We have been working on a special project which combines friendship with something Jane Austen loved doing, writing letters, and are so pleased to share it with you today!
Introducing “Flat Jane Austen”!!!
In the last three years, we have loved developing friendships with you, whether on our various social media platforms or at our events, through your comments and emails. It has saddened us not to be able to meet in person for our usual lovely gatherings. In an effort to strengthen our friendships, provide a connection between members and the friends we have made in the Jane Austen world, and have a little fun while possibly staying closer to home than usual, we have set up this special project with Flat Austen, as we affectionately call her, an endeavor similar to the “Flat Stanley” activity popular with many school children.
Here’s how it works:
1. After you have read this post, if you wish to participate complete this form that adds you to our database for the project: https://forms.gle/GR6RnfiVvmodSDFm8 . If you have any questions, email us for the project at: FlatJaneAusten@gmail.com.
2. Let’s say Anne Elliot signs up first and gives us her address. Flat Austen travels to Anne’s home via the mail (hopefully not too bumpy or hot like a ride in a mail coach).
3. Anne and Flat Austen visit Anne’s house, yard, favorite places, famous places in Anne’s city, and Anne takes photos of Flat Austen there (and herself, if she wishes!). Maybe they have tea or make cookies or read a book or go on a boat! The sky is the limit (although please nothing which would scandalize someone like Mrs. Weston or Jane Bennet Bingley)!
4. Anne emails the photos to us at the email above so we can share them on social media & in a Google Photos album for everyone to see, and shares them on social media herself, if she wishes, using the hashtag #FlatJaneAusten. We give her the address of the next participant.
5. Anne writes a little note about where Flat Austen has visited on the sheet provided, puts it and Flat Austen in an envelope, (and maybe a little letter to the next recipient) and mails them to the next person on the list.
6. The next person receives Flat Austen in the mail and repeats the process! Each “visit” to someone’s house should last about 3 days at most (unless there are special circumstances—email us!).
7. We all wait to find out what lovely things Flat Austen has done with our wonderful friends and how far she has traveled! This can go on as long as people are interested.
If this sounds like fun to you, then fantastic! Please do sign up by completing this form: https://forms.gle/GR6RnfiVvmodSDFm8. This project does require you share a mailing address with us, give us permission to share it with someone else who will then send Flat Austen to you, and be willing to provide your own regular envelope and stamp to send her on to another person. We promise to keep your information confidential and only give it to the next person on the list. It will not be used for any nefarious purposes (We are NOT Willoughby, after all.)
If you are outside of the United States and wish to participate, please contact us and let us know. Hopefully the mail between countries will begin moving quickly again and we can open this up for international “travel.” 😉
If you wish to write a reply to the person who sent Flat Austen to you, then that’s absolutely lovely and completely in the spirit of this project and Jane Austen’s life! We hope this project can be a way to connect our region members until we can meet again in person.
Questions? If you want to create a Flat Austen project for your group, email us at FlatJaneAusten@gmail.com!
Keep an eye on #FlatJaneAusten & #FlatAusten on social media!