How? It’s a program called Letters in the Mail and you can subscribe here. Every two weeks, you’ll receive a letter, in the mail. In the first three months letters went out from Stephen Elliott, Margaret Cho, Marie Calloway, Dean Haspeil, Lorelei Lee, Matthew Specktor, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, Padma Viswanathan, Sari Botton, and Matthew Zapruder. Some of the letters were typed, others handwritten. Some included illustrations, one was a comic, all were signed. We then photocopy the letter and send it to you. Think of it as letters you used to get from your friends before email, except now your friends are your favorite writers! View sample letters here and here.
Recent and upcoming letter writers include Chloe Caldwell, Molly Crabapple, Colin Dickey, Nicole Chung, Mensah Demary, Josh Gondelman, Alana Massey, Dana Schwartz, Jia Tolentino, and many more! Think of it as the letters you used to get from your creative friends, before this whole Internet/email thing. Letters will include return addresses in case you want to write the author back!
And it’s only $7 a month (domestic), cheap! You can also purchase a year of Letters in the Mail. And if you live outside of the United States, you can purchase an annual international subscription. Letters in the Mail helps us keep The Rumpus running—so, you can correspond with your favorite writers and support the website in one fell swoop.
Letters in the Mail makes a fabulous gift! Imagine that special reader in your life receiving a letter (in their physical mailbox!) every two weeks. They can be letters from old favorites or from new authors destined to become old favorites.
“I used to hate email. When people first started using it, or at least people I knew, it was around 1994, and I was a senior in high school. I resisted it with all my might—when someone emailed me, I would respond with a phone call, a handwritten note, or not at all. At that time, you see, my friends and I had turned letter writing into an art. A letter was only 30% the content of the letter—everything else was about how it was delivered. The paper stock, the doodles, the handwriting—all of this was what mattered. A letter should be an experience.”
Missed your favorite author’s letter? We are now offering past letters available for individual sale.
Any questions, customer service, or if you just want to say hello, please contact [email protected].
Want more child-friendly letters? Check out our Letters for Kids program, which delivers letters from your kids’ favorite writers twice a month!
Here are some profiles of Letters in the Mail from the New York Times and USA Today and the United States Postal Service. And here is program founder Stephen Elliott talking about it on the CBS Morning Show with Charlie Rose.