#HCHandwritten: Your Guide To Letter Writing

Receiving a hand-written letter from a friend can be a form of self care. If you haven’t sent a letter or little package to one of your pals, now is the perfect time to do it. With social distancing keeping us from connecting with some of our closest friends and the U.S. Post Office receiving budget cuts, there has never been a better time to bring back letter-writing. Writing letters is super easy, and it’s a great way to communicate and help support the post office. 

According to Grammarly, to start an informal letter, you put the date on the first line. Then, add a greeting, like “hello.” You can write about whatever you want, but consider some general suggestions: 

  • Don’t get side-tracked

  • Try to have a clear focus. 

  • Ask how the person is doing or pay them a compliment

  • Share news or anecdotes that are mutually interesting to you and the recipient

  • Keep the tone and content appropriate. For example, “Writing a letter to your grandmother, might sound different and contain different details than writing a letter to your college friend.”

When you’re done writing, sign off with something like: with love, with warm regards or sincerely. If you forgot to say something in the body of the letter, you can add “P.S.” at the very end, which stands for postscript.

After you finish writing, get ready to start packaging it up. First, you’ll need to fill out your envelope. Depending on if you are sending the recipient just a letter or gifts, you need to decide what size envelope or package to use. For an envelope weighing up to one ounce, you will need one first-class postage stamp that is 55 cents. For every extra ounce, an additional 15 cents is added. For the first ounce of a large envelope, it costs $1, and for the first three ounces of a small package, it costs $2.74. 

Add your postage to the top right corner of your envelope or package. In the top left corner, write your name, followed by the date, your address and then your town, state and zip code. In the middle of the envelope, write the recipient’s information the same way you did for your own. 

And now for the most fun part— decorating your letter and envelope. You can use stickers, pretty stationery, scrapbook paper, wax seals, calligraphy pens and/or paint. For some inspiration, check out Pinterest or TikTok

Over the past few weeks, my friend (who also lives in Morgantown) and I became pen pals. It’s been a really fun way to communicate and keep in touch. We’ve been sending little gifts and decorating with dried flowers, water colors and script pens. Even though we live in the same zip code, it’s been really exciting to write each other, and I always look forward to my next letter. Hopefully you use this letter writing guide to do the same!

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Edited by Sydney Keener