Women of Letters recap

More Women of Letters goodness from the Regal Ballroom in Northcote! It’s a quicker post than usual, but that has more to do with the limited time I have to write this post, rather than a reflection on the quality of the event. It was, as always, simply wonderful. (And FOOD! They’ve introduced a veggie menu and I had the pizza and it was bangin’.)

The theme today was ‘A Letter to the Person Who Told Me What I Needed To Know’, and Michaela McGuire was back as MC! First up was actor Saskia Post, writing to her stepmother. In beautiful, lyrical prose she spoke about the life lessons she’d learned and it painted a realistic and touching portrait of the relationship between the two of them.

Up next was comedian Kate McCartney, and her letter was addressed to Twitter, or the Twitterverse in general. This was one of the funniest letters I can remember ever hearing, but it also came directly from the heart, as Kate recounted how the connections that she made on Twitter have changed her life and have also done a lot for her sense of self-worth.

Next was singer Kate Cebrano, who couldn’t be there in the flesh, but sent in a video of her reading her letter to the band that gave her a job singing for them at the age of sixteen. She’s had a successful career spanning a couple of decades, so it was lovely to hear about where it had all started.

Then there was actor and Playschool sweetheart Justine Clarke and her letter was brilliant – I think it was the highlight of the day for me. She wrote to her partner, and thanked him for teaching her that romance did not necessarily mean life playing out like an MGM movie musical. The Regal Ballroom exploded with laughter when she told us about their days of early courtship. She was on a road trip with him, wondering, hoping if it would be the day they finally said ‘I love you’. Her heart leapt with joy as he turned to her, somewhat hungover and exhausted, and told her quite sincerely, ‘I love utes’. It only took her a second or so to realise she hadn’t quite heard what she’d hoped.

Lucky last was poet Telia Nevile, and she was writing to John Hughes – more specifically, to his catalogue of films. Amazingly, music from the soundtracks played as she spoke, and those swelling anthems sounded completely badass. Despite her experience of high school not quite measuring up to the representation of high school presented in the films, the films have an irreplaceable hold on her heart.

This was all followed, as usual, by a break and a Q and A with the speakers, and then, THEN, they told us it was Marieke Hardy’s birthday and we all sung along, to her extreme mortification. But I hugged her as I was leaving and Sean got her to sign his mother’s book, so it was a winning day all round 😀

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