What is the Month of Letters Challenge?
It’s a simple challenge with two parts.
- In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
- Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.
All you are committing to is to mail 24 items. Why 24? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 24 items. (In Canada, it would be 19 items – 4x 5 day weeks minus 1 holiday). You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month.
The second part of the LetterMo pledge is equally important: Write back to everyone who writes you. During these pandemic times and overloaded mail systems, that might mean going beyond February.
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Write love letters, thank yous, or simply notes to say that you miss an old friend. Send a fabric swatch from your new dress. A feather you picked up while on a walk. Whatever it is, let yourself step away from the urgency of modern life and think about an audience of one. Think of it as sending 24 little gifts. And, who knows, you might enjoy going to the mail box again.
Since 2016, Letter Mo has been run by a small group of volunteers who take time out of their own busy lives to help this project run, usually during January to April, and check in when time allows during the rest of the year. That means real human beings take time to review all applicants and approve them, not robots. We take the time to try to ensure the spammers don’t get through so you have a good experience. So please be kind and patient. During the “off season”, you may get a quicker response if you message on the Facebook page.
We’re not experts but we do our best because we love letter writing.
How did LetterMo start?
In September 2010, I took a month off from the internet. During my vacation, I told people that they could correspond with me by paper letter. It was fun, so in 2011, I issued the challenge. I thought it would be small. I was wrong.
What’s so special about letters?
I find that I slow down and write differently in a letter, than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. “By the time you get this…” It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral.
How so? You send a physical artifact through the mail. Whether it is a letter, or a fabric swatch, your recipient has something that your hands have touched. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because letters are one of a kind. I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.