Happy New Year! It's already January 2017 - hard to believe, but we're embracing it here. And, before we've even got our teeth into January, we're looking ahead to February! February is International Correspondence Writing Month, InCoWriMo for short, where the goal is to write and send a letter everyday - and hopefully get to receive a few letters, as well!
February is a great month for this because it's a short month, and it's also when, as Canadians, we've really begun to get cabin fever with all the snow and cold weather. It's a nice way to connect or re-connect with people, and to give your favourite fountain pens some fresh ink. For some inspiration, here's a blog post I wrote in 2015 on a few tips for making it through InCoWriMo. The one I most highly recommend is taking an hour or two at the end of January and getting set up with a calendar and all of the addresses written out. There's nothing that takes the buzz out of letter writing like having to suffer through a fruitless search for an address after having written your beautiful poetry on a page. You can write to the same person, family members, pen pals, politicians, long-lost friends or lovers, your local shops and businesses, authors - anyone you can think of! Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find someone to write to. I did a blog post a while back on how to find a pen pal, but I thought with this special month, and the difficulty with finding enough people to write to (especially if they may not be able to get back to you for you to respond again within the month!) we would host a pen pal match up. How it works is that you'll fill out the Google form, we'll collect everyone's information and then sort it all out. You will receive (via email) one person's mailing address, and someone else will receive yours. You should have one person to write to, and someone else should be writing to you, hopefully all to be some time in February. If the person who is writing to you writes early enough, you may even have time to write them back during InCoWriMo. None of the information you submit on the form, other than your name and mailing address, will be given to your prospective match. All of the questions are just so we can try to match everyone up as best we can.
You may notice on the form that that you can check whether or not you are interested in a long term correspondence (as opposed to just writing once during InCoWriMo). We are hoping to pair everyone up according to interests as best we can, and also if they are open to having a long-term correspondence, but there are no guarantees. In fact, we cannot even guarantee that someone will write to you, although we really hope it all works out. You are also more than welcome to just sign up for a one-time correspondence, if you know you might not have time to commit long-term, but want to sign up for the fun. In order to participate, you need to get the form filled out to us by January 20th. This is so we have time to match everyone up and get mailing addresses out by the end of January. If you would like to submit after this, you can still go ahead, and if there are other people who are late, we might be able to accommodate, but you might also get no one at all. In that case, you can always write to us here at the shop! And speaking of writing to us at the shop, we would love it if you did! Our address is: Wonder Pens 250 Carlaw Avenue, Unit 105 Toronto, Ontario M4M 3L1 Canada Please feel free to share this with anyone else you think might be interested - whether or not they are customers at the shop, live outside of Canada, or are even fountain pen users. In fact, this sort of pen pal match up may be good fun for people living outside of Canada, as they'll likely be matched with a Canadian, and it'll be exciting explaining how our igloos work.  

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January 03, 2017 — wonderpens

Comments

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Yes, it’s been really terrific to see how many people have signed up! And how exciting for you to meet up with one of them – some of my favourite friendships are through correspondence :)

John

John said:

Hi there! Will you be doing another one of these at some point? I only recently discovered you guys (Ottawa native here!) and missed this!

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

We will! We are planning on opening up the match for submitting your information in early August, and sending out matches late August or early September. Stay tuned! :)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

It is great practice to get writing again, and hopefully get some ink running through your pens. Here’s to many wonderful letters flying through the post!

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I hope you got someone in Canada! Actually, I was a bit surprised by the number of international correspondents. It was a pleasure to organize, quite a lot of fun actually, and we’re hoping to do it again this summer!

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I agree! It’s a nice way to get writing again, and to get to know someone new as well :)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

It was our pleasure! Wishing you a wonderful time of correspondence ahead :)

Pulmu

Pulmu said:

Thank you for the great pen pal match up. I received a letter today from a lovely lady who asks me kindly to write soon. But she had not enclosed her address. So, I suspect she thinks that I already have her address. Can you help me?

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I’m so sorry that there was no return address enclosed! Could you send us an email (info@wonderpens.ca) and we can see if we can help you out? Perhaps this will be an enduring friendship that will overcome a few bumps!

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I hope you enjoy it! It’s something that I hope ends up being both a bit of fun, but also leads to a good friendship :)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

So glad to hear it! Wishing you good luck and perseverance and lots of fun :)

Sharon Parsons

Sharon Parsons said:

What a great idea!! I had pen pals when I was younger, and still write to two of them! We even met when she came to see me on vacation!!
So exciting!!

Biggi

Biggi said:

I’m so excited for this! Thank you Liz. I just signed up!
I’m from a generation where you could either telephone or hand- or type-write a letter/ postcard to a person. ? never liked the type writer – too impersonal! As I am typing away on my iPhone! But that’s different, right?

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I’m so glad to hear it! It’s exciting for us to hear just about everyone getting ready for the month or to write to their new pen pals. Wishing you two wonderful friendships over correspondence :)

Margo McIntosh

Margo McIntosh said:

Just signed up. I haven’t had a pen pal since I was in public school and that is too many years ago to even think about right now. Should be fun!

Marilyn Elphick

Marilyn Elphick said:

This is a great idea. Look forward to this. Used to have a pen pal when I was younger. This is a wonderful creative exercise

Merrie Lindsay

Merrie Lindsay said:

Thank you for doing this Liz. It’s a lot of extra work for you but your efforts are very much appreciated.

Pamela Keown

Pamela Keown said:

Thanks Liz for doing this :)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Thanks for participating! I’m pretty excited :)

Peter

Peter said:

This would be great. It’s always nice to get mail. And it would be great practice to write again. My writing is so sloppy now!

Nikki

Nikki said:

2017 is my first year of participating in InCoWriMo and I’m really looking forward to it :)

Kevin Love

Kevin Love said:

Happy New Year!

A pen friend exchange is a great idea. I have pen friends, but they are all in other countries. I have been thinking about someone in Canada and here is my chance.

Thank you for organizing the exchange!

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