Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Charming Challenge

In February I'm joining in the 2014 edition of a month of letters, a correspondence-writing challenge created by author Mary Robinette Kowal. Here's a description of the challenge in her words:

"In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items. All you are committing to is to mail 23 items. Why 23? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 23 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month."

Postal rates here in the U.S. are increasing as of January 26th, so if you want to join in figure stamps for 23 first class, one ounce letters will run you $11.27 for domestic and $26.45 for international.

While I have a fairly constant circle of correspondents to whom I write regularly, I thought it would be interesting to add a personal spin to my participation by sending half of my letters to people I don't know very well and/or with whom I've had only very limited contact. It's easy to write to close friends and family; a bit tougher to reach out to someone who is simply an acquaintance.

I'll report back at the beginning of March on how it went. Anyone else interested in taking up the challenge? Let us know in comments.


  1. The last real letter I wrote, and email doesn't count, was four years or so ago, to an aunt in Scotland. I wrote three and didn't hear anything back but can't find anything on what might have happened to her and no one else there to contact.

    Writing letters is becoming a lost art with the growth of the internet and the ease of texting. I think it would be great fun to do something like this!

  2. Hmm. It's very tempting. Just not sure I could keep it up without interruption. I've always loved writing letters. And there's something much more personal about it than emails or IMs.
    And I was going to suggest buying enough Forever stamps to get through it. At the current 46 cents, they'd maintain their full first class value even after the rate change.

  3. Fran K3:49 AM

    I haven't written a real letter in ages but when I was on overseas postings I used to write 4-6 letters a week, always about 3 pages long and I loved receiving them. I don't know if I've got the commitment to do this or the people to write to!

  4. I'm tempted as well.

  5. I am definitely tempted, but I will need stationery. I used to write letters all the time.

  6. I have been a life long letter writer and pen pal starting at age 9 and still write to many of those early pen friends (I am 58) I joined the 2013 month of letters challenge and made quite a few new pen pals one of the offerings of last years challenge. If there is another challenge for 2014 I plan to enroll again. I hope you decide to take a chance and write a few letters.


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