Story Wise Women is a place for women to be heard and bear witness, be moved and connected, make meaning and laugh.
Melbourne's original storytelling event for women, running since 2016
This is an open opportunity 6 - 8 women to tell a 5 - 10 minute true story - no notes, it happened to you, and for the rest of us to listen. There is no obligation to tell a story, listeners are needed just as much as tellers.
The stories are funny and light hearted, painful and sad, uplifting and moving. The atmosphere is affirming, encouraging, accepting and warm. We leave full to the brim with the knowledge that we have participated in an ancient ritual that is modern and timeless. We leave knowing in our bones that we are not alone.
If you want to tell a story, just book a ticket and let us know on the night. The nights are themed, see below for current theme. There are also some answers to Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this page. This is a women only event.
March to November
7.30pm, Third Tuesday of the Month
Mar 21, Apr 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug 15, Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 21
2023 Venue: Long Play Theatrette, Nth Fitzroy,
We gather in a cosy bar, on the inner north side of Melbourne. Come early for dinner and a drink, book a table here. Then settle in for a night of stories and community- laughter, tears, and everything in between. This is life, this is meaning making. Come on your own, or with family or friends. Bring a story or just a listening heart.
Dates & Themes 2023
Each storytelling event has a theme. Themes are meant as prompts, guides, helpful for those of us stuck, but not to restrict or stump you. Feel free to be creative and think outside the box, feel free to wander to a story that you feel drawn to tell. The themes are also very broad and most stories can be made to fit a theme if you want it to, but if you have a story knocking inside you that needs to be told and you think it has no connection to the theme, that is fine too. See below for detailed descriptions of the themes.
March 21 2023
Theme: The Year That Was
Tell us about the year that was your best, most memorable, never to be forgotten, or your worst year ever - your annus horribilis. Share about how you had one drama after another or a year of grace and flow that left you in gratitude and awe. Perhaps you had a year that was eventful for different reasons. Or is there a year in which you found a new sense of yourself or lost yourself in love or in grief over one loss or a number of losses? Share with us about the year the stars aligned and you soared to great heights of fulfilment or one in which adventure reigned supreme and you went to amazing new places? Regale us with stories of any year that calls to be shared.
April 18 2023
Hey sinners, you’re not alone! What’s your guilty pleasure? Come and tell us about the things you don’t usually tell. Let’s break the taboo, enthrall us with tales of secrets and vices. Tell us about the time you got caught in the act. Or perhaps your story is about something you’re not proud of, tell us about the silence and shame of hidden sins. Whatever your story, you can be reassured, we will not judge and your sins will be safe with us!
May 16 2023
When blood flows internally it can bring oxygen and life to our bodies, and when it flows outwards it can drain us of life itself. Dark red goodness, and pumping pain, glorious and terrifying all at the same time. Bring us a story of blood, the mysterious, the joyful, what makes your blood boil, or brings blood to your cheeks, blood-curdling stories of terror or the grateful rhythm of monthly flow. Whatever your blood story is, we look forward to holding space for you to share.
June 20 2023
Tell us a story about the change you welcomed as a wonderful new beginning or the change that rocked your world and turned it upside down. Was there a change you were expecting and yet when it happened it came as a shock? Maybe there’s a story in your experience of the change of life or what you did with spare change that wants to be told. Share with us about the changes you’ve seen or the changes you long to see. Perhaps the change that had you all at sea - lost and looking for a new direction. Come and listen or dare to share - you just may find your story changes someone’s life.
July 18 2023
Tell us a story of how you got through, on a wing and a prayer, or when the Universe signalled and you followed, or the time where a knowing, deep in your bones, guided you. Maybe your story is of a slow and unfolding faith, found in the beauty and sacredness of nature. Or the comfort you take from a religious or spiritual tradition. Or perhaps it is a story of when you lost faith, the leader who betrayed, the blind faith to a dead end, the creeping, screaming doubt, when and all that was left was yet another life lesson. Or maybe it’s a story about your friend, sister or mother called Faith. Whatever your story, have faith that we will listen with kind and open hearts as together we put our faith in women’s stories.
August 15 2023
Hair. Does it have the power to change your identity, your confidence, your mood, your morning? Bring us stories of bad hair days, good hair days, dreads, a cut you regret, a colour you love, a do to die for, or the disastrous home cuts of your childhood.
Bring us plucking good yarns of how you have tamed those eyebrows. Wax lyrically on stories from the salon, your first Brazilian, the surprising post menopause beard, the hair that simply refuses to die.
What lengths have you gone to for hair? Love it or hate it, dwell on it or ignore it, from pig tails to silver strands, either way there is a tale to be told, and we are eager to hear.
Sept 19 2023
Bring us your stories of joy in the world. A tale of an experience that took you by surprise and filled you with joy - that bubbling, blissful joy that blossomed in a moment. Tell us about the times when it felt like there was no joy to be had at all. And share with us the things you do to go out and find joy. Perhaps your story is about your favourite teacher named Joy, or your aunt Joy. Tell us about how Joy is a match for her name… or isn’t! And maybe joy just follows you wherever you go! Come along and spread a little joy by sharing your story with us.
Oct 17 2023
Let a tale spring forth from the well of story. Tell us of pools and puddles, mud and marshes, drinks and drowning. Maybe it was a thirst quenched or your waters breaking; a baby in the bath, a slip in the creek, a rushing river or the delight of the ocean. Perhaps there’s been boats and dinghies, canoes and kayaks, surfing and sailing. Long hot summers at the shimmering blue baths, tanks and teas, sheep dip and showers, swelling seas and fluid sacs, swimming lessons and longings. Gardens thriving or drying, floods and droughts, rain and roofs. Tell us a story overflowing from the source of all life, so we may drink from the life of you.
Tell us a story of how you got through, on a wing and a prayer, or when the Universe signalled and you followed, or the time where a knowing, deep in your bones, guided you. Maybe your story is of a slow and unfolding faith, found in the beauty and sacredness of nature. Or the comfort you take from a religious or spiritual tradition. Or perhaps it is a story of when you lost faith, the leader who betrayed, the blind faith to a dead end, the creeping, screaming doubt, when and all that was left was yet another life lesson. Or maybe it’s a story about your friend, sister or mother called Faith. Whatever your story, have faith that we will listen with kind and open hearts as together we put our faith in women’s stories. BOOK HERE
Nov 21 2023
Are you a risk taker who loves to dance with danger? Or do you like to play it safe, be in control and panic at any hint of danger? Do you thrill to the risk of an illicit affair? Did you outwit a dangerous man, stare down a threatening boss or step softly back from a venomous snake? Did you defy death by the skin of your teeth, or conquer your deepest inner fears?. Did you miss the warning signs and find yourself face to face with the devil? Whether you were exposed to ‘stranger danger’ or more in harm's way with those you already knew, experienced danger at birth or have a loved one in danger of living on and on in an undignified state for years, we want to listen and be there with you every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to tell a story?
No there is never any obligation or even pressure to tell a story, but there is always an open and encouraging invitation. And often tellers find they come with no intention of telling a story but after hearing several stories and feeling safe and inspired, they step up and have a go.
Is there a theme?
Yes there is, but the theme is meant to inspire, not to restrict, so feel free to be creative, think outside the box and if there is a story inside you, calling to be told, don't worry if it's not on theme, tell it anyway.
Why tell a story?
Taking events from our life and crafting them into a story that is part gift, part message, helps us understand ourselves better, to know who we are and where we have come from. It helps us bring peace to experiences in order that we may tell them to an audience with resolution. It also connects us to our audience and allows us to share how we make sense of this world and our life.
How do I tell a story?
Here are some tips for telling a story:
Go some where with your story, aim for a climax or a twist.
Think about the structure and emotional impact of the story.
If it’s appropriate, give the characters a voice, be dramatic
Think about your delivery: suspense and drama
Think about how you will end your story – try to end with resolution, making sense of the events, not a lecture.
Practice your story on the dog, cat, chooks … on who/whatever.
Time your story and make sure it is within the time limit
Think about your audience – take them for a ride.
Also check out the blog posts on Story Ground for more tips and ideas, or sign up and receive the Story Ground ‘Seven Step Story Crafting worksheet"‘.
Are there any rules for telling?
Here are the guidelines for storytellers:
1. Stories must be true, personal stories i.e. they happened to you the teller.
2. Stories must be told without notes and no longer than 10 minutes.
3. Let kind hearts and common sense prevail - sexist, racist, misogynist and homophobic stories hurt people. Stories should also not be used to put anyone down, to take revenge or to embarrass anyone else.
4. Stories may be recorded as audio with the aim of publishing them on a podcast, but this is only done with a tellers permission, which will be given or not, on the evening.
5. Photos will also be taken, to help promote the next event, but will only be used if there is no objection from audience or tellers.
Who runs Story Wise Women?
Story Wise Women is run by a team of women you can read about here.