Writing a first letter can be challenging. In most cases you don't know much about the recipient and introducing yourself could turn into a boring monologue.

In all those years of pen palling I've written and received many first letters, and today I wanted to share with you 5 tips to write your first letter to who could become your new best friend!


It happened to me in the past to receive first letter in which people would write everything about them - from their favorite color, to the name of their neighbor's dog. If you flood a person with all sort of informations about yourself, they'll be more likely to forget about it, and besides, if you already told them everything there was to know about you, you're actually taking away the thrill of getting to know you gradually, just like it would happen in real life.
Include the basic informations about yourself, your hobbies, your hometown, but don't overdo it! 


You don't want your letter to be completely one sided, if you want your penpal to engage with you in a conversation, your letter should feel like one. They don't have to be complicated questions, just a "what about you?" Or a "what do you think about it?" After you've said something about yourself should work!


Not everyone is creatively inclined, but you don't have to be an artist to put together a nice letter. 
Something basic you want, is to make sure your handwriting is legible and tidy, that's the very least you can do to show your penpal that you actually took time off to write to them, and not just rushed a few facts on a piece of paper. Everything else, decoration wise, is good, but as I said, it might not be everyone's cup of tea. Among the things you could do - you can draw on your stationery, decorate it with washi tape or stickers, or even just use a nice patterned paper to begin with.


It very common for pen pals to send small goodies to each other. I wouldn't suggest you do it from the beginning, just in the unfortunate case that it doesn't work out, but adding even something trivial, like a magazine clipping with a picture of your hometown, could make your letter much more special.
If you're willing, you can also include something more personal such as a picture of yourself, or an artwork you made.


Don't take yourself too seriously, this person is about to become your friend so you have to keep this in mind. Don't write too formally, share an anecdote or two, be colorful, be loud, and don't be scared to put your personality on paper!


tnx to http://www.snailmaillove.com/blog/2015/7/1/5-tips-for-writing-a-first-letter-to-a-new-penpal

for great article :)

You asked for it, and here it is! After an overwhelmingly popular post, 50 Things To Tell Your Penpal, I’ve doubled your prompts to give you 50 more! That’s 100 total! I’m really glad that it’s been so well received, and I hope that it’s sparked inspiration for many introductory letters. This list is a bit more in depth and specific, for when you’re starting to get to know your correspondents better.

Penpal Prompts | Uncustomary Art

  • The best job you ever had
  • A funny and embarrassing story
  • Something silly you thought was true as a child
  • Describe your best friend or significant other
  • Describe your post office (or postal system if your penpal is in another country)
  • The highlights of a road trip you toko
  • What you’d do/did at your wedding
  • A time you met someone famous
  • Something you wish you had done in the past but you didn’t
  • If you spent the day at the beach, what activities you would partake in
  • What kind of dreams you have
  • The last time you did something for the first time
  • The kindest thing a stranger ever did for you
  • Thoughts/experiences with couch surfing

Penpal Prompts | Uncustomary Art

  • Places you would like to travel to
  • Your guilty pleasures
  • How you procrastinate
  • Your tattoos, piercings, birthmarks, scars, etc.
  • Your nervous habits
  • Areas of life you’re confident enough to give advice in
  • Your pet peeves
  • What you’d want to do if you were in New York City for a day
  • Fads that should never have been brought back

Penpal Prompts | Uncustomary Art

  • Your ideal party
  • Where you get your stationery and pens
  • Favorite fictional character
  • Favorite flavors and scents
  • Something that cheers you up without fail
  • How you sleep at night (clothes, doors, temperatures, etc.)
  • How you store received mail
  • Your views on the nature vs. nurture debate
  • Favorite place in your city to take someone new to
  • Favorite thing to shop for
  • Do you believe in fate, destiny, or luck?
  • Whether you know how to drive a stick shift
  • First e-mail address/screen name
  • Whether you like to be surprised
  • What kind of phone you have
  • What you thought you’d be when you grow up
  • Your heritage
  • What you’re attracted to in a new friend (or romantic partner)
  • Whether you sing in the shower
  • What super power you’d choose
  • Whether or not you mind receiving confetti in your mail
  • What one food you wish was super healthy
  • Whether you’re “outdoorsy”
  • The best piece of mail you’ve ever received
  • Least favorite chore
  • What you would name your next child, dog, hamster, car, etc.
  • Share your favorite quotes


From : http://uncustomary.org/50-things-tell-penpal/

Uh oh! “You’ve been paired!” The email that sends chills down Iggles spines, whether they’re new to the IGGPPC or veteran members. It can be terrifying to try to make that first connection. What should you say? How long should you wait for a response? What if your pen pal seems like a real jerk? Here are some tips for making sure you’re doing your part to keep your relationship at its best!

When you send off your first email to your pal, send a lengthy introduction about yourself with proper grammar and capitalization. Make sure to ask questions about your pal as well.

Imagine this: You get paired with a stranger from across the globe, and the first thing they write to you is, “wuts ur addy” – Um, what? I need to know you first! Make sure you write them at least 5 sentences talking about yourself first so they know exactly who they have been paired with. You can use this formula:

  • Hi, my name is _______ and I am so glad we have been paired!
  • I listed these things as my top 5 geek loves! How about you?
  • I live in this country! How about you?
  • Write back and then we can swap addresses!
  • Love, your Pen Pal

Be respectful of your pen pals time.

Sometimes our lives can get hectic, so make sure to give your pal at least 2 weeks to write back. There’s no need to pepper their inbox with emails daily, so that when they finally get around to checking them they have 10 new messages from a total stranger. If they don’t write back within 2 weeks, you can attempt to contact us to either be re-paired with a new pen pal, or ask us to try to contact your pal. Sometimes emails get caught up in pesky spam folders, so your pen pal just might have missed your email.

Determine how committed of a pen pal you want to be, and be up front about it.

If you’re a student or you work long hours, you might not want to send a letter every week – perhaps only once a month, or perhaps only one time. Make sure you’re honest and up front about the level of commitment you want to put into the relationship, and don’t take it personally if your pen pal doesn’t want a very committed relationship of letter writing – perhaps they just wanted some cool candy or coins from another country! If you were really hot and heavy for a very committed pen pal, you can always write to this person once, and then sign up again on the 15th of the next month for a new pal. You might have better luck!

Don’t be afraid to be honest with your pen pal if they hurt your feelings.

If your pen pal has been ignoring you, sending you short quick responses that don’t make sense, or just plain said something rude, speak up! Your pen pal is not a mind reader, and open and honest communication is vital to a good relationship. So speak up because your pen pal ain’t gonna call Miss Cleo!

Connect with your pen pal online as well as offline.

Sending mail around the globe can take weeks and sometimes even months to arrive at it’s destination, so try to reach out to your pal in other ways. Email, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are all good examples of how you can make the connection online. You can also chat up other Iggles by using #IGGPPC to see who else is out there chatting in our community. Maybe you and your new pen pal can get to chatting in our forums! Or perhaps you can send them a friendly poke on Facebook! The possibilities are limitless.

Do you want to sign up for a pen pal! Head over here!


From:  http://geekgirlpenpals.com/2014/02/5-tips-for-making-a-good-connection-with-your-pen-pal/

50 Things To Tell Your Penpal | Uncustomary Art

I’m obviously a huge fan of snail mail. I think it’s a fantastic way to interact and connect with other people. I’ve found that I’m much more likely to relate with someone I meet through the mail than someone I meet in person, just because the internet has tailored our ability to find like-minded people. The thing is, some people are intimidated by contacting a stranger. This is completely understandable, but today I’m going to give you some suggestions of things to talk about in your postcards and letters.

I’ve received an enormous amount of introductory letters that state something to the effect of “I don’t ever know what to write in an introduction about myself!” You can use any combination of the 50 suggestions below to give your penpal a better idea about who you are. It’s all about sharing and connecting!

Stay till the end to get a free mail log printable!

Penpal Prompts | Uncustomary Art

  • States and countries you’ve been to
  • People you’d invite to a celebrity dinner
  • Your family members, and something they each like and dislike
  • What you’d put in a time capsule
  • Parts of society that you’d like to change
  • Things you’re really good at
  • Everything you’ve eaten in the past twenty-four hours
  • Things that you do every day
  • Your favorite TV shows, movies, bands, or books
  • The things you’ve dressed up as for past Halloweens
  • Unusual facts about you
  • Things that make you happy
  • Your duties at work
  • What you’re currently seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and feeling
  • What you collect
  • Goals lists for this month or year
  • Times you’ve performed for other people
  • Awards you’ve won
  • Nicknames you’ve had (and how you got them)
  • Sports you’ve played and/or hobbies you’ve had

Penpal Prompts | Uncustomary Art

  • Your favorite color
  • Your favorite cuisine
  • Your favorite beverages
  • Your favorite season
  • Your favorite word
  • Your favorite number
  • Your favorite holiday
  • Your favorite quote
  • Your favorite blog
  • Your favorite superhero
  • Your favorite Disney movie
  • The type of letters/mail you like to receive
  • The most adventurous thing you ever did
  • Your preferences: hot vs. cold, cats vs. dogs, ketchup vs. mustard, etc.
  • Whether you believe in god, ghosts, aliens, and/or magic
  • Your main mode of transportation
  • How tall you are
  • When your birthday is
  • The last movie you saw in theaters (and how it was)
  • How you would describe your fashion style
  • Your life story in six words
  • What shoes you wear the most of
  • Any fears you have
  • What you were like in high school
  • Weird/awkward dates you’ve been on
  • Something illegal you’ve done
  • Why you like mail and how you got into it
  • The silliest thing you did in the past week
  • What you would wish for right now
  • Something funny or cute your pet did



From: http://uncustomary.org/50-things-to-tell-your-penpal/


25 things to write to your pen pal about

So, you've exchanged a few letters with your pen pal and are now wondering what things to write about next.  I've had a couple of emails asking for ideas on this topic, so thought I'd put together a blog post for you.  Here we go:


  • Tell them about your weekend & include something fabulous that you did.
  • Share a favorite recipe and include some background information about it.
  • Do you have any trips coming up soon, or are you saving for a special holiday somewhere in the world?
  • Where are your dream destinations to visit and ask your pen pal about their favorite places too.
  • A good movie that you've watched lately - or perhaps a list of movies that you love.
  • Share what your average day looks like, from breakfast through to bed. This might seem boring to you, but it's always interesting to hear how other people fill in their day.
  • What creative project are you working on right now and then extend this by telling them about the materials used, time frame and any other details. Take a photo of your project and include it in your letter.
  • Is your pen pal from overseas? If so, tell them about some traditions that you have in your country.
  • Do you have any family traditions that you can share with your pen pal?
  • Write about how you relax and unwind at the end of a day, or after work.
  • Talk about your favorite television shows or what type of music you're loving at the moment.  Who are you favorite bands or singers?
  • Do you have a backyard?  Maybe it's filled up with a trampoline and swing set, or you're longing for a veggie garden.  Perhaps you keep chooks, grow flowers or weeds.  Tell your pen pal about this, include a photo or sketch out your yard - people are always curious as to what their pen pals surroundings are like.  Ask your pen pal to share some things about their yard too.
  • With Christmas approaching you could fill an entire letter on this subject - perhaps make it a theme for one letter and talk about all things Christmas, if you celebrate it of course!  There are lots of things that fall under this subject - festive decorations in the home, gifts that you're giving, gifts you're hoping to receive, your tree (real or fake), how you spend the day, traditions, meal plan, festive baking, holiday plans, what you do on Boxing day, the weather in your city at this time of year, whether you send out cards or not and whether you dress up all fancy for the day.
  • Your favorite foods.
  • Five things that make you happy.
  • Your fears and/or things that you're scared of.
  • What book are you reading at the moment, what is your favorite book of all time, what books are on your wish list?
  • If you're a magazine reader, tell your pen pal about which ones you buy.  Perhaps pop a pre-loved magazine in the post for them to enjoy.
  • If you have a crafty stash, tell your pen pal what's in it, where you store everything and if you have a designated craft room.  Include a photo or two with your letter.
  • Something that's inspiring you at the moment.
  • Your favorite month or season and why.
  • Share something fun, like what do you keep in your handbag and ask your pen pal to share their details too.
  • Are you a night owl?  How many hours of sleep do you have each night?  How do you fill in your evenings?
  • What's in your neighbourhood?  Tell you pen pal about your immediate surroundings, describe the area and tell them something you love about living where you do.
  • What are you addicted to?

My top tip would be to just cover one or two topics per letter and if you include some related questions to your pen pal, then it also gives them something to write back to you about.  Hopefully you're now ready to write, write, write!






Questions about penpals and how to find pen pal friends