"Your lovely low-key style and obvious joy in connecting and sharing this passion is a delight."
Writing Practice by the Letter
The writing workshop with Surprising Returns*
Book Your Workshop
Writing Practice by the Letter is a fresh approach to break-out sessions for conferences, training, and enrichment programs.
Workshops run 1-1/2 hours.
Class size limited to 20
Workshop materials include:
• tip sheets: writing, punctuation, and common writing challenges
• sample letters by well-known and not-so-well-known personalities
• stationery from our in-house selection
• stamps from our collection of vintage and forever stamps
• inspiring bonus materials
Get in touch today to book your workshop, and improve your writing . . . and well-being.
"Loved this workshop. It has gotten me over the hurdle of being daunted by writing."
Let's start with thank you.
THANK YOU NOTES: the win-win of letter writing. There's no way around it. When you express your thanks and gratitude you feel better.
In this three-part series, we begin with letters of thanks and gratitude, move on to storytelling and reaching out.
Designed to develop an ongoing writing routine, each session begins with a review of best practices, is followed by writing time, and ends with outgoing mail.
Session 1: Getting Started
We'll begin with:
• letter writing 101
• gathering your materials
• writing a draft, editing, and rewriting
• but my handwriting(!)
Session 2: Editing Your Work
In this session, we focus on:
• a primer on mail art: stationery and envelopes
• talk about word choice and opening lines
• trimming the fat
• a look at common mistakes
Session 3: Storytelling
Whether it's a a book, an email, or a letter, we'll talk about how to:
• get and keep your reader's attention
• use stories in your writing
• write in a conversational tone
Research and experience shows that writing letters of gratitude can foster a sense of well-being.
Depressed, broke, and in the middle of his second divorce, attorney John Kralik found renewed optimism and happiness writing thank you notes. In his book A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life he writes the story of how writing 365 thank you notes turned his life around.
In Letters of Gratitude: Improving Well-Being through Expressive Writing, Steven Toepfer and Kathleen Walker studied the impact of writing letters of gratitude. Would it boost a person's sense of well-being?
They found: Just three installments of 10-15 minutes (average writing time for 35% of the sample) and one page in length (53% of the sample) was sufficient to usher in positive change. This suggests that as an intentional activity, letters of gratitude can have important benefits for authors in a relatively short period of time.
The findings presented in this study indicate that putting one’s feeling and thoughts of gratitude on paper has real benefits after the pen leaves the paper. The preexisting and often silent resource of gratitude can be mobilized in the pursuit of not happiness alone but toward the growth of gratitude and ultimately well-being.
Toepfer, S., & Walker, J. (2009). Letters of Gratitude: Improving Well-Being through Expressive Writing. Journal of Writing Research