7 Ways to Find a Pen Friend

Recently, a fellow blogger asked how I connect with people who love snail mail as much as I do. In this post, I’ll list some sites/projects that have helped me find and maintain pen pals all over the world. Surprisingly, letter writing isn’t as much of a dying art as people tend to think. I’ve found that there still many people who continue to write and send mail. Do you participate in these projects or know of any others? Check these out and hopefully you’ll meet a few pen-pals along the way!


1. Postcrossing 

What is it? “It’s a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world.” I have received 362 postcards and sent 359 – been a member for 3 years. 

LOVE: It’s super easy. Every postcard you send out, you’ll get one in return. It’s great because sending postcards is more affordable than packages. It’s totally random and you have the opportunity to meet people from all over. Great for postcard and stamp collectors. 

MEH: Some people write a line or two and you never really get to know them. After you receive their postcard you can thank them… but that’s usually where it ends. Sometimes users are interested in private swaps, but it generally ends up being a one-for-one swap. 

 2. Swap-Bot

What is it? “On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world.” I have completed 43 swaps with a rating of 5.0 since April 2014. 

LOVE: Not limited to postcards, you can send and receive tons of stuff: generally stationery, art trading cards, washi tape, paper goods, tea, samples etc (the list is endless). Easy instructions and a good way to connect. Go for the “pen-pal” or “long letter” swaps, generally people continue writing… even after the swap has ended. 

MEH: People are hardcore about swaps here. If you flake out and don’t send… everyone gets upset (for obvious reasons) so don’t join this if you aren’t serious about sending things out. If your rating is low you’ll basically be banished so choose swaps wisely and send only when/if you can. 

3. Lovely Letters 

What is it? “A monthly snail mail exchange where you can make international pen friends.”

LOVE: There is a different theme every month and  guideline of $7 or less per package. You must email your partner to get to know them before you send the package. You’re paired with a different partner each month. You can participate monthly or join in intermittently whenever you want. 

MEH: Each package should have a tracking number when shipped. Since it’s considered registered mail it could become costly depending on where you live.  

These are the three sites that I use most frequently.

Here are some other great ways to make pen friends….

  • Interpals
  • Happster Mail
  • Facebook Groups: ie. Penpal Fever, Penpal all over the world etc.
  • Instagram: #snailmail, #penpalrevolution, #penpaling, #penpalswanted etc.
  • Or you could start a blog (if you don’t already have one).

Happy mailing, everyone!! 

 

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14 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing about Lovely Letters. You’re right that it does get expensive having tracking. At the beginning we didn’t used to do it, but we also had issues with too many people saying their package got lost or they would only receive but never sent out packages. 😦 It’s unfortunate, but we’re always learning to make it a better but also fair experience for everyone. If you have any suggestions, we’re always open to hearing them! πŸ™‚ I love the idea of having ratings.

    1. When I was in Canada it was pretty expensive to send regular mail too. I think it depends on the postal system in your location. Now that i’m in Korea (and sending is much cheaper) I look forward to sending more Lovely Letters! It’s a great project πŸ™‚

    1. Emma, I’ve heard the same thing from a few others! It’s good to know that you’ve had such great luck through Interpals. I will check it out! πŸ™‚

  2. Post crossing sounds fascinating. I have a few regular pen pals and sending packages is pretty expensive but I can’t help but do it because it’s so much fun πŸ˜€ The anticipation of a response is well worth it.

    1. Try it out! For me, it’s just as much of a thrill to get a postcard from a random country/person. Every card is a new surprise! πŸ™‚

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