The Women's Literary Society was formed in Sydney in 1889 with the object of 'mutual help in the study of general literature'. Later its activities were defined as 'searching out and bringing before the meetings such matters as shall be of interest and improvement to members. Discussion upon important topics of the day. Papers upon various matters of interest, criticism upon literary or artistic work or theories upon practical matters.' It is believed to be the first Australian women's group to meet at night.
Prominent members included Rose Scott, Maybanke Anderson and Dora Montefiore. In 1891 members of this group were instrumental in forming the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales.