First Tuesday of the Month

Evening Event

Third Friday of the Month

Lunchtime Event

Women's Stories Need to Be Told

Story Wise Women is a place for women to be heard and bear witness, be moved and connected, make meaning and laugh

Kate Lawrence storyteller
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Christine Hardiman telling a story

Story Wise Women

Melbourne's Only Storytelling Events for Women

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Women’s voices need places where they can be practised and strengthened, women’s hearts need places to be held and nourished, women’s souls need places to laugh and connect.

Women's experiences are different, how we see the world, how we are treated in the world, how we make sense of the world are unique and diverse. 

stories for women

Women's stories need to be shared, explored, celebrated and felt. Women's voices need places where they can be practised and strengthened, women's hearts need places to be held and nourished, women's souls need places to laugh and connect.  

Storytelling enables us to make sense of our lives in a way that brings peace and hope to the events that have shaped us, as we then shape the events into a story. When we share a story, as part gift, part message, we learn and affirm who we are and what we believe, and we come know ourselves in a deeper way. 

Join the Story Wise Women Facebook Group: 

Join the Story Wise Women Facebook Group: 

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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. 

First Tuesday of the Month

Evening Event

Third Friday of the Month

Lunchtime Event

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Once a month behind a hip bar in Nth Fitzroy, in a small, warm and beer sticky cinema, women come together to share and listen to stories - their stories.  

First Tuesday of the Month

(March to November)

 7.30 pm Come alone or come with a friend.  Get a drink & settle in. 

7.45pm, the stories begin.

This is an open opportunity 8 - 10 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. Drinks and food for sale in the bar.  The nights are themed, see below for current theme. There are a few stairs associated with this venue. Contact Kate if you want specific details Ph: 0402 080 445.

Dates in 2018:  6 March, 3 April (Tuesday after Easter), 1 May, 5 June, 3 July, 7August, 4 September, 2 October,  6 November - Cup Day.


Long Play

318 St Georges Road, Nth Fitzroy, 3068

Cost $15 or $10 concession.  

Long Play

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Once a month, on a Friday lunchtime, in downtown Melbourne (opposite the Vic Market) women come together to share and listen to stories - their stories.  

Once a month, on a Friday lunchtime - June to November, 2018. 

12.30 pm for 12.45pm.

We'll be done by 2.15pm. 

Come alone or bring a friend.  Bring your lunch & settle in. 

This is an open opportunity for 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 sessions are themed, see below for the current month's theme. This is an accessible venue. 

Dates in 2018:  22 June,  20 July,  17 August, 21 September, 19 October, and 16 November. 


The Purple Room,

Multicultural Hub,

506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Cost $15 or $10 concession.  

Multicultural Hub

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Story Wise Women Themes

Each storytelling event has a theme. Themes are meant as prompt, guides, helpful for those of us stuck, 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 feel you want to, but if you have a story knocking inside you that needs to be told and it feels like it has no connection to the theme, that is fine too.   Here are the themes for 2018:

March 2018 Theme: Place

Prepare a story where place is a character or where things are out of place, where you or someone didn't know their place. Maybe there wasn't a place at the table, you came last or first place, you couldn't place the name or the face. The first time you went to his place or her place. 

April 2018 Theme: Boundaries

Prepare a story about boundaries, personal space, in your face, saying No; crossing the line, white line fever, nicking out of the school boundary.  Perhaps a time you had some lack of clarity about the boundary between you and your neighbours. Or maybe you were once a boundary rider.

May  2018 Theme: Blood

Share a story of the body and its gold, where red runs deep, or the pressure is high or low.  Tell us about a time the river of veins hit the air, or the lining of the womb released its hold.  A time you scraped your knee, cut your finger or scratched your arm, when bruises darkened the skin. Tell us about a time you blushed with blood rushed to your cheeks, or fainted as blood drained away.

June 2018 Theme: Ancestors

In this month of the Winter Solstice, tell us about your elders, your ancients, your skeletons; the family jewels, family traits, family mysteries and secrets.  Share your genealogy, the legacies and inheritance from the endless line of forbears that make you who you are.  Tell us how you honour them, escape them, own them, laugh at, forgive and claim them as your lineage.

July 2018  Theme: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Tell us a story about the wrong tree, the dead end, the wrong idea.  Tell us about a time you were way off the mark, when you totally misunderstood, misrepresented or misheard, or someone did this to you. Tell us about the suspicions and unfounded conclusions, mistaken identity or chasing the wrong cat.

 August 2018 Theme: Tears

Tell us about a time the tears came, unbidden, unwanted, unexpected, or perhaps a story of when you were so overjoyed, your cup runneth over and your eyes spilled saltwater. A time you swallowed hard, or howled in anguish, when the dam burst and you couldn’t stop, of being spent, washed clean, exhausted, renewed or released. Tell us about a time someone else cried and you comforted, or cried too or turned away. Tell us when your heart burst with love and you teared up with emotion, or when wave just hit, for no reason at all.

September 2018  Theme: Football

Tell us a story about football - playing, yearning, kicking and running,  watching, waiting, hating or avoiding. Tell us about discovering, not understanding, loving and loathing, culture or cringe. The oval or round ball, the oval or rectangular ground, the sexism, exclusion, and invisibility. The barracking, the crushes, the colours and the club.  How it played out, or not, at home, in your family, in the school yard or the street. Or tell us a story of not-football.

October  2018 Theme: Tricks

Prepare a story about a trick you played or that was played on you, a trick your dog or pet kangaroo could do or about something, or a time that was tricky, difficult, needing skill and attention. Tell us about when you could or couldn't turn trick, a tricky character, or when you were tricked into it.

November 2018 ThemeMoney

Prepare a story about dough; not enough of it, too much of it, spending it, stealing it, losing it, finding it, earning it.  Tell us about the secrets, the awkwardness, the embarrassment.  A windfall, a sudden loss, the wrong change or the black market.  Prepare a story about betting, stealing, giving, begging or wishing.    Tell us how all that glitters is not gold.

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 retrict, 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 its not on theme, tell it anyway.

How do I tell a story?  

Here are some tips for telling a story:

1. Go some where with your story, aim for a climax or a twist. 
2. Think about the structure and emotional impact of the story. 
3. If it’s appropriate, give the characters a voice, be dramatic
4. Think about your delivery: suspense and drama., and about how you end your story – try to end with resolution, making sense of the events. 
5. Practice your story on the dog, cat, chooks … on who/whatever. 
6. Time your story
7. Think about your audience – take them for a ride.

Also check out the blog posts on Story Wise for more tips and ideas, or sign up and receive the Story Wise Seven Step Story Crafting worksheet.

Why tell a story?  

Taking events from our life and crafting it into a story that is part gift, part message, helps us understand ourselves better, 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 our we make sense of this world and our life. 

Who runs Story Wise Women?  

Story Wise Women is run by Kate Lawrence from Story Wise. Kate is a storyteller with a passion and purpose for personal storytelling. She is an experienced and trained facilitator, teacher and storytelling coach, with sense of fun. She has a deep and abiding faith in human stories and never tires of hearing them. She takes her craft seriously and as well as telling and teaching, she regularly reads, reflects and writes about storytelling. Kate is particularly good at creating safe and respectful spaces for people to explore their stories.  Kate has delivered storytelling workshops at the Williamstown Literary Festival and the NSW International Storytelling Conference.  You can read more about Kate here.

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 are 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. 

Past Dates and Themes

23 September, 2016 Theme: No theme

North Melbourne Maternal & Child Health Centre.  505 Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne.

28 Oct, 2016 Theme: Beginnings

North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, Nth Melbourne. 

Prepare a story about when it all began, the start, the beginning, the seed, the moment, the first step, the idea, and firsts of all kinds. The first time you… made it, did it, worked it, loved it, realised it, held it, felt it, saw it, heard it…

29 Nov, 2016 Theme: Endings

75 Reid Street, 75 Reid St, Fitzroy North

Prepare a story about an ending, a destruction, a release, a relief, a grief, a death, a birth or the last time you made it, did it, worked it, loved it, realised it, held it, felt it, saw it, heard it.  NB This night was cancelled at the last minute as I forgot the critical step of picking up the key. Our new venue, Long Play should avoid this problem!

March 7, 2017 Theme: Chance(s)

Take a chance and tell a tale about a chance encounter, the luck of the draw, or a lucky break.  Tell us how serendipity smiled, you took your chances, you ran a risk, you were in with a chance, the dice rolled your way, or your fate rested on the toss of a coin.

April 4, 2017 Theme: Water

Tell us a story about water: drinking, drowning, swimming and thirsting.  About floods and droughts, waves, wet pants, dams bursting, being washed away, boats and oceans, rivers and lakes, the local pool, waterfalls and islands. 

May 2, 2017 Theme: Sickness and Health

Tell us a story of the body, how a crisis of health, your own or someone around you, came to your life. Tell us about the vomit, blood, guts and pain.  Tell us about sickness in a relationship, your heart or your mind, tell us about the doctors and nurses, the patients, the tests, the fears and acceptance.

June 6, 2017 Theme: Light and Dark

Tell us about the shadows, the sunrises and sunsets, that creepy thing in the dark, the crack of light in the cave, the light switch you finally found, the lights going out, the torch that didn’t work, the warm lights of the house on the hill, or the time you wished you'd worn dark, or light clothes.

July 4, 2017 Theme: Friendship

Tell us about your best friend when you were 5 or 15 or 55, the four legged friend that saved you, the demise of a friendship, the betrayal of a friend, the loneliness of feeling friendless, the struggle to make friends, the challenge of letting a friendship go, the odd friends we have and the odd friends we are.

August 1, 2017  Theme: Lost

Tell us a story about a time you lost your way, forgot the map, ended up back where you started. A time you didn’t know what to do next, you couldn’t understand what was happening, where it was all lost on you or on them, or the world.  When you lost the game, your wallet or your kid.

September 5, 2017  Theme: Help

Tell us a story about lending a hand, needing help, not asking, resenting being asked, regretting not offering, not knowing how to help, having your help rejected.  Help us understand you, your life and what help means to you. 

October 3, 2017  Theme:  Comfort Zone

Tell us a story about being outside your comfort zone - stretched, tested, challenged and pushed.  Share a story about a time you felt uncomfortable - too cold or wet, hot or thirsty; a time you were out of your depth or out on a limb, up ship creek or sailing too close to the wind. Tell us about when you’ve been longing for your comfort zone: your bed, the couch or the warmth of home.  

November 7, 2017   Theme: Stories from Childhood

This month the theme is a bit different as we will be joined by filmmaker Mojan Jivadi who making a documentary and book called 'One Thousand and One Tales'.

Here is the idea:

  1. The teller, ie. you, share a story: oral, folk, fable or written, from your childhood that had a deep impact on you. 
  2. You also tell us, before or after you story, how the story affected you as a child;
  3. Finally you tell us what you make of the story and its impact on you now, looking back on it as an adult.

There is no obligation to be filmed, you can tell anyway.