Penpalling for Beginners: Where to find penpals

So, you’ve recently decided you quite fancy the idea of writing to a pen pal – in these strange times, distance communication just makes sense!! Where does one find a pen pal these days? As a child, I wrote to friends from school during the holidays. Then as a tween and early teen, I was connected to a student in Italy through my school. I also kept in touch with a close friend who moved interstate via snail mail. Then as a teenager and young adult, I continued with my few penpals and added to them with some email pen pals. In 2019 I felt the need to shake things up by finding more snail mail pen pals. The slower communication just suits me so much better! I now have several pen pals again, most of whom I found online, and once I started looking, I found out it was a whole lot easier than I expected.

Below are the main websites I came across during my quest, which I personally found useful and hope you might too:

Great sites for finding Pen Pals

Special mention to the new site on the block

When the Letter Writers Alliance closed it’s program at the end of 2020 followed swiftly by the closure of Snail Mail Pen Pals in Jan of 2021 I thought it was time to create an online social platform where snail mailers could find each other and connect online. It’s free to join, you can join happy mail swapping groups, create pages, share your etsy business and connect to snail mailers from all over the world. It’s early days so the more engagement we get on the site the better. Hope to catch you there!

Letter Writers Society

Writing to your friends

You might have a friend or two that you mean to see more often or who moves away and it’s not easy to catch up. Its worth finding out if they would like to become penpals with you! Your pen pals don’t have to all be new, you might have some friends right now that would love to swap letters with you.

Safety Tips

If you are first connecting with a pen pal online you have the option to chat with them by email for a while so that you can feel comfortable enough to exchange mailing addresses. This can help you see if the pen pal is a good fit for you and also allow you to get a feel for who they are. You can also consider getting a PO Box if you have ever had issue with mail going missing or if safety is a concern. This will allow you to use a separate address at your local post office instead of disclosing your personal one.

It is sad that there are some bad actors out there, but in my experience, that is rare. Remember that if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, you are under no obligation to return their letter. Make sure of the blocking and reporting fuctions if necessary, that’s what they’re there for.

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