Tell people what you really think: learn the fine art of letter writing

ainslieandgorman 14 April 2016

Ms Constance Sprys Letter Writing Workshop_Photo_ Andrew Sikorski

When was the last time you sat down with a pen and paper and mulled over exactly just the right word, the right phrase? Or what about the last time you received a letter addressed specifically for you that wasn’t a bill?

In an age where snapchatting and emojis reign supreme, the art of written correspondence is under-appreciated and hand-written letters have become somewhat of a rarity. Ms Constance Spry’s Letter Writing Service hopes to change this.

Lead by Ms Constance Spry and consisting of a collective of talented and enthusiastic local writers, Ms Constance’s Letter Writing Service aims to revive and celebrate the (almost) lost art form.

“Digital text is forgotten almost as quickly as it’s read, while a letter has the potential to be treasured and kept – in underwear draws, boxes under beds, and secret locations in the top of wardrobes,” says Ms Spry. “Letters can stay around for years.”

Ms Constance Spry’s Letter Writing Service is currently setting up shop in the Batman St forecourts of Gorman Arts Centre as part of Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres public art installation Out Of Space, running until April 17. Over the past two weeks, Ms Spry and her writers have penned letters about love, farewells and secrets for an assortment of visitors.

On Saturday 16 April, Ms Constance Spry will be hosting Letter translations: A guided workshop in the (nearly) lost art of correspondence, a practical introduction to crafting the perfect letter. Set up as an old fashioned school classroom, the workshops will (re)introduce budding letter writers to anachronistic terminologies and the physicality of typing out your thoughts on the clunky keys of a typewriter.

“The workshops are our attempt to counteract the banality and brevity of digital language – we will translate your sentiments into the magic of the letter format,” says Ms Spry.

Over the course of an hour, Ms Spry and writers will school participants – literally – on the (nearly) lost art of letter writing:

“An antidote to firing off an e-mail or tweeting into the ether, the workshops invite participants to indulge in the flowery. “Don’t say ‘hi’ when you could instead say ‘dearest sweet pea of the sunburnt country’,” Ms Spry suggests. “Why say it with one word when a whole sentence will do?”

The workshop will be held 10am-11am and 11am-12pm on Saturday 16 April at Gorman Arts Centre. Cost is $10 per workshop. Bookings can be made through Eventbrite, or calling Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres office on (02) 6182 0000. Follow along with Ms Constance Spry @MsConstanceSpry and Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centre @ainslie_gorman

Photo by Andrew Sikorski

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