It’s Time to Write a Letter

Before Facebook and Twitter, “vintage social media” was the hand-written letter. To rekindle the art of the letter, every year in February, people all around the world commit themselves to a goal: to write one letter every day for the entire month. That’s 28 hand-written letters, cards or notes — a great way to help motivate anyone to pick up a pen and put their ideas to paper. International Correspondence Writing Month, or InCoWriMo, was inspired by National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which challenges writers to complete a novel in a month by writing every day. See how the idea came to be here.

Letters written for this challenge do not have to be lengthy, but they do have to be written by hand. They can be hand-delivered or mailed, depending on who you’d like to write to. Participants do not need 28 people to write to either; they can write to one person every day of the month or different people in rotation. You can also write to people you don’t know from the InCoWriMo address book or perhaps celebrities, prisoners or retirement home residents. If letters are not quite your style, there are always short notes, shared poetry or postcards; the possibilities are truly endless. P.S. Valentine’s Day cards count!

Although it is already the thirteenth day of the month, you can still participate in this great event; simply start writing! If you want to commit entirely, you can write 12 letters and a new one tomorrow, but that shouldn’t discourage you. Feel free to share any of your letter-writing accoutrements with the library, be they fountain pens, fun stamps or stationery. The Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library in the Special Collections and Archives Division is very familiar with stamps, air mail and stationery. Stop by for some inspiration Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 3.504 on the third floor of the library.

— Cassandra Zawojek

Page Last Updated: February 13, 2018