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How writers can find a pen pal

Craving a little more old-school interaction in these isolated times? Here are some tips and resources you can use to find a pen pal.

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1. Start with people you already know.

Put a call out on social media and see if anyone’s interested in striking up a pen palship – you’ll be surprised how many people are interested in reaching out and forging connections in these isolated times. Best of all, you likely already know the people you’ll be writing.


2. Join a Facebook group.

Worldwide Snail Mail Pen Pals, for example, has nearly 27,000 members of postal enthusiasts. Users can post a short bio in order to see who in the community might be a good fit to strike up a correspondence.



3. Look for local organizations.

A lot of cities and states already have letter-writing clubs in place – could there be one near you? In pre-pandemic times – and, hopefully, post-pandemic times as well – such groups often host meetups where members can meet, greet, and swap letter-writing supplies.


4. Check Reddit.

R/penpals is an active subreddit where people can seek out penpals with similar interests; you might also find calls to write letters to seniors, students, or other similar groups



5. Sign up for Postcrossing.

Postcrossing is less about building long-term relationships as much as it is about exchanging postcards around the world. Every time you send a postcard to a random recipient, you’ll receive a postcard from a random sender. It works like this: When you sign up, you’ll receive a random recipient address and a Postcard ID number. When your postcard arrives, the recipient logs in your Postcard ID on the Postcrossing website; this allows your address to be deployed to another sender. The more you send, the more postcards you’ll receive.


A note about safety: It’s always safer to start with someone you know or have gotten to know online if you’re giving out your home address. But P.O. boxes are an age-old solution to protect your privacy, so if you’re serious about striking up pandemic pen pal correspondence with online users, a P.O. box might do a world of good in putting your mind at ease.