Laura Jane Williams is RED Magazine's ‘Talking Point’ columnist, as well as Grazia’s ex-dating columnist, cult blogger of Superlatively Rude, and author of memoirs BECOMING and ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST. She's known for her touching humanness, outrageous wit, and heartfelt truth-talking.
The awesome thing is, is that the folks that follow her work have these qualities too.
Laura loves meeting these people through social media. She has 16,500+ followers in her Instagram community, and her Insta-stories reach up to 1.5 million impressions a week. Combined with 16,500+ followers on Twitter, one million+ blog hits, and the knowledge that her community are typically thirty-something and UK-based... she decided to find a way to get the clever, funny and engaged women (and some men!) she chats about love, life, TV, culture, sex and more with online, off of the internet and into real life.
And so, Superlatively Rude Live was born: an un-conference for open hearts, curious minds, and a f*cking good time.
Of course, there'll be cocktails.
Okay. Imagine this:
You're in a central London location that was super easy to get to. It has floor-to-ceiling windows with a shit-tonne of natural light, and there's something excitable in the air. You came alone because your BFF was already committed to a wedding today, which is a bit scary, but also you already recognise a few fun-looking women you've seen using the event hashtag - #SRLive - online.
You check in with the friendly chap on the door who asks how your morning has been so far, and go help yourself to the breakfast supplied by Spoons and Good and Proper Tea. You remember the email attendees got yesterday: it told you to introduce yourself to everyone, insert yourself into conversations where you fancied, and act brave until you felt it. You tell the woman next to her you like her shoes. She asks if you want to sit together. You do.
Laura gets on the microphone and asks you to get settled. She talks about wanting to curate an event for open hearts, curious minds, and a fucking good time. That it's super informal, that everyone in the room is self-selectingly awesome, and that you should probably get your notebook out because there are some incredible speakers ready to drop some truth-bombs and heart-heals.
She's right. Over the course of the day there are three sessions: You Do You, with a super down-to-earth life coach with a Leeds accent, and a bi-cultural journalist of Middle Eastern origin who talks about how feminism works for women of colour. Then, there's Adore Your Cycle with an Australian woman who talks about periods and how they affect creativity, which you were super dubious about until what she said... actually made a lot of sense. You even get the courage to ask her a question about why you act a little unstable when you're ovulating. Her answer makes you laugh.
There's juice on hand all day, from Pressed, and endless tea and coffee. Everything time you go up to the bar you make a new friend. You feel good.
After a picnic lunch, the third session blows your mind. It's called Let's Talk About Love and starts with a performance about modern love and loss from a spoken word poet who manages to make you giggle, and also a bit emotional. A woman from a fancy magazine who runs a project about relationships tells you the five things having conversations on love with celebrities has taught her, and then that hilarious guy off Twitter who takes the piss out of the Guardian dating column every week reads from his new novel. After, Laura sits them all down and asks them what they know about love: friend love, sexual love, romantic love, familial love and love of the self. It's awesome. You don't ask a question, but loads of other people do. The chat could go on forever.
You're pretty thrilled at how the day has totally exceed your expectations - not to mention being insane value for money. But there's more! Laura wraps up the day with a short speech, and then invites everyone to grab a glass of Camp Viejo cava and stick around for happy hour.
By 5.30 p.m. you're knackered, full of new ideas, and have followed one hundred new people on Instagram. You're inspired, grateful, a little bit overwhelmed and totally contented. You fall asleep on the train home. It really was a fucking good time.