pen friends

Penpal Tip: Hazel says...

[Note: I will sometimes post tips I have received on penpalling from penpals to whom I am currently writing. This is the first such post.]

Here I have some tips from Hazel in New York. We have been pals since June 2016. She is a faithful penpal and often writes even more than once a month.


Hazel says: I think someone who is beginning to penpal, they have to love writing, people, learning about different cultures etc and have an adventurous mind.

I totally agree with Hazel. If you don’t love to write, after the first few letters, you’ll probably stop writing or you will be slower to respond. If you don’t love people and learning about different places, if a penpal writes something that you find strange or something you are opposed to (whether philosophically or morally), you might offend them with your response. Remember, if we are all alike, then some of us are unnecessary. As cliché as it sounds, variety really is the spice of life.

So spice up your life with people from different places and expand your mind...and your writing skills.

Keep calm and write on!


Friendship Books

In the world of penpalling, you will likely eventually run across friendship books. Perhaps a penpal will ask you: Do you swap FBs?

FB front.jpg

The friendship book is an interesting invention, for the penpal who is seeking new penpals and doesn't necessarily want to pay for them. I have penpals who only get new pals through FBs. I have included a picture of a FB cover above, but of course, there are varying degrees of creativity and quality in these FBs.

Inside the front cover of the FB, it says: FB made by (and lists the name of the creator) and for (and lists the name of the recipient). The by and for names can be the same. 

The idea is, if you wish to have new penpals, you put a mailing label (or write your address) with a few interests and your bday or at least your age. Then you forward it to a penpal of yours. The point is the FB goes around the world and collects addresses. Once the FB is full, it is intended to be sent back to the "for" recipient listed in the cover.

I have filled out many a FB in my years of penpalling, but I don't recall ever receiving a letter to say: I saw your name/address in a FB and thought I'd write to you. I have, however, written many a letter to names I found in a FB and I have gotten spotty response.

The key thing to remember about the FB is the abbreviations.


Another important thing to remember about FBs is that they tend to take a long time to get back to the intended recipient. In fact, I sometimes wonder if they EVER do. Some people will write the month/year they sign the FB and I've had FBs that seem to have been circulating for 5-10 years. (It actually might make a good experiment to get a FB going and see how long it takes to come back to you.)

Even though they don't seem so effective, I do enjoy receiving FBs because it's a great way to learn of potential new penpals.

Keep Calm and Write On!