Writing Wednesday: Penpals

Montblanc, Meisterstück, Leuchtturm1917, writing, Jamie Chan, No foreign Lands

Besides photography and travelling, letter writing to penpals is something I picked up quite recently.

As I travel a lot these days, I’ve always envisioned a day where I’ll come home to a letter or a postcard in my letterbox.
Not the kind that asks me to pay my bills for the $700 fountain pen I bought but the kind that gives me a glimpse into say the weather in Sweden; a healthy discussion of an episode of Doctor Who or even a birthday wish!
Yes, I love that more than 100 people I have not spoken to in the past year send me their yearly Happy Birthday greetings on Facebook but an actual letter? That would really make my day!
Letters create a personal touch and some may say that it is the next best thing to having someone show up out of the blue to keep you company.

The desire for a personal and sincere correspondence has led me to search for Pen Pals. I also have very expensive stationery that needs to go somewhere
Yes pen-pals, the dwindling number of people who uses paper, pen and ink to say hello instead of modern technology.



Sure, the rising cost of snail mail can be quite off-putting especially in Australia when it costs $2.60AUD ($2.75AUD from 6th October onwards) to send a letter from Australia to the USA; almost triple the price than if I were to send that same letter from Singapore…
Then again, it is a price I am willing to pay because if you want a letter, you got to send a letter and I do love receiving letters from all around the world.

I started pen-paling about a months ago and I love and treasure every single letter and goodies I receive.

penpal, letters, snail mail, Jamie Chan

Yay Letters! (Plus one that is not in the shot)

To get a letter, send a letter.

Now comes the question of where do you actually find like-minded people to write to?
I tried looking at different forums like Reddit who surprisingly have their own pen pal section, screened creepy people looking for their long-lost soul mate (I kid you not) before narrowing it down to these few websites:


1) Letter Writing Alliance  

Besides the gorgeous literal pigeon mail and stationery,  Letter Writing Alliance has a great pen pal swap where you have to pay $5USD (plus $2 international postage or 70¢ for the US people) to join.
The swap goes: you have to send a letter to receive your pen pal’s address; someone else will also receive your address to send a letter to you. Ah, the lovely circle of communication; you can send as many letters as you like to have as many pen pals as you want.
It is honestly really addictive and the best part is because it is a paid membership, you are less likely to hear from creepy people.


2) Postcrossing 

Postcrossing is a lazy man low commitment way to receive postcards from all over the world.
It is also something you can do as you are travelling and come back to a mailbox full of postcards from everywhere!
All you need to do is to register for an account, request for an address and send as many postcards/ letters as you would like to receive.
This is great if you are just starting out and don’t want to exchange life stories with someone who is a thousand miles away.


3) International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club

This is a really fun one; yes it says geek girl but they welcome geek boys too.
The pen pal swap opens on the 15th of every month and you get to register for it along with your Geek Love. (Proud Whovian fan here! I had no clue what Yahtzee is but I bought a set because of the Tardis.)
The IGGPPC will then pair you up with someone who has a similar geek love; from TV shows to crafts such as cooking; knitting; blogging and let the letter writing begin!
This is the best place to write to someone with similar interest to you aka you have more things to talk about!


4) Instagram

This was kind of random and purely by chance but if you use the hashtags: #penpalswanted; #snailmailwanted you will actually find a bunch of people looking for penpals too!
You can even post our own penpal ‘advertisement‘ and someone might contact you.


5) Your Friend

Remember that friend from ages ago where you used to take pictures with in Neoprint machines and wrote the date, put sparkly hearts and the word BFF all over the image?
How about the one you walked to school with and caused trouble in class together? Yes, that friend whom you have no idea what he/ she is doing besides the occasional Facebook updates.
Making new friends is great but re-connecting with old ones is even better.
The best part about this? You are sending them a lovely letter and not trying to sell them insurance.


In the next Writing Wednesday post, I will talk about the Art of Letter Writing; do comment if you have any questions for me.
Also, I promise to write back if you send a letter to me so contact me if you would like to be pen pals!

Last but not least, remember to stay safe and have fun!

Goodies, penpals, snailmail, letter writing

Yay pen pal goodies<3

15 replies »

  1. I used to have a pen pal from Seychelles! Sigh, it’s too bad we lost touch… I would love to get back to the letter writing bandwagon. All these websites look fantastic, especially IGGPPC!

    • You should get back to letter writing Priscilla, it is honestly so much fun.
      The IGGPPC has their penpal swap open right now; do give it a try. If not we could always be penpals<3

  2. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: Pen Pals | From The Bear Cave
  3. This post touched something inside of me. I have lived in two times, one where there was only letter writing or phone calls to keep in touch with others, and the present, a time dominated by communication technology. I have benefited from both…I have a silk bag full of letters from family, a lady I met through a pen pal advertisement almost 30 years ago, notes from my sons. I also enjoy being able to meet people from all around the world through technology. I agree with you though…holding an actual letter in your hand, or a postcard, is a joyful experience.

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. Pen-palling, was one of my major interests growing up. Thank you for those sites you’ve recommended – I will definitely have a look and see if I can take it up again.

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