In today’s episode we will be talking all about letter writing societies.
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[00:00:00] John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 23 of stationary orbit, where we are all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host John West. And in today's episode, we'll be talking about letter writing societies. I've been on a mission lately to find out more about different pen pal grips and letter writing societies. And as I found out. We have to make a distinction between the two. You have the pen pal clubs. Where in a lot of the cases, it's a paid service and you get paired up with somebody who has similar interests to yours. That's typically in an area that's quite a bit distant from where you're at or possibly even around the world.
And. The letter running societies are actually very hyper localized. Down to usually a city level, and it's a society of folks that love to write snail now that get together and do it as a social function. What I was trying to do is find more of these letter writing societies. And I stumbled across a website called the directory of letter-writing societies. This was created in [00:01:00] 2019 by Megan Hellman, who is also the founder and letter writer and chief of the Colorado correspondence coalition, which is the group I found here in Boulder, Colorado.
That does the social letter writing. And this is where I got started with this idea. About trying to find out more about these letter writing. Society's just because they are. Such a different thing than the pen pal clubs are.
I went through the directory of letter-writing societies and most of the information that's on this website and I'll include the website in my show notes. Is links to Instagram accounts. And I all I wanted to do is I wanted to go through. A few of the more active Instagram accounts and talk about what these letter writing societies are doing and how a lot of them have really made the jump into the digital and zoom calls in 2020 to, to deal with the pandemic.
So the first one is the Arizona correspondence society. They actually had a letter writing social on [00:02:00] January 16th online. So there are definitely up to date.
The Coast Side letter writing society has posts up for the month of letters, 2021, which is also known as letter mo.com and also for Inco WriMo, which is international correspondents writing month, which I'm participating in this year. And what I started Stationary orbit for.
The Mojave correspondence club. I believe is a paid group. That also includes pen pals, but the Instagram account is actually a lot of fun and has a lot of different ideas for snail mail. And especially leading up to Valentine's day, there is a lot of pink, red and white on that Instagram account.
The Colorado correspondence coalition is actually my home group here in Colorado. I have attended. One of their meetings. I definitely apologize to the group. I should be attending more of those and I intend to, they actually have their next meeting on [00:03:00] March 7th. So that's coming up.
The Tampa Bay letter writers group. Has a social and it's actually associated with the paper seahorse. And so I'm going to include a link. To the paper, sea horse Instagram account, instead of the main link out to the. Tampa Bay letter ride her society. The paper seahorse definitely has a lot of fun, different ideas for snail mail and snail mail art. On their Instagram account. The Midwest. Letter society. Is. Mostly about finding pen pals on their Instagram account and they do repost some stuff. That's there for finding pen pals.
The St. Croix letter writing club is definitely an up-to-date website. And they have a monthly challenge up for February for the month of letters. And they also have a link out to snail [00:04:00] mail. Bingo. Which is on. The Postmark studio.com website and I'll make sure that I have a link to that in my show notes for this snail mail bingo, that's definitely looks like a lot of fun.
The New Mexico letter writer society looks to be more of a personal account. For an individual who wrote a book called letters to change the world. And the reason why I really wanted to include this particular Instagram account. In the list is because of some of the different letter writing and ideas that.
This Instagram account provides. And I think that there are some fun ones in there. Some of it's actually a lot of it is political, but definitely a lot of it is socially motivated and a worthwhile to go take a look at and follow. The New York city letter writer society. Is definitely.
, an active one and has a lot of interesting. Snail mail art.
All right. The Exeter community library letter, writing [00:05:00] society. Is. Another good. Up-to-date website. And. They're actually helping folks celebrate. Galentine's day. I've seen that out on Instagram at a little bit here of there recently. Which is an alternative for Valentine's day.
For a little bit more. Female solidarity.
The letter writing society is actually going to have a meeting on march 3rd, 2021. So there we go.
The snail mail social club. Is out of Tennessee out of Nashville. And they've also been doing some virtual stuff here recently. They actually have a pen pal search as one of their posts. Where you can comment. In the comments. And then if one of those, actually that looks interesting to you, you can DM them so you can get the address directly so you can write to them.
The lone star letter writers group is on And [00:06:00] they have some different. Envelope decorating ideas. There are a little less active on some of their posting, but they definitely have some interesting posts. And it definitely looks like it's a, an active group.
For the South sound letter writer's group. They've got the, narwhal as their. Mascot. And they even have a Bernie wearing his coat and mittens as a meme on for this. They are also into the Galentine's day female solidarity deal. And yeah, definitely a fun Instagram account.
That I've started following.
The Spokane. Correspondence club.
Is out of Spokane Washington and. They've got some different snail mail art that's out on their site. And it looks like they also do some stuff for pandemic postcard projects and other letter [00:07:00] writing campaigns.
The Laramie letter, writing community out of Laramie, Wyoming they actually have their virtual meeting on January 15th. And they've got some fun, little pieces of mail art and ephemera on their Instagram account.
And finally we have two different accounts that are on the directory that I considered to be a little bit different. We have the Victorian letter writer's Guild and they are a. Women only. Snail mail group. And this one I think is a little bit more of a pen pals group. But it's entirely for women.
And they do some pen pal pairing. Through that group. And then you also have dudes who write, which is on the other side of the spectrum, which is a. Guys, snail mail exchange. And I don't know how much in the, I don't know how much they do pairing, but they've definitely got [00:08:00] an active admin for that group. On Instagram.
If you're interested in other pen, pal clubs, I encourage you to go listen to my pen-pal primer. That included several of the other snail mail groups. That. Were pen pal related, and I want to really reemphasize a couple of different. Groups. That I've seen some really great results from, and one of them is geek girl pen pals, and their group of Iggles. I ended up. Interviewing one of their directors for one of my earlier stationary orbit episodes. And they really sound like a fun groups. They definitely have it where you're paired up with another pen pal. But in addition to that, they've got an entire social side of the group. Where they meet online.
And they have their own podcast called the charm bomb podcast. So definitely. Something that if you're a woman that you should go check out. [00:09:00] A geek girl, pen, pals club.
The other one that I've had really good luck with has been the pen addict, Slack, which you have to. Request access to, but they have their own spreadsheet for. Addresses for folks that are looking for pen pals and other folks to write too. And. The best part to me about the pen addict Slack. Snail mail group is that you get.
Documentation as you're going. So if you were write to somebody, when they receive it, A lot of the times they'll post up that they got the letter and they'll tag you in that post. So that to me, Really helps fill that need of not only having the analog and the snail mail side of things. Where you're writing the snail mail, but also the digital side of things that helps with the reporting and.
Documentation for that snail mail that's going out and you get a lot of stuff that's being posted on there. that also [00:10:00] gives you some really great ideas. For what you should be doing with your snail mail. And it's also a good group of people to ask questions for. If you're new into snail mail and you've got something that you want to ask about, they're always happy to help out.
So the. Last thing I wanted to talk about on today's episode are some of the other podcasts that are out in the stationary world. And I don't think I necessarily need to say it, but there's the pen addict podcast with Brad Dowdy and Mike Hurley. And that's the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
But some of the other ones that I want to talk about there's a brand new one out by Jenny Hinchcliffe called senders receive, and that one's entirely about mail art. And I think that's going to be a great show because jenny Hinchcliffe is very involved in the mail art community. And I think she's going to have some really great interviews coming up for some of the other mail artists.
So I did. I definitely encourage you to check that one out and subscribe to that [00:11:00] podcast.
And then the nibs section out of fountain pens, Oceania, which just ended their January break. And they're back with new episodes for this coming year. Another relatively new podcasts that I found and it's very much Inside baseball to a lot of the folks that are out there making, but for all of us, non makers,
It gives us a real insight too. What kind of. Pains and pleasures. Come out of making the fountain pens that we love so much. And even though you might never touch a lathe. It, I think it's really great information. And the guys that are running the podcast. Brad and Jason are both real characters and.
They've even had on Jonathan Brooks. And got had talked to the wizard of acrylics. Definitely it at the very least go check out that episode. And hopefully you'll subscribe to them. The Tokyo inklings out of Japan. Is in my opinion, a must listen for anyone who's [00:12:00] into Japanese fountain pens.
Jacob and CY have there. Fingers on the pulse of the Japanese market and really get into some of the Japanese exclusives and some of the Japanese concepts. Behind some of the fountain pens that come out of Japan. So I think that one's an absolute must listen.
And then there's last but not least the bent tines with Katherine and Matthew. And they're talking about. What it means to be a pen addict on the. Collector side of things and talking about. Things that they love about the fountain pen community and fountain pens in general, and just a very friendly banter between the two of them in any other guests that they have on. So that would be my last one that I would recommend for a subscription.
So hopefully this episode has helped you out in terms of finding some more Instagram accounts, finding some more podcasts to listen to, and helping you to find more letter writing societies that especially once the [00:13:00] pandemic has broken off. We will all be able to get back together again and really enjoy each other's company. And. Get that snail mail going and get it out there. Thank you all very much for listening in on this episode.