If you’ve been reading the blog lately, you’ll know that I’ve been catching up on long overdue correspondence, digging through and organizing my stationery supplies, accumulating postage stamps. It’s been great. Some of you have been lamenting that you need more people to write to, and so here we are!

To celebrate the fall, back to school, letter writing, and the postal systems of the world, we’re running another pen pal match up. This one is going to be a little different, so hold on tight.

To enter our pen pal match up, please send us a letter in the mail to our Studio Shop.

Our address is:

Wonder Pens Studio Shop
Pen Pal Match Up
290 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2G4

We are going to read through your descriptions and match you up. We will send you in the mail the original description we received from your pen pal match. We are going to judge you based on the legibility of your handwriting, choice of stationery and spelling. Just kidding! Of course not. We are going to read through your descriptions and try to find a kindred spirit for you in the pile. You’ll have to trust in our ability to read your aura through the mail.

Please include:

  1. Your name
  2. Your complete mailing address
  3. A description of yourself. Include whatever details you feel to be the most important. Or the least! Whatever you like.

Bonus question:
4. Favourite school supply as a kid

Please ensure your letter arrives by the end of September. In the case where your letter is late, we may very well have other stragglers and have enough to match up the stragglers, so there is always hope. However, best for everyone, including your poor humble stationers, to try to be on time.

Please try your best to follow these instructions. We occasionally get people that leave out critical information. Just imagine: you get a lovely, self-deprecatingly humorous, warm, and interesting description of someone, on absolutely fantastic stationery, who has left out something critical, such as their address! I can only imagine how challenging it would be to write them a letter, especially if your description also left out your address. A tragic case of sliding doors that we all want to avoid.

Please only enter if you’re willing to commit to the possibility of getting either a domestic or an international pen pal, no matter where you live. We are unable to commit in any way to requests for country-based pen pals.

One of the biggest problems with the pen pal matches in the past is that we are unable to offer after service support. We sometimes get people asking if they can exchange their pen pal for another because theirs is defective and unresponsive, and unfortunately, there are sometimes no extras in the warehouse. We do offer empathetic and sad Charlie Brown smiles that your pen pal didn’t write back to you, but sometimes those are hard to get over email.

Hopefully in this case, because you are both receiving each other’s addresses so even if one letter goes awry the other can still make it, and everyone is committed enough to writing letters that they actually wrote one in the first place, and made the effort to walk it all the way to the mailbox with a stamp on it, things should work out!

I hope you’re not deterred by all this not-so-fine print. In these sort of big organizing thrusts it’s best to lay out all the rules so there are no disappointments but that’s not to say that we don’t really hope everyone has a lot of fun. We have heard some lovely stories about pen pals who have been writing to each other since our earliest matches, or who have met up in real life, or others who want to sign up for the match because they know someone who got a really great pen pal and now they want their own.

I know the timing isn’t great for everyone—teachers heading back into the classroom, students beginning something new—so we will try our best to continue to offer match ups in different times and seasons of the year. Life also happens, and sometimes the pen pals you have in your life get busy or move away and it can be hard to find new people to write to, especially when the people you love in your life for some reason don’t enjoy writing letters back to you. Sometimes it takes a few goes at it to get the right connection. Life, eh.

In any case, please think about it, write in if you’re interested, and hopefully look forward to something in your mailbox (someone else’s description and address) sometime in October.


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Helen said:

I adore the pen pals I got from the quarantine mail, one in particular I have sent many letters to already and feel like we are getting to know each other well. I will definitely write this at my next available time. Thank you so much for doing this, I really appreciate it.


wonderpens said:

So important to stay connected in this time! Glad to hear you are enjoying your letter writing now.


wonderpens said:

Thanks so much for sharing! I really appreciate it.


Christine said:

I thought I wouldn’t get letters from one of my pen pals from the last match up, but really it just took a really long time for post to get from Canada to Greece and then back. It was so exciting to get a letter I never thought I would receive. I’m full up on letter writing for now, but I hope this exchange goes well!


wonderpens said:

That’s so lovely to hear! And how exciting to receive a letter all the way from Greece. We usually hear when people’s pen pals don’t work out—-haha. Some postal systems do take longer even in the best of times, and then of course when you add in the recent pandemic…


J.E.K. said:

Dear Liz,
I want you to be my pen pal!
(Only barely) kidding…i know you would have to give up all your jobs – mother, wife, writer, business owner, etc. etc. etc. to correspond with your legion of fans.
Anyway, i plan to sign up – we’ll see, this may be another paving job (to you-know-where) i am embarking on, but i do love the idea. I had international pen pals throughout my adolescence, and still think fondly of the experience. Thanks for the great initiative, and thanks for your terrific posts; they have been one of the great, surprising discoveries arising out of COVID-19.


wonderpens said:

Oh, terrific! So glad to hear it. It’s so nice to hear when a connection really works out. I will look forward to your letter!


Jon said:

What a lovely idea. I posted about it and hope others will share as well. Thanks for doing this.


wonderpens said:

As my pen pals can attest, I am not always a prompt correspondent, so I am honoured that you would consider me a potential candidate!

That’s terrific that you’re going to sign up. We never know how it’s going to go, how many submissions we’re going to get, so the more the merrier. And I’m glad you found us! It has been a while ride, with plenty of surprises for everyone, including us, but I’m glad we’ve been a nice one for you. :)


Rosemary said:

Great news! Thanks to your last pen-pal match-up, I’ve made a new friend who loves ink from your shop just as much as I do. Look out for my letter.

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