Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

Blog > It's time for the Month of Letters challenge! (repost)


February is just around the corner… which means it’s time for another Month of Letters challenge! Are you in? :)

A Month of Letters Challenge

On September 2011, Mary Robinette Kowal decided it was time for a break. She spent the entire month offline, and asked her friends to communicate with her through letters. The results of this personal challenge were a revelation:

When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me 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? I find that I will often read the letters that I receive twice. Once when I get them and again as I write back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.

I know a lot of postcrossers share these feelings – this is part of the reason why Postcrossing exists!

Mary’s decided to turn February into a Month of Letters, in which she challenges herself and everyone who decides do join to write and send at least a piece of postal mail every day. Here are the rules:

  • 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.
  • Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

We can’t help but feeling postcrossers have their work cut out for them in this challenge… :) Nevertheless, we wanted to dare you all to do it! Write postcards, letters or aerogrammes or surprise a friend with an unexpected package. Maybe even pick a Facebook/Twitter friend and send them with an offline “hello!”.

Are you up to Mary’s challenge? Grab your stationery and stamps and start writing!

51 comments so far

naomim, United Kingdom
I'm going to do this challenge! I've got lots of pretty cards to send, let me know if anyone would like to direct swap. My friends and families mailboxes are going to be in for a treat!
Ploi, Thailand
Obviously I'm in ! Always happy to send out postcards and letters and of course receiving some back too :)
MisguidedRoses, United States of America
I am going to participate! Time to unplug and plug into writing!
sacdalton, United States of America
This will be my fourth year of participating in the Month of Letters. Postcrossing plays a great part in the challenge with my regular postcard sending, but I enjoy sending birthday cards, valentines and special letters to friends during this month too.
k8hobbies, United States of America
Perfect timing for USA. Many postal rural routes will be counted during February 2015. Every item is counted and goes towards carriers salary equation. Every letter or package picked up or delivered on a rural route gets counted.
Even if you don't live on a rural route, perhaps the recipient of your letter does.
Happy writing!
SannyMelon, Germany
it sounds so wonderful funny..
but since the postages for all letters (national and international) also postcards international raised by 5 cent..
i simply dont have the money to do that daily..
(especially not while i am regulary postcrossing,i am addicted to..)
too bad..but its a nice idea..
Have fun^^
HofVliet, Netherlands
I am in!
damigo, United States of America
I'm in!! Anyone that want to do direct swap for the month please feel free to send me a message.
truskawkiftw, Poland
Average Polish postcrosser would have to spend 1/10 of his/hers monthly payment to do so... it's such a shame that stamps in my country are so expensive, it takes so much fun out of postcrossing :(
Have fun though!
pucky, Netherlands
Also for me is there the reality of postage-prices to keep me from doing so. I spend a lot on postcrossing stamps and cards and do not want to stop that!
But I always try to make my emails like long letters as well! I also can attach pictures. I also reread the mail when answering. Thanks to postcrossing I have "met" some marvellous people to have an email-correspondence with!
rinebird, United States of America
I am in year 2 for me.
froukjeb, Germany
I love to join this challenge. I´ll be surprising friends and family with extra mail this month. Since postage has been raised in Germany aswell and I´m still recovering from the expensive december month, I´ll be delivering part of my mail myself to friends who live close by (that also helps me with my goal to be out in the open air more often ;-)
RalfH, Germany
No, for taking it seriously would mean to start with going offline for one month and that would mean that I couldn't postcross for one month. The senders of the official pc-cards I get wouldn't like to watit until March to have their cards registered.
Blogger, United States of America
This will be year two for me joining in :D Thank you for the reminder.
dandilion, Netherlands
Im joining! I'll try my best and get tbe challenge done!
Hyshu, United States of America
This sounds so much fun! I was planning on starting the month off getting back into PC after an 18 month absence. BUT I have no current postal friends! So if you would like to do a postcard or another swap, please let me know!! I am in Texas USA, but I do not mind the postage for international. I will not be offline the month because I have to request and post PC's, but the only emails i will do is to set something up. I look forward to hearing from you!! Tami
Kayati, United States of America
Think I will accept this challenge! I like the ideas people through out to not be defeated by the postage, yes it's a lot but local is not near as much and I have personally delivered many times on my 'errand runs'. Would love some direct swaps, already have 11 of 11 postcards traveling so...... let the fun begin!
Jaaba, Sweden
I'm in.
IndigoAngel, Australia
i will be participating in lettermo again this year

i love february - there are so many reasons to write a letter or a note, outside of postcrossing (which of course stays high priority)

happy mailing of all kinds
7878k, United States of America
I am coming!
carlafed, Italy
I will try this challenge. It is hard for lack of time and money, but such a pleasure. If you have few addresses to get through regular post crossing, do not forget private swap, it is great fun
Debashish31, India
I would like to join and mail a card everyday. just drop me a line and any preference on the types of card you would like to receive. I have interesting stamps too.
Poste, United States of America
"I am In" and up for this Challenge.Thank you Worldwide Postal Carriers!
Robert-in-Australia, Australia
I am in !!! I am Robert Constantine, 32 Fredan Road Deception Bay Q. 4508, Australia . All letter to me will be answered .. It is great to see lots of comments to this post .. but hey guys ?? why not put up your address so I can write ?
Vlbibb0596, United States of America
Sounds fun! Direct swaps are welcome!
Ploi, Thailand
I think Robert comment was right ! We should put the address on here so that I could write and send the card !
Here is mine:
Pakaporn Tohwisessuk
130 Prachathipatai Road
Bangkunprom Pranakorn
10200 bangkok
kasia_mrajevicz, Belarus
I am in! :) Let me know if you want to exchange letters with me ;) And here is my address:
Mary Kuchumova
pr. Dzerzhinskogo 95, 917a
220045 Minsk
roadtoglory, Canada
This sounds like a fun project. I have just mailed 2 letters, and 2 postcards today so I'm on my way.

Thanks for putting in your address Robert. I'll send a card your way. :o)

Pat Letkemann
94 Millbrook Lane
Winnipeg MB
R2C 4W1
Emlovespost, United Kingdom
I'm on a bigger challenge. Writing letters and postcard every day is something I already do. So I'm seeing how long it takes me to send 365 letters!!
lucymonty, United Kingdom
Well I missed the first day of February but I'm going to try and do every other day this month, starting with 2 postcards today :-D
Apelser, South Africa
I would love to join this challenge. I already posted my first postcard today. I would love to receive letters from new pen pals from all around the world. My address is;
Marie-Antoinette Pelser
P O Box 1895
South Africa
ColorfulCourtney, Germany
Except for the not going online part, this was already one of my resolutions for 2015. So far, so good!
HopeAnchors, United States of America
I had been planning to finally participate in LetterMo/InCoWriMo this year - so glad to see other Postcrossers participating as well :)
Carescrafts, United States of America
I'm in. I sent my first thing today, a requested direct swap post card. I also plan to send some letters to friends and family.
itsmeraincrystal, Philippines
What a lovely initiative! I'll do my part and send out as many postcards as I can. ^_^
cheriwinkle, United States of America
ALEXOANA - i believe this challenge does not mean just postcrossing, but to write to friends and family as well. Also, as some are saying, choose people who want to do swaps (there are no limits on how many swaps you can do).
cheriwinkle, United States of America
I have just read about the challenge, so will catch up. Would be happy to hear from anyone
Cheri K
111 S. 3rd Street
Marshalltown, IA 50158
grandie, Germany
I'm in :) it's exciting!!! If you want to swap with me in February, visit my profile - grandie - and send me a message so we can exchange addresses. :)
teamug, Germany
Admittedly, I have about 60 penpals already through postcrossing. But so what.
I'm in too, and will reply to everyone who writes to me.

Chrissy Osborne
Hoherodskopfstr. 44
60435 Frankfurt

Please state if you prefer card or letter in reply.
(My b-day is on the last day of this month, so more reason to celebrate this month!!!!)
YiliLoh, Malaysia
This is the 2nd year challenge for me! :)
Hyshu, United States of America
I had posted above, but will now post with my address. I will respond to everyone I receive. Let me know your preference. I will take a letter/penpal or postcard.
Tami Eaby
8551 Boat Club Rd
Ste 121 #186
Fort Worth, TX 76179
linku, Germany
I want to participate with a special idea as I love contents: You send me a postcard or letter with a bigger or smaller problem of your life, or any question that's on your mind, I will try to answer my way?! any other idea? just write! who is from overseas should be a bit more patient as I send my mail from abroad once in a time (italy is too expensive to continue)... but it will arrive!!
Taita89, Germany
I’m in! Anyone who wants to swap cards or letters just drop me a message!
Laughing_Hsiao, United States of America
I'm in! I'm almost addicted to sending postcards, if you'd like to swap postcards with me, I'll appreciate that!
Just send me a message!
ZenCat, United States of America
I'm in also! If you like, have a look at my profile, and send me a message if you would be interested in swapping postcards or letters with me!
barbpl, Germany
I'm in! Get in touch via my profile for direct swaps. I promise to answer asap. Tell me sth. that is on your mind, your favourite book or a great place to travel in your country, e.g. a good café, hiking path, B&B to stay. I LOVE travelling!
Nihonwosuki, Lithuania
I write letters and postcards everyday so I will happily join ^^
Debashish31, India
This is quite exciting.. I have already written 8 letters this month,but am keen to write more each day. My address is
Debashish Kar
A-91,Sarve Sanjhi Apartments
Plot 8,Sector 9,Dwarka
New Delhi - 110077
SilverrLinings, Canada
Too expensive! Costs 2.50$ to send letters or postcards without an envelope in Canada (and that's small letters and small postcards) so in total it would cost more than $75 for the whole month :/ Wish I could though because I've been really really sick and bedridden for 5 months so I would've loved to receive letters or postcards this month!!! :(
SilverrLinings, Canada
I could probably afford 5-6 postcards this month so if anyone is interested in doing a direct swap, I'm very very sick so I would look forward to this so much - then please send me a message!!!
Bose_Bobcats, United States of America
What a great challenge! My grandmother is 96 and LOVES getting letters so my daughters (ages 10 and 12) take turns writing to her and I try to write once every couple of weeks. She doesn't hear as well on the phone anymore, so that's hard for her and she's just not interested in learning to e-mail, etc. When I write, I LITERALLY go through my days (since the last time ( wrote) and let her know what we've been up to. I often think, "How would this be interesting for ANYONE?" But, my grandma always says that it makes her feel like she's right there, sharing our experiences with us.

So, when I answer this challenge, I'm going to put a lot of people on my list who are older and don't get much mail but probably wish they did!

Back to top