Monday, August 22, 2016

My First Letter Writing Social

A Letter Writing Social Tablescape
I have been hearing about Letter Writing Socials for years, especially from Pamela at Cappuccino and Art Journal and Mary England of Uncustomary.  The main goal of the letter writing social is to keep the art of the written letter alive in this age of emails and other digital communications.

Like-minded people gather around typewriters, pretty papers, pens, stickers, decorative tapes and other staples of the traditional-meets-modern letter writer.  They sit at tables that are deliciously crowded with supplies and other letter-writers' works-in-progress.  They sip tea, or coffee, or wine--depending on the venue--and leave with postcards or letters written, stamped, and ready to send.
The Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg, PA
I attended my first Letter Writing Social in mid-August at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Cafe in Harrisburg, PA.  Our organizer Anne had loads of supplies to offer us, and several of us brought contributions, as well.  My mother came along with me, and I had an opportunity to see my old friend Becky (the Snail Mailer) and meet the illustrious Mary England, blogger-author-and-life enthusiast, promoter of self-love and creativity.
My Mom and I, fan-girling with Mary
Our location was perfect--tables set up right in the heart of the bookstore.  Not only did we have attendees who knew of the event ahead of time, but we also drew in passers-by who were often mystified and then delighted to discover that we were "just sitting there writing letters."
Our organizer, Anne, with Mary England at the start of the social
Our typewriter station, with Becky on the right
We had some young participants who enjoyed the mysteries of the ancient typewriter.
Sometimes the letter-writing became a family affair:
And there were some couples who made Sunday a letter-writing afternoon date:
There was lots of enthusiasm generated by the social, whether expressed by diligent work or big smiles.
For my part, I prepared several postcards, and wrote messages on three of them (including one I mailed to myself!).  Everyone was generously sharing their supplies (to the extent that they were saying, "Take these papers, take these stickers---please!) so I expanded some of my mail art stash as well.
And if ever I needed some visual inspiration, I could always gaze around at my favorite sight--shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.  They have an impressive collection of over 200,000 new and used books, and offer a popular community meeting space in my state's capital city.
Anne is already planning the next Letter Writing Social in October.  I am looking forward to getting back to my mail art making and letter writing, with the help of Mary's Snail Mail eCourse.  If you are interested in finding out more about the fun of old-fashioned/new-fangled letter writing, Mary has tons of resources, and you can email me at for more information too!


Anne's Mail said...

Great post! Thanks so much for coming to the social

Susanne said...

Oh a bookstore looks to be a perfect venue for this type of event, which I had never heard of, and now will definitely look into.

Crealice said...

what a great idea (and also to write a postcard to yourself)

Linda said...

Hello Andria. I love, love, love this idea of getting together to write letters. I just wish I had someplace nearby to do this too. Hmmm. I will have to check this out further. I'm also going to check out the e-course. Thanks for the info. and links...Linda E. said...

Andria -- oh look at you!! And Mary!! How fun -- aren't letter writing socials wonderful??? And what a delightful space, I love how this whole idea is spreading. Great post. And thanks for the shout-out too. Funny, i posted about a letter writing social this time too -- the word is getting out!