It is International Correspondence Writing Month, which is February, which is the month during which you write a letter a day to whomever you like. It’s lovely, and I do often, or at least usually, write a few letters in February, although I’ve never successfully completed an InCoWriMo. My stamina is low (it’s pathetic) and my mind is filled with holes, the holes filled with stagnant air and the longing for some sort of crispy potato something.


But how lovely, really, to begin up a correspondence with someone. We are just on the tail end of our latest Pen Pal Match Up, most of the letters having filtered in for our anticipated close off this upcoming Monday, and I’ve already started getting sorted through them. We typically get several hundred, and this looks to be another good round. I love reading some of the descriptions of your pen pals, descriptions of yourselves, each of your own ways of signing off or adding the ink you’ve used or the things you’ve included to pass along to your new pen pal.


I’m terribly sorry if you end up missing out on the pen pal match up (although as of this post there are still a few more days). It’s always more fun when more people join! But please don’t be anxious or disappointed, and certainly don’t be upset. Rest assured you can still write letters all you like, and there are lots of websites online where you can find pen pals, or you could write to family or friends. If you’d like to make sure you hear about our next match up, your best way to keep up is to follow along on Instagram, through our email newsletter or read the blog regularly, as we announce the match up in advance, and throughout the open period multiple times.


In any case, I continue to enjoy writing my own letters, having caught up on a bit of my correspondence over the last several weeks, which is great timing because looking ahead over the next couple of weeks, I’m very much looking forward to all the matching and sending off for these pen pals. We are in a bit of upheaval here in our apartment above our defunct studio shop, as we take yet another tremulous step in our years-long-destined-to-be-decades renovation, renovation being a very loose and optimistic term, but on the plus side I’ve been forced to organize and sort through my drawers and shelves and boxes of stationery, much of which has been stored willy-nilly, jammed into open spaces, samples from vendors I’m now interested in bringing in, outdated catalogues and old special editions that I’m finally inking up, books I’ve been meaning to read, opened and half-used packages of things that I’m trying to sort altogether to use in a more organized manner. The point of all that was just to say that I’ve been doing some sorting and all/most/some small amount of my stationery is now in order and I’m now in order to start my end of the match up.


There really is nothing more satisfying than a nice stack of correspondence.

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February 18, 2022 — Liz Chan



Julie said:

I have been waiting ages to find out about the Pen Pal Match up and just read that it is almost over!! Is there any way I can still enter – by email? I really would love to participate! I make my own cards and envelopes and have always loved letter writing! Anyhow, hope I can still enter. Thanks a bunch, Julie in Ottawa

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