Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "letters"

Submissions for The Graceful Envelope Contest are once again open, so it’s time to talk about the most beautiful mailart contest out there! :) Just look at some of the beautiful envelopes from last year’s contest:

Graceful Envelope Contest 2019 Graceful Envelope Contest 2019 Graceful Envelope Contest 2019 Graceful Envelope Contest 2019

Aren’t they precious? Last year’s theme was “Put a stamp on it!” and there are links to all the winners and honorable mentions on their page. The theme for this year is “Double vision”:

“The 2020 theme is inspired by the year itself. Only once a century does the year double up! On an envelope, capture something that’s double—whatever you see in your personal Double Vision.”

An interesting theme for sure, and we look forward to seeing the results! Rest assured, you don’t need to be a calligraphy master to participate, as works will be judged not just by the calligraphy or your choice of stamps, but by how you interpret the theme as well as how all of the elements work together to convey your message. Participation by little ones is encouraged, and children have their own categories by age groups.

People from all over the world can participate, as long as they do so until March 23, 2020. So you have less than 2 months to work on this creative project and then mail it in — all the rules are explained on the Washington Calligraphers Guild website.

Good luck, everyone!

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February is a busy month in the mail calendar, and we can’t wait for it to start! Are you ready?

Letter Month

I love a good mail challenge, and since February is the “Month of Letters”, it is time to dust off all that special stationery and put pen to paper! It’s the perfect opportunity for reconnecting with family and friends, sending a Valentine card to your special someone, saying thank you to the helpful people in your life… or simply surprising strangers across the world with postcards! 😉

The rules of the Month of Letters challenge are simple:

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

That’s it! The challenge started back in 2012, after American writer Mary Robinette Kowal decided it was time for a break from the internet. She spent a month offline, and asked her friends to communicate with her through letters. The results were relaxing and intimate, so she decided to invite others to join, sparking a flurry of correspondence.

Mail Carrier Appreciation Day

Another happy mail-related event coming up is Mail Carrier Appreciation Day, which happens every year on February 4th. This is the day to celebrate our trusty mail carriers, who make it possible for this hobby to exist by delivering all our postcards!

The date falls on a Tuesday this year, so make sure to prepare something nice for your mail carrier and give them a smile, for instance, pour your gratitude into a thank you note that you’ll deliver (or affix to your mailbox) for them to discover on their rounds. I’m sure it’ll be the highlight of their day week!

If you can, take a photo of what you did to celebrate this special day, and share a link to it in the comments! 😊

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February is a busy month in the mail calendar, and we can’t wait for it to start! Are you ready? :)

Letter Month

I love a good mail challenge, and since February is the “Month of Letters”, it is time to dust off your special stationery and put pen to paper! It’s the perfect opportunity for reconnecting with family and friends, sending a Valentine card to your special someone, saying thank you to the helpful people in your life… or simply surprising strangers across the world with postcards! 😉

The rules of the Month of Letters challenge are simple:

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

That’s it! The challenge started back in 2012, after Mary Robinette Kowal decided it was time for a break from the internet. She spent a month offline, and asked her friends to communicate with her through letters. The results were relaxing and intimate, so she decided to invite others to join, sparking a flurry of correspondence.

Mail Carrier Appreciation Day

Another happy mail-related event coming up is Mail Carrier Appreciation Day, which happens every year on February 4th. This is the day to celebrate our trusty mail carriers, who make it possible for this hobby to exist by delivering all our postcards!

The date falls on a Monday this year, so make sure to make something nice for your mail carrier and give them a smile in the beginning of the week. Pour your gratitude into a thank you note that you’ll deliver (or affix to your mailbox) for them to discover on their rounds. I’m sure it’ll be the highlight of their day week!

If you can, take a photo of what you did to celebrate this special day, and share a link to it in the comments! 😊

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When we’re talking to other postcrossers at meetings, we often hear about their long term penpals, and how some people have kept up a steady correspondence back and forth for years. So it got us curious… how many postcrossers had or still have penpals? And if they never tried it, how many would be interested in giving penpaling a go in the future?

To find out, we ran a poll on the front page last week, and collected 8351 votes. These are the results:

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As our own suspicions hinted, postcrossers are naturally fans of letter writing, with most people either having one at the moment (32%), or having had one in the past (33%). A further 24% of the respondents had never tried, but are eager to give it a go someday, and only 11% of participants stated that they were not interested.

The breakdown of the results by country can be seen below, but please take these numbers with a grain of salt. The average age range of postcrossers varies wildly in places, with Asian countries typically being home to much younger postcrossers, while things are more evenly distributed in the Western hemisphere. Naturally, this has an indirect impact in the results, as younger people might not have had the time to try penpaling yet. That said, here they are:

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It’s always tricky to make conclusions from these kind of informal studies, but Japan seems to be the reigning champion of penpals at the moment, with over 50% of postcrossers still keeping in touch with theirs, and only 19% having given up over time.

Finland stands out as well — can you spot it on the graph? Over 97% of postcrossers have either tried, still have or are interested in penpaling. This does not come as a surprise, knowing their top spot on Postcrossing’s per capita ranking!

Which countries have more people looking for penpals for the first time, you ask? That would be China, India, Taiwan and Ukraine, all of which have over 40% participants in that category. (By the way, if that’s you, did you know that there’s a section in the Postcrossing forum dedicated to finding penpals?)

And Portugal, the birth country of Postcrossing, appears to be the one where people are least interested in penpals at all… Both Paulo and I have had penpals before, so I confess this is a somewhat surprising result for us. 😅 Perhaps other Portuguese postcrossers want to chime in on the topic?

In any case, how did your own country fare? Are the results more or less in line with your experience and expectations? Let’s discuss it on the comments below!

PS – As usual, only countries with more than 50 votes are included, so that the results can be more meaningful.

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The Graceful Envelope Contest

Time to submit your entries to the Graceful Envelope contest, one of the nicest mailart contests out there! Every year, they pick a theme for the submissions, and 2018's topic is simply the weather. 🌦

From their website:

There’s always something to say about the weather. From severe storms to sowing crops, to using the sun and wind for renewable energy, the weather affects everyone. Summon a brainstorm to capture what’s outside your window—or outside the box—and design a winning envelope!
The Graceful Envelope Contest

And if you think you don’t have a nice enough handwriting to participate – don’t fret! One judge on the contest’s 2011 edition revealed that they’re not simply looking for the best calligraphy or painter… in the end, what really matters is the winning combination of all elements in the envelope (ie, design, calligraphy and stamps) and how they work together to reflect the year’s theme.

The contest is open to entries from all around the world (as long as they are sent in by March 26th 2018) and there are separate categories for children too, so do encourage your little ones to give it a go!

You can read the contest rules and how to participate on the Washington Calligraphers Guild website, and check out some of the previous entries for inspiration on their Flickr page.

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