I was perusing the internet last month and came across the Write_On Challenge, an event where people write 30 letters in 30 days in April. Turns out Write_On “is a campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression, and connection through hand-written correspondence.” I can get behind that! Who doesn’t enjoy receiving REAL mail in their mailbox?
Sadly I only managed to send out a couple of handwritten notes during the month of April. The good news is that I got myself an old manual typewriter and I’ve been writing with quite a bit. (My husband always asks if I’m writing some kind of crazy-person manifesto on it. Hah!) So far my recipients are enjoying my notes. Or possibly they’re just humoring me.
Write_On led me to the Letter Writers Alliance, and I had to join! At $5 for a lifetime membership how could I resist? There I discovered people doing really fun and interesting stuff with mail. The blog includes lots of interesting history about stamps, the postal service, and letter writing in general. They have a quarterly book club and a bunch of free downloads, as well as a pen-pal program to connect members who want to correspond with each other. When I look at all the cool activities they offer, like letter-writing socials, I feel a pang of jealousy. I’d love to have something like that around here.
The LWA led me down the rabbit hole of mail art. I checked out Kelsey Projects’ The DIG Mail Art Exhibition @ The Miami Township Branch Library. It was a fun little show. I’m fascinated by the things people send through the mail and how the scuffs and stamps become part of the piece. And I love seeing what local artists are doing. It’s very encouraging!
There’s a film available online for free called “Making Mail” and I highly recommend it. The movie features a variety of mail artists who talk about their work and why they do what they do.