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Making sure there’s enough to go around isn’t confined to the dinner table. Part of our mission is to help people of all ages and walks of life reach their potential, and we’ve founded a variety of projects to reach out and give back.

The Shanghai International Literary Festival is China’s leading English-language literary festival, creating a dialogue between writers and readers along Shanghai’s famous Bund.  Founded and organized by Michelle Garnaut of the M Restaurant Group, each year the festival brings together emerging and established writers of all genres for a taste of the current literary landscape.

Each festival spans two weekends and includes panel discussion, literary lunches, workshops and live events throughout the week as kids’ sessions, big names and more on the weekend. All sessions are uploaded online via the festival podcast (available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play).

Over the past 16 years, the Shanghai International Literary Festival has hosted over 1,000 writers and has seen some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers in conversation.

SILF 2019
dates are
March 14-27, 2019

Listen to the conversations from years past.

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(VPN required)

Sessions are primarily in English, though some are held in other languages as well.  The festivals feature both acclaimed and emerging writers and winners of the world’s leading literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction, the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and many others.

The festivals are entirely not-for-profit and we rely on the generous contribution of our sponsors and partners to help underwrite the substantial costs involved and to make it possible.

Festival Dates

Future Festivals

2019: March 14 – 17

Future Festivals

Read about the Shanghai International Literary Festivals of previous years:

2018: March 15 – 28 recap

2017: March 10 – 22 recap

The M Residency allows writers with an interest in China to depen their understanding of this vital and fascinating place. Established in 2009 and fully funded by the M Restaurant Group, the residency has its roots in M’s Shanghai and Beijing Literary Festivals, and aims to foster artistic, cultural, and intellectual links between individuals and communities. From 2009 to 2016 the residency included one resident in Shanghai and one in India. In 2017, the residency included one resident based in Shanghai and one in Beijing. Starting in 2018 there will be one resident in Shanghai, China.

The M Literary Residency Programme is fully funded by the M Restaurant Group. The intent of the residency is to provide space and time primarily for writing and location-specific research. It is not to be used as a base for travel for research or leisure. For residency guidelines and application details, please click here.

Applications for

The M Literary Residency 2019-2020

are open from January 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019, midnight GMT.

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M Residency Recipients 2018 – 2019

Shanghai: Jeremy Tiang

Shanghai, March 16, 2018 – M Restaurant Group is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2018 M Literary Residency. Jeremy Tiang has been chosen for the residency in Shanghai.

Jeremy Tiang is the author of State of Emergency and It Never Rains of National Day (shortlisted fo rthe Singapore Literature Prize), and the translator of more than ten books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, Yeng Pway Ngon and Tianxia Bachang.  Hehas been awarded an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship, a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship, and the People’s Literature Prize Mao-Tai Cup for translation. He lives in Brooklyn.


Open to budding literary talents from around the world aged 21 and above, M Literary Residency allows writers with an interest in China to deepen their understanding of this vital and fascinating cultural well. Fully funded by M Restaurant Group, the residency aims to foster artistic, cultural and intellectual links between individuals and communities, and grows its roots in the Shanghai and Beijing Literary Festivals, which are also founded by Michelle Garnaut and M Restaurant Group.

Now presenting its seventh generation of residents, M Literary Residency already commands an esteemed list of past recipients, including Malaysian novelist Tash Aw, whose novel Five Star Billionaire was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and is currently being adapted to film in Shanghai, Italian novelist, actress and award-winning screenwriter Francesca Marciano, and Indian novelist, poet, musician and Madeleine Thien, whose novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, written during her stay in Shanghai, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

We asked our previous M Literary Residents to tell us about their Residency experiences, and how the Residencies benefited their writing. If you’re considering applying for an upcoming Residency, be sure to read the testimonials:

2010 Shanghai Tash Aw

2010 India Colie Hoffman

2011 Shanghai Rachel DeWoskin

2011 India Francesca Marciano

2012 India Karen Jennings

2013 Shanghai Madeleine Thien

2013 India Glenn Diaz

2014 Shanghai Jeet Thayil

2014 India Liam Pieper

2015 Shanghai Eleanor Goodman

2015 India Giles Hazelgrove

2016 Shanghai Meng Jin

2016 India Maxim Loskutoff

2017 Shanghai Fiona Wright

2017 Beijing Diana Xin

We are delighted to share the news that Mentor Walks have been established in Hong Kong, Sydney, Brisbane and Wagga Wagga (of all places!).

What’s the first step in founding an NGO? What should you know before setting up a business in China? How do you get your artwork into a gallery? Whether you’re someone with a million questions or someone who has a few of the answers,  Mentor Walks is the place for you.  Here, on Friday mornings in Beijing and Shanghai, women who’ve learned a thing or two about working and thriving in China lend a hand to their up-and-coming counterparts, while taking a walk in the park.

“The programme brings together established and emerging women leaders in our community for a morning walk to discuss professional and personal successes, challenges, and aspirations”

Bring questions.  Bring your experience. And join the community.

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Begun in 2015 by Michelle Garnaut, the International Professional Women’s Society (IPWS),  and the Shanghai British, American, and Australian Chamers of Commerce, the Mentor Walks program brings together women from all background and experiences. Every month, groups of 3-5 mentees – young professional women who have begun to make their mark  walk with a mentor who shares their interests, whether in finance, the arts, foreign affairs, international development, law, architecture, hospitality or any number of other fields. It’s an invaluable chance to get advice, perspective and honest feedback from a seasoned professional.

Beijing Schedule 2018

  • March 10 – Australian Embassy
  • April 13 – Ritan Park
  • May 11 – Ritan Park
  • June 8 – Ritan Park
  • July 13 – Ritan Park
  • August 10 – Ritan Park
  • September 14 – Ritan Park
  • October 19 – Ritan Park
  • November 17 – TBA

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Shanghai Schedule 2018

  • March 10 – M on the Bund
  • April 13 – Jingan Park
  • May 11 – Jingan Park
  • June 8 – Jingan Park
  • July 13 – Jingan Park
  • August 10 – Jingan Park
  • September 14 – Jingan Park
  • October 19 – Jingan Park
  • November 10 – M on the Bund

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Where It All Began…

In 2003, M founder, Michelle Garnaut, joined forces with Josephine Price, a private equity banker, an Paula Delisle, a management consultant, to see what they could contribute to the growing world of grassroots NGOs in China. They soon focused on the arid, remote villages of Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces, where business opportunities are few and modern amenities scarce, and founded the Village People Project, dedicated to building solar-powered bathhouses that are then run as businesses by local families. Since then, four bathhouses have opened, and in 2015 alone, more than 7,000 showers were taken.

The Village People Project Today:

Qinghai Province

Now, VPP is working in concert with Lotus Charity Association to install bathrooms with solar-powered water heaters in the homes of more than 2,000 families in Qinghai Province in its third village.

Two more villages are still waiting for funding for their bathrooms – and you can help.

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Learn More

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“VPP believes that solutions should not only be ecologically and economically sustainable, but also community-driven. Therefore, VPP promotes community involvement and leadership throughout all projects”

Educating Girls in Rural China

Educating Girls of Rural China is dedicated to provided high school and university educations to impoverished young women from rural regions of Western China through financial sponsorship, personal support and mentorship.

The traditional belief for Chinese families is that having a son is vital. Some families will have six, seven or more children in the attempt to produce a son.  The son would receive all the opportunities to advance himself.  In contrast, daughters are expected to take care of their male siblings, marry early or take jobs to support their families.

In most people’s eyes China is a wealthy country today. But in rural regions, where EGRC works, people live in a different world. EGRC is selecting girls who are in most desperate situations but who are determined to change their lives through education.

EGRC has provided the girft of education to 695 girls from the poorest regions of rural China.

The girls have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

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The Renewal Center

People come to The Renewal Center with complex problems. Some have addictions. Other have lost touch with family or been in trouble with the law. Some have spent many years without stability, have lost confidence and are unable to find a job, a permanent home, or in some cases even to stay clean and eat well.

Your support helps us work with each person as an individual through four important stages: Essential Services, Life Skills Workshops, Work Experiences and Employment & Support.

From a shower and clean clothes to safe shelter and  job training, your gifts provide everything a person needs to turn their life around.

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