Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pen to Paper: What I Have Learned - Where to Find Pen Pals

Hello everyone, sorry again about missing last week. I almost missed today's post too because I have been wrapped up in a fantastic book!  But I really wanted to share some of the things I have learned it the past year of really diving into letter writing and pen pals.   You may recall last year when I posted about where to find pen pals (Websites Post and Advertisements).  I started this journey more than a year ago writing to a couple of close friends I found through MLP collecting and book blogging or family and friends I have known forever.  I have now expanded my pen pal list dramatically and have been meeting some amazing people and making friends!  Today I want to share some of the places that I have found some really great pen pals this past year.
I mentioned this in my previous post last year, I have pretty much stopped participating in swaps due to time constraints and space to keep my crafting supplies out. I have however continued to write to the pen pal I mentioned in the last post, she was brand new to me then, and now after nearly 9 months of exchanging letters, consider her a friend.  It may take time to find a regular pen pal through this site as it appears most people just want to participate in one time swaps (oddly enough my friend and I have never swapped pocket letters even though we met through the site) but it is possible to find a great friend.
I only recently discovered this site, but have already gained a new pen pal that I think will become a great friend as well. It is like a dating site for pen pals, it is free to sign up but you are limited to the number of message you can send each day to 3.  As with any website you must use caution with your personal information.  I have been contacted multiple times by people seeking pen pals but I have only agreed to exchange addresses with one person. It does have some great search features to help you find the right pen pal, so if you are still searching for the right person I would definitely suggest this site, there are plenty of people actively searching for pen pals.
I also mentioned this site in my previous post, I still have not written to a lot of the people I was given through this site, but have found one pen pal that I really enjoy exchanging letters with.  We are both at a similar point in our lives so sometimes the letters become infrequent but we pick up where we left off each time.  This is a pricey site but it does give you a nice list of people who are actively searching for pen pals, there isn't a lot of information given though so the people you are matched up with may not always have the same interests and the pen pal relationship may not work between the two of you.
On that note I give you the Geek Girl Pen Pals, this is a website that has a lot going on, forums and games and blogs etc. But the thing that really drew me in was the monthly pen pal partners.  You do have to be a member to join in the monthly match up but it is free to join.  What I like about this site is that you get to choose the things you are most passionate about and they partner you up based on those interests. I have received my first partner, while we haven't exchanged letters yet (well she has sent a letter but it has quite some distance to travel) but we have gotten to know each other a little via email. So it is nice to have a chance to get to know one another before writing letters.
Believe it or not I have found pen pals on Instagram, one of them I am very close with after months of exchanging letters.  There are several ways to find pen pals on Instagram, you can search for #penpalswanted there are also several accounts set up that post pen pal want ads, they take some time to wade through to find exactly what you are looking for (many of them are young teens and I prefer to write to people that are a little more at a similar point in life). You can also browse through all the accounts that post pictures of outgoing mail. Then if you find someone you would like to write to, private message them and get to know one another.
While I haven't found a pen pal per-se on this site, it is great for exchanging mail. It would be a good way to test out if you are really into snail mail before diving into a full blown pen pal relationship. It is interesting the people you send postcards to and receive from. I have learned about different customs, traditions and folk tales from countries I had never even heard of before joining. I have to say though my favorite part is when I am contacted by a teacher whose class is collecting postcards from different states or parts of the world, I love sending those out (so keep me in mind if you have a child or family member that needs a postcard or even a letter with a small information package)!
Believe it or not one of the friends I write to most often I met right through these posts! She came across my Pen to Paper posts and emailed me about exchanging letters, we have really gotten to know each other and write letters nearly every two weeks, even with the long international travel time.  So there are a wealth of places to find new pen pals.  My advice is again please use caution with giving out personal information on the internet. I have a post office box that I use exclusively for pen pal letters and postcrossing.  I also suggest starting out small, try one or two pen pals to see if you really have the time or energy to dedicate to the relationship, because it is a friendship that needs as much dedication as any other friendship.  I have slowly added pen pals so that I can be sure to get to know them each individually and to make sure I have the time to write quality letters to each of them in a timely manner.  I now have 10 pen pals that I write with regularly and have been building wonderful friendships with each one. This is a journey I am very happy I started on and look forward to continuing!


  1. I don't know if I'm ready for these websites. I check them out, and I'm a bit intimidated. I did check out Instagram though, and I think I may have found someone to write. I commented on her post, and I hope she replies.

    Thanks again for your recommendations!

    1. They are very intimidating, no need to rush in, take your time. I very slowly accumulated my pen pals, I wanted to make sure I would have the time to dedicate to each one before finding more. If you want more info on any of the sites let me know, there are a few more that I haven't used too.