban guide to the countryside" and covers 18 counties with editions in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Kent, Northants, Norfolk, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex with Warwickshire Wiltshire, with more counties to follow later this year.

Earlier this month, The Bookseller examined the changing face of book review space across the media featuring various appointments and departures across newspapers, websites and magazines.

For more information, visit or follow @muddystiletto on Twitter.