Post Script: Women of Letters’ Marieke Hardy

Meet Marieke Hardy, co-founder of the live series Women of Letters. Along with fellow Aussie writer Michaela McGuire, the duo created an intimate show that has placed everyone from notable actresses to what Marieke likes to call “dark horses” on stage with their missives. Here, the self-proclaimed writer to “anybody and everybody” shares about a special postcard project, legendary Australian feminists and why you won’t be able to download the show’s podcast (and why that’s a good thing).

Michaela and Marieke

Michaela and Marieke

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I was a voracious letter writer in my 20s. I would write to anybody and everybody: Politicians, passerby, the company who made my favourite lipstick. I liked to write thank you cards; I felt there were too many complaint letters in the world. (To everybody who received a weird ‘I really love your muesli!’ card from me in the 90’s, you’re welcome!) These days I have lots of secret postcard projects, and obviously Women of Letters means we have to keep the flame alive!

How did Women of Letters come to be and why do you think so many high profile women are jazzed about participating?
Michaela and I met in 2009 at a young writers festival in Australia. There were a lot of incredible women speaking on panels and we became inspired to put together an event that showcased female voices—mixing more high-profile women with what we called the ‘dark horses’… brilliant poets, singers, writers, artists, who may not have a huge commercial profile.

We threw a few different ideas around, but as writers ourselves we kept coming back to the notion of ‘letters’. There’s something intensely personal about the act of writing a letter, and we’ve found a huge intimacy that has developed between reader and audience at our events.

We held our first show in Melbourne in March 2010 and have toured consistently since then. Along with our regular monthly events in Melbourne and New York City, we’ve toured Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Indonesia and all around Australia. We never dreamed it would get so big. We just released our fifth book (a collection of pieces from live shows) through Penguin. Wild!

airmail book

What do you enjoy most about the show?
The thing I’m proudest of is that we never, ever record, video or podcast our events. We were firm about this from the show’s beginning, and while there has been pressure from outside sources to make recordings of our events available (particularly when they sell out and people can’t get tickets!), we are fiercely protective of our readers.

Audiences worldwide have been very supportive of the ‘safe space’ we’ve created, and I honestly think (and know from people telling us) that women have stood on our stages and shared some very deep and raw thoughts for the sole reason that the show is not recorded. Edie Falco’s piece at our NYC show in March 2014 was an incredibly stirring work. She told us the only reason she did it was because she knew it existed only in that room, for those people, at that moment. In a society where people can’t have a meal without taking a photo of it and uploading it, we think we’ve created something very special. The chance to hear a story you may never hear again.

What is your favorite step in the process of written correspondence?
Oh well there are two. One is the moment of placing the correspondence in the postbox. I always kiss my mail before it goes in, to help it on its way. And obviously when you’re sifting through your mail and see that amongst the dour-looking bills there’s a colourful piece of handwritten love for you!

If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write and what would you say?
I’d say my hero Aline Kominsky Crumb, though I recently received an email from her (asking after her to do WoL) and my life was totally made. As a pen pal it’s hard to go past Dorothy Parker. Can you imagine getting a letter from her? The only bad thing would be the pressure of trying to come up with your wittiest one-liners when it came time to reply.

To whom do you most often write?
My boyfriend and I have a postcard project that we started the year we got together, 2011. Every June we write a postcard to each other, every day for the whole month. The postcards go to a PO Box and we collect them. We’re entering our fifth year of doing it and we’ve still never read them! I think one day we’ll wallpaper a whole room with them and track the giddying roller coaster of our love affair.

Describe the most memorable letter or postcard you have ever received.
I wrote David Sedaris fan mail back in the 90’s and he sent a personalised letter back. Typewritten, before he got a computer. I was so taken by his kindness.

What makes a particular letter stand out from a stack of cards?
Colour and craft! I like to draw and paint and stick stuff all over my correspondence. People who receive my mail know they’re getting something from me. It’s like a ticker tape parade in an envelope.

Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
In Australia there are a lot of weird series to do with rural development and sporting heroes. The 2011 Australian Legends series for feminists Advancing Equality of Women was a favourite, though.

australian-legends-stampsWhat do you think classic correspondence will look like in a decade or two?
God, this is a depressing question. I feel like I’m shouting myself hoarse trying to make people remember the romanticism of sending things in the post. It’s such a generous act, a patient one. Think of all the letters in a shoebox we’ve kept for years…stained with wine, tears, alive with the fragrance of a teenage love. You don’t get that in an email. I can’t think yet of what classic correspondence will look like in twenty years’ time—I just hope there’ll BE some.

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Business Essentials: A Primary on Invitations and Announcements

We receive many queries from businesses concerning wording, be it for a gala or a move to a new office. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on invitations and announcements.

business essentials-invitations-and-announcements

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Correspondence, Monarch and Jotter Cards

Whatever your job title may be, you will almost certainly find yourself at some point needing to pen a handwritten note. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on the differences between correspondence cards, monarch cards and jotter cards—and when to use which.

business essentials-correspondence-cards

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Letterhead

While the executive sheet is the basic stationery used by most businesses, the monarch sheet is slightly smaller and therefore more personal. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on letterhead.

business essentials-letterhead

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Business and Calling Cards

If you are incorporating a social media handle into the information on your business card, ensure that it is appropriate for your line of work. For example, a fashion designer may wan to include his/her Instagram handle, while an accountant would not. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on business and calling cards.

business essentials-business-and-calling-cardsClick the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Printing Processes and Paper

One should consider his or her paper as he or she would consider any wardrobe piece: with thoughtful attention to detail, quality and style. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on printing processes and our 100% cotton stock.

business-essentials-processes-lores

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For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Personalized Profile: A New York Lettra Love Story

We love receiving pictures of our customers’ personalized stationery—it’s the reason we created the Personalized Profile feature—and so it was a visual delight to open Steve Ono’s email recently. Steve works for family-owned print shop Japan Printing and Graphics in New York City, and, like many print shops, they love our Lettra paper.

If you’re not familiar with Lettra, it’s our signature letterpress stock. We like to say Lettra and letterpress printing go together like Fred and Ginger. It’s 100% cotton, and the soft-yet-sturdy, textured composition is positively divine to the touch. When the letterpress machine makes its impression, we’re pretty sure fireworks explode.

Below are a few of the lovely business card designs Steve shared with us as well as his thoughts on Lettra and the importance of one’s business card choice.

olivia-business-cardsPearl White Lettra letterpress printed in black ink.

“The delicate texture and feel of the Lettra stock is incredibly unique and unmistakable. People absolutely love the paper because it feels so soft and textured, almost as if it were textile. Secondly, the Lettra stock allows for deep indentations when the using letterpress printing. The softness of the paper allows the indentations from the letterpress to be considerably deeper than any other paper that we use. This amplifies the effect of letterpress printing and also adds a more visible dimension to the business cards. This paper is indispensable for the type of work that we do.”
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Post Script: Publetters’ Michael McGettigan and Nestor Torres

Meet Michael McGettigan and Nestor Torres, founders of Publetters. The name suggests exactly what one might think: letter writing while enjoying a pint (or two). Here, the two share their thoughts on a certain cherished letter to a Philadelphia policeman, bi-lingual correspondence and the wonderful moment that is “the turn.”

pub letters nestor and michael

Organizers Michael and Nestor. Photo courtesy of Maria Pouchnikova.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
Michael: Oh, we’ve written letters since grade school in my family—not a lot, but regularly. In the past ten years, as email has become just like another task, letters have become special again for me and for the people I write to. Continue reading

Real Weddings: Kate and Kevin

Perhaps just like “the one” (in this case, that would be Kevin), bride Kate says that when it came to selecting a wedding invitation, she “would know it when she saw it.” And, well, she did: A Crane invitation with a beautiful gold crest, elegant navy script and delicate frame. Anne, manager of Paper Source’s SoHo location, helped with the process. Here, they talk to us about proposals disguised as lobster rolls, the importance of time frames and the person in the wedding party she’s seeing a lot more of these days. 

View More: http://ginabrocker.pass.us/kate-and-kevin-wedding

View a similar wedding invitation design to Kate and Kevin’s. 

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Personalized Profile: A Soon-to-Be Miami Mr. & Mrs.k,

A couple years ago, Kelle McCarter—talented illustrator and founder of the lovely Paperswell magazine—sent me a thank you note for profiling her in our Post Script series. It was written on her couples’ stationery (pictured below), which, instead of the traditional printed names or monogram, featured a fantastic illustration of Mr. and Mrs.—drawn, of course, by Kelle. I immediately pinned it to my bulletin board and vowed (no pun intended) to re-create the look for the next couple I knew to become engaged.

kelle-engagement-note-cards-blogFast forward to a few months ago, when family friends Juanita and Joe, who live in Miami, finally decided they would be making it official. Personalized stationery should reflect an individual’s or couple’s unique style, and I knew that Kelle’s illustration would fit theirs perfectly.

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