Too busy to write letters? Can’t find the words? Meet the ladies at Clothing for Correspondence – they’ll write your letters for you in exchange for hand-me-down clothes! That’s right, they will take care of your correspondence in trade for your awesome hand-me-downs.

To celebrate Colour Box Studio’s Writing and Performance Program, Clothing for Correspondence is turning the tables and dressing you instead. Here’s your chance to win a bundle of awesome clothing delivered to your door. Yep, a whole new wardrobe made up of Clothing for Correspondence items received from letter requestors all around the world – all quality, secondhand, fancy and cool.

Read on to learn more about the masterminds behind this kooky business idea and on how to enter this amazing competition.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

We are Penny and Jane, two writers who met at university in 2007 in a course that we both subsequently dropped out of. We’re from Melbourne but rarely manage to live in the city at the same time. Jane is a major book-nerd and Penny is a major film-nerd and we bond over a love of arts, social justice, wine and second hand clothes.

Tell us about your website Clothing for Correspondence?

Clothing for Correspondence is a bartering website where people can request a piece of correspondence, be it a love letter, letter of complaint, letter of explanation or anything really. All they need to do is give us the details they want covered and we pen the letter and, in trade, they have to send us a piece of stylish second hand clothing. We’re entering our fifth year of running the site and we’ve had requests and clothing from all over the world.

Where did the idea come from?

We used to have a writing group (that was really just the two of us) and we’d sit around in cafes drinking chai and chatting about what we were working on but always ended up veering off to any other topic under the sun. One day we were talking about clothes and how we hated buying new clothes (a. because we were broke and b. because we found the search for clothes not made in sweatshops super time-consuming and unfruitful). At this time, Penny got lots of hand-me-downs having three sisters and some generous clothes-sharing friends whereas Jane was stuck with two brothers and legs that were abnormally long so had pretty much no second hand clothes coming her way. We started to think about whether there was a way we could branch out and get more peoples hand-me-downs so that we ever had to shop again. We joked that we could trade our only commodity – our writing skills – and viola! Clothing for Correspondence was born. We totally assumed it was a joke that no one else would get but it took off!

What is the strangest correspondence request you have had?

We’ve had lots of strange ones. We had someone ask us to write a letter to the stranger who inherited her previous phone number, apologising for not telling anyone that she had a new number. She’d had a lot of friends comment that they’d had a chat with the new owner of the number so she felt bad. We had a request from someone who wanted a letter to give to his best friend’s wife who was B.O.R.I.N.G asking her to pick up her game when they were stuck next to each other at dinner parties. And we recently had a request to write a letter warning someone that their dog was about to get stolen. You can read all of these letters on the website.

When you are not writing correspondence for the website what are you doing?

We’re both working on other projects: fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting – you name it. Penny is currently juggling one million different creative projects and living in Kakadu where she working as a project manager for an Aboriginal Corporation and Jane works at a high school in Victoria running a wellbeing program.

What inspires you?

So much. We love podcasts like This American Life and NPR’s Longform, pizza, Sarah Polley, holidays, Instagram and short stories.  

Do you have any other projects underway?

We do. Separately we have many projects underway and we are collaborating on a fictionalization of the Clothing for Correspondence for a multiplatform television comedy series. We’ll tell you more about it when it’s further down the line but it’s pretty exciting.

You currently have a competition available to Colour Box Studio Facebook followers. What will the winner of this competition receive and what do they have to do to enter?

For this special Colour Box Studio competition we are mixing things up. Instead of letter requesters having to send us clothing, we have bundled up an awesome prize pack of pre-loved, beautiful clothing for one lucky person to win. All you need to do is:

1. Post a letter request on the Colour Box Studio Facebook page. Be creative – the more unusual / beautiful / hilarious the request, the better!

2. Like Clothing for Correspondence on Facebook

Competition closes Saturday 31 August. The winner will be announced soon after. On top of the clothes, the winner will receive a letter, scribed by Clothing for Correspondence, in response to their request.

Colour Box Studio’s Writing and Performance Program is on until the 31st of August. Visit the website to find out What’s On.