Every year on September 1, people worldwide are encouraged to find a piece of paper, grab a pen or pencil, and write a letter. On this day, World Letter Writing Day, the art of letter writing is celebrated.
World Letter Writing Day was founded in 2014 by Richard Simpkin. In the late 1990s, he wrote letters to those he considered to be Australian legends and was thrilled when some of them responded back to him with letters.
Our world has become more digital. Texting and emailing are the primary way of communicating with people, and traditional letter writing has fallen by the wayside. Typing out a message on your phone or computer and knowing it's delivered almost instantly when you hit send may seem much more attractive than so-called snail mail. However, taking the time to hand write a letter can be rather rewarding
Why should you bother writing letters? Consider these reasons:
- It’s a caring way to communicate with those you love.
- Whomever you write to can treasure your letter for years to come.
- Writers of gratitude letters feel happier and more satisfied with their lives.
- Letter writing is a great way to grow a friendship, marriage, or other meaningful relationship.
- It can show others your perspective or position on a certain topic to increase better understanding.
- Older generations who grew up before the advent of email and texting will cherish letter writing as a traditional form of communication.
- It reinforces the practice of developing beautiful handwriting, your penmanship skills.
Taking the time to focus while writing a letter helps you to concentrate on the words you're using. By reflecting on what you’re writing to someone, you can be much more deliberate and thoughtful with your message. It takes time and effort to write a letter that the recipient will surely appreciate. Letter writing can help you connect with others in your life in a meaningful way.
Are your letter writing skills a bit rusty? Maybe you’ve never written a letter? Here are the nuts and bolts:
- The key parts of a letter are:
- The date (include the day, month and year)
- A greeting (Dear (name of person you are writing to), Hello, Salutations, Good Tidings…)
- The body of the letter (Paragraphs with different subjects/topics that you are writing about)
- A closing (Sincerely, Love, With Best Wishes, Hugs, As ever…)
- And your signature.
The best way to participate in World Letter Writing Day is to write a letter to someone - it could even be to your future self! Pick a person to write to - a relative or a friend who lives close or far away. You could write to someone you haven't seen or heard from in a while.
Other ways to participate include:
- Check out a book from the library about letter writing.
- Encourage someone else to write a handwritten letter.
- Take a writing course (Check out Gale Courses, free with your library card!)
- Read Write Back Soon!: Adventures in Letter Writing or To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing.
- Read your child a book about letter writing, such as Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale, Ten Thank-You Letters, and Dear Teacher.
- Ask a librarian for a recommendation on other great reads about letter writing.
You can also share this day on social media with #WorldLetterWritingDay or #WLWD
This is a collaboration from A to Z!
Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, historical fiction and fantasy. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations. She is pursuing a Masters in Information and Library Science from the University at Buffalo.
Z is the Branch Manager at the Crestwood Library. She enjoys cultivating library experiences for patrons of all ages and connecting people with resources and has been doing so for over 30 years.