Another way to be there.
Put a bit of happiness on paper.
In celebration of National Card and Letter Writing Month (May), we thought it would be great to design the ABCs of Letter Writing. It's a big project (bigger than we imagined) and though it would be convenient to create the stamps in alphabetical order, inspiration is random. Read more about the stamps here.
Books & Movies
(that feature letter writing!)
84, Charing Cross Road
by Helene Hanff
The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects
by John Tingey
Good Mail Day,
A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art
by Jennie Hinchcliff/Carolee Gilligan Wheeler
The Elements of Style
I Will Always Write Back
How One Letter Changed Two Lives
Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda with Liz Welch
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer,
Griffin & Sabine
An Extraordinary Correspondence
by Nick Bantock
The Jolly Postman
by Janet & Allen Ahlberg
Posterity, Letters of Great Americans to Their Children
by Dorie McCullough Lawson
84, Charing Cross Road
with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins
with Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish
Letters to Juliet
with Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave, Marcia DeBonis
with Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah
Founded to raise awareness for literacy, Letters Live hosts events where performers read aloud memorable letters. Touching and funny, and definitely worth a look.
LETTERS OF NOTE
Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Read letters written by well-known writers, actors, musicians, comedians, and politicians including President Obama, Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards, photographer Annie Liebovitz, and actress Elizabeth Taylor.
A showcase of business and personal stationery design. From the elaborate to the simple, see stationery samples from Walt Disney, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Nelson Mandela.
From letters to recipes, grocery lists to essays, a little bit of everything that is handwritten.
What to Write About?
Write about your day.
It was early in the day and I was collecting stationery, stamps, and a decent pen to write a letter to my in-laws when I heard the neighbor's chickens. At least two of them were sounding, and it was loud. So loud that I stopped to peek out the kitchen window to be sure they were safe inside the coop.
When I settled in to write, I wrote about the chickens:
The neighbor's chickens are squawking. The chicken coop sits on the low end of the backyard just over the property line and we can see them from the back porch.
In the evening we like to sit on the porch and watch them — we call it chicken TV.
One chicken goes in the coop, they all go in. One comes out, they all come out. And peck, peck, peck. There's Ziggy (the hen with orange feathers), and Jimmy (the speckled one), and three others, and they spend a good part of the day circling in and out of the coop. Peck, peck, pecking. In and out, in and out, peck, peck, peck.
And when they lay eggs, they squawk. One echoing the other. One egg, squaawk; two eggs, squaaawk; then all together--SQUAAWK, SQUAAAWK, SQUAAAWK!
The chicken letter was a big hit and it gave us plenty to talk about when we visited a few weeks later.
And that's something to squawk about!
3 Tips for
Business Thank You
If you’re in a position to write a thank you note to an associate or business contact, congratulations!
Writing a note is a gracious way to say thank you, and it's likely to make a good impression.
Some things to consider:
1) Be sure to get the person’s name right, first and last. Is it Smith or Smyth?
Start with Dear _________,
Just remember, Mark could be Marc and Smith could be Smyth—don't make any assumptions.
Take a look at the person's business card if you have one, go online to check, or if you must, call the office and tell them you’re writing a note (I've made the call because in the end the call is far less embarrassing or potentially harmful than spelling someone's name wrong).
2) Start with a draft.
A draft will help you organize your thoughts. You’ll be editing as you go along and it would be a shame to waste good paper.
Start by talking about them. Refer to something specific about your meeting, interview, or encounter, and use details ("It was good to learn more about your __________ ," or "Your __________ is _________"), and keep it positive.
Then state what you’re writing about: are you thanking them for their time, a lead, helping you meet a deadline?
If you’re feeling stuck, make a list of the points you want to cover. Then, try saying what you want to say—out loud. Say it again and write it down. Read what you have, edit, and edit again. Avoid using words you’d never say in conversation, and keep it brief—two or three sentences will do.
Then close with what’s next. Do you want another meeting, are you looking forward to talking with them again or seeing them at an event? Ask or say what you want to happen.
3) Use personalized stationery or a simple note card.
Hand write your note, preferably with blue or black ink, use classic stationery (white or cream paper), with matching envelope, or a simple note card.
Finally, end your note with something simple like, “Sincerely,” or “All the best,” and sign your name.
Though starting and composing a note can be awkward, the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets.