A handwritten letter from me to you

The Letter A Day project: one handwritten letter per day, free, from me to anybody who asks.


In the fall of last year, for reasons unclear to me then, I became interested in what collectors call “old paper” – handwritten diaries and letters of the kind you might find at estate sales, in antique shops, and sometimes in used bookstores.

I started my own hoard of old paper.

I became mildly obsessed.

I still am.

Gradually, I began to figure out why. It has to do with a sadness about handwriting’s disappearance from the world, about the magic of pen or pencil pressed to paper by a human hand, and how this will soon be completely gone forever.

Unless! Unless more is put into the world.

And so I arrived at the latest project, Letter A Day. Every day of 2013, I’m sending a handwritten letter, free, to anyone who asks. “You will receive an original, somewhat newsy, most likely meandering but sincere letter, such as you might once upon a time have gotten from a person who was not a stranger to you,” the Facebook page says.

Word is getting out. Two newspaper blogs have posted about the LAD project, and I have several months of work ahead, but not a full year.

If I don’t get 365 requests, then I’ll write letters to every friend, relative, acquaintance and potentially welcoming person until the number is reached.

If I get more than 365 requests, then I’ll just keep going.

The LAD project, which is an offshoot of an earlier one called Narrative Urge, started January 1. Requests for letters have come from all over the U.S., as well as Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Want a letter? Email me your postal address by scrolling to the bottom of my website landing page. It's free, and your name will be kept confidential. And please share this with your friends.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Randy Osborne January 16, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Thanks, Will. It's still gathering steam, I'd say. :)
Jaimie Cura January 17, 2013 at 02:56 PM
This is really cool, Randy - I love seeing handwritten notes in books and think it's so neat as a way to connect with the former owner. Sometimes, you just have to take pen to paper.
Randy Osborne January 19, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Thanks, Jaimie. You should cross-post on your patch! Although half of the 50 states have been heard from (as well as Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Malaysia), nothing from Connecticut yet. :)
Lynda February 07, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Write to me at largelyhappy@hotmail.com and I'll send you details of my New Zealand address for your letter. Also, if you know anyone who WANTS a hand written letter from New Zealand - I'm happy to oblige.
Teresa Taylor-Oman August 30, 2013 at 04:24 AM
I would like to start receiving a letter a day Im at Teresa.Taylor.Oman@facebook.com Ill give you my snail mail address from there...Thank You...


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