About the Challenge

What is the Challenge?

It’s a simple challenge with two parts:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Because mail takes time to travel around the world, that might mean going beyond February.

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.

How Did Month of Letters Start?

In September 2010, author Mary Robinette Kowal took a month off from the internet. During a vacation, she told people that they could correspond with her by paper letter. After a great experience, in 2011, she issued the challenge. She thought it would be small. She was wrong.

Since 2016, LetterMo 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 us on the Facebook page

We’re not experts but we do our best because we love letter writing. 

Why Are Letters Special?

We find that we slow down and write differently in a letter, than we do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever you write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom you are writing. In some ways it forces us 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.