Saturday, March 7, 2020

2020 Spring Pen Friend Sign Ups Are Open!


Hello Ladies! It's almost Spring and that means it's time to start another round of pen friends!
 If you enjoy handwritten correspondence with like-minded women, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild may be for you! Follow the instructions below to be matched with a partner. 
Sign ups are CLOSED. But, please send in your info anyway and I'll be sure to put you on the list for the next round!
Here's what you need to know:
  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language privately, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges. 
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish. 
Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com. (PLEASE TYPE THEM into an email, rather than send in a separate document or take a photo of your answers. I need to be able to easily and quickly transfer your information to your partner as this is a very big group and a very big task.)

*Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!


Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

First and Last Name

Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

Email Address

What is your age group? 
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+

Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+
no preference

Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country, a specific country, or is any country fine? (Please note, this can not always be fulfilled according to your wishes. Long time members have priority here.)

List some of your hobbies and interests.

What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

How did you learn about the Guild? (If you were referred by someone, please let me know her name so I don't match the two of you as new pen friends!)

(Optional) What is your Instagram username? (Some members like to follow one another...not at all required.)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 New Year Pen Friend Exchange is Open!


Happy 2020!! 
Hope you're all enjoying a happy holiday season! A new year is coming and with it, a chance for new beginnings, new goals, and new friendships. If you enjoy handwritten correspondence with like-minded women, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild may be for you. Follow the instructions below to be matched up with a pen friend and start the new year right!
Signups close January 18. I will assign partners during the week after.

Here's what you need to know:
  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language privately, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges. 
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish. 
Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com. (PLEASE TYPE THEM into an email, rather than send in a separate document or take a photo of your answers. I need to be able to easily and quickly transfer your information to your partner as this is a very big group and a very big task.)

*Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!


Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

First and Last Name

Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

Email Address

What is your age group? 
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+

Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+
no preference

Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country, a specific country, or is any country fine? (Please note, this can not always be fulfilled according to your wishes. Long time members have priority here.)

List some of your hobbies and interests.

What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

How did you learn about the Guild? (If you were referred by someone, please let me know her name so I don't match the two of you as new pen friends!)

(Optional) What is your Instagram username? (Some members like to follow one another...not at all required.)



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

2019 Holiday Pen Friend Exchange


THIS EXCHANGE IS NOW CLOSED. BUT...
Please visit the link above to submit your application. I will host another exchange in January, but I often match people up at various times throughout the year.
Thanks for stopping by!


 If you enjoy handwritten correspondence with like-minded women, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild may be for you! Join us for our last pen friend exchange of 2019!

Here's what you need to know:
  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language privately, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges. 
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish. 
Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com. (PLEASE TYPE THEM into an email, rather than send in a separate document or take a photo of your answers. I need to be able to easily and quickly transfer your information to your partner as this is a very big group and a very big task.)

*Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!


Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

1. First and Last Name

2. Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

3. Email Address

4. What is your age group? 
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+

5. Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+
no preference

6. Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country, a specific country, or is any country fine?

7. List some of your hobbies and interests.

8. What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

9. How did you learn about the Guild? (If you were referred by someone, please let me know her name so I don't match the two of you as new pen friends!)

10. (Optional) What is your Instagram username? (Some members like to follow one another...not at all required.)



Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Autumn 2019 Pen Friend Exchange is Open!


This exchange is now closed. Please visit the New Pen Friend Application above to be added to the list for our next exchange.

Here's what you need to know:
  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language privately, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges. 
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish. 
Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com. (PLEASE TYPE THEM into an email, rather than send in a separate document or take a photo of your answers. I need to be able to easily and quickly transfer your information to your partner as this is a very big group and a very big task.)

*Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!



Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

1. First and Last Name

2. Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

3. Email Address

4. What is your age group? 
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+

5. Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+
no preference

6. Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country or is any country fine?

7. List some of your hobbies and interests.

8. What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

9. How did you learn about the Guild? (If you were referred by someone, please let me know her name so I don't match the two of you as new pen friends!)


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Summer 2019 Pen Friend Exchange is Open!


Sign ups for this exchange are now closed. However, if you'd like to be included in the September round, please follow the application instructions above!

************************************************************************

It's time to kick off the 2019 Summer Pen Friend Exchange! (Or Winter for those in the southern hemisphere) 
Sign ups close May 31. 

 If you enjoy handwritten correspondence with like-minded women, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild may be for you! 

Here's what you need to know:
  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language privately, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges. 
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish. 
Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com. (PLEASE TYPE THEM into an email, rather than send in a separate document or take a photo of your answers. I need to be able to easily and quickly transfer your information to your partner as this is a very big group and a very big task.)

*Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!



Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

1. First and Last Name

2. Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

3. Email Address

4. What is your age group? 
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+

5. Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?
18-25
26-35
36-50
50-60
61+
no preference

6. Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country or is any country fine?

7. List some of your hobbies and interests.

8. What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

9. How did you learn about the Guild?

10. (Optional) What is your Instagram username? (Some members like to follow one another...not at all required.)

11. (Optional) Would you be willing to serve as a backup partner should a new member not follow through on their initial letter? (Established members only, please)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 Spring Pen Friend Exchange


The Spring Exchange has closed but please visit the link above to submit your application for our next exchange. Summer exchange will open in June!

It's time for the Spring Pen Friend Exchange! Welcome!

If you enjoy handwritten correspondence with like-minded women, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild may be for you! Check out the site and see what you think. Then, follow the instructions below to be assigned a penfriend for this round. Signups close March 22.

If you've participated in the past: Please note that you do NOT have to give up your former pen friends! This exchange is for an additional pen friend, so if you're enjoying corresponding with your match from an earlier round, please continue to do so!

Here's what you need to know:

  • While we are very happy to fellowship with all humankind on this site, this particular exchange is for ladies only. If someone would like to organize a mixed-gender exchange, please do so and let me know so I can give you a shout-out here!
  • This is an international exchange but introductory letters must be written in English. (If you and your partner decide to write in a more familiar language after, that is fine.)
  • A minimum of one letter to your partner is required. If you decide to continue the correspondence after that, wonderful!
  • I am not responsible for "flakers", but anyone who does not keep their commitment will not be included in further exchanges.
  • Privacy Statement: Your information will only be given to your assigned pen friend. I will not use it for any kind of advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes, nor will I publish it in any form. There is no fee to join the Guild---it's strictly for fun and fellowship. I will add your email to a list for my own purposes and will only send emails regarding the pen friend exchange or other Guild activities I think you might be interested in, such as giveaways or letter writing challenges. I will not add you to my blog subscription list but there is a link on the sidebar to do so if you wish.

Are you ready for a new pen friend? Copy and paste the answers to the following questions in an email and send it to: sarah@classicalhomemaking.com.

 *Please note: I can only read and write English. 
Please send your application in English. Thank you!


Pen Friend Sign Up Questions
Send to sarah@classicalhomemaking.com

1. First and Last Name

2. Full Mailing Address including zip code and country

3. Email Address

4. What is your age group?

18-25
26-35
36-50
50-64
65+

5. Do you have a preferred age group to correspond with?

18-25
26-35
36-50
50-64
65+
no preference

6. Do you prefer a pen friend from your own country or is any country fine?

7. List some of your hobbies and interests:

8. What interests you about the Victorian Letter Writers Guild?

9. How did you learn about the Guild?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions


The Victorian Letter Writers Guild has been more of a success than I could have dreamed---I'm so thankful for all our fantastic members and all the fun we've had keeping the art of old fashioned letter writing alive. I thought it was time I did an FAQ post to answer some of the more common questions I've received from interested members. If you have a question, please post it in the comments below or email me at sarah@classicalhomemaking.com and I will get back to you shortly.

Frequently Asked Questions (updated February 2020)

Why do you do this? (Host free pen friend exchanges, advocate for old fashioned letter writing, keep a postal history blog, etc.)

When I was a little girl, my Grammy Annabelle sent me a postcard every week of my life. They were simple little notes to tell me about what was going on at her house but they taught me the joy of receiving mail and soon we were exchanging full letters. In school, I was always in trouble for passing notes in class and was often horrified when my note would be confiscated and read aloud. I found it easy to express myself in writing and was humiliated more than once due to allowing my heart flow out of my pen. My generation is the last to have experienced life without the internet and I see how so many of life's simplicities have been lost along with it. I'm determined to share this joy of the written word, the sacrifice and peacefulness of taking the time to compose something for someone else, with anyone who is interested. Maybe someday we will be a completely digital society---but that time hasn't come yet and I'm committed to making sure it doesn't come round for a very long time!

Who are you?

I'm a 40 year old housewife residing in the US southern state of Arkansas. I have nine children and have been married since 1998. I began my blogging "career" in marketing---working with national and international brands to promote their products on my blog and social media. I've authored the site, Classical Homemaking, since 2008, the literature blog, Belle's Library, since 2014, and started The Victorian Letter Writers Guild in 2017. I am no longer a career blogger and now do it purely for enjoyment and fellowship with like-minded enthusiasts.

Is my information secure?

As best as I can in my capacity as a human being, I do my best to make sure your information is secure. Any information you give me is stored on my computer and in file boxes in my home library. I only share it with Guild members during exchanges. I will never share or sell your information with third parties, nor will I use it for purposes outside of Guild activities. 

Your signups are closed. Can I still get a pen friend?

If you've come to the blog and found that the most recent pen friend exchange is closed, do not despair! Just follow the link at the top of the page for Pen Friend Signups to submit your application. I will include you in the next round of matches---and may even find you a pen friend sooner than that, depending on availability! 

What is the cost to join the Victorian Letter Writers Guild? Can I make a donation?

I do not charge for any exchanges or matching that take place on the site, nor do I take monetary donations. If you want to thank me, write me a letter! I also accept chocolate by the trunk full and all forms of bound books and paper ephemera gifts. Ha! Another way you can contribute to the Guild is by sharing it with your friends via social media, email, or postal mail. Finally, you can visit Victorian Letters on Etsy for letter writing materials and other fun ephemera for mail art, mixed media collages, etc. All proceeds from this shop support the VLWG.

What if I don't like my pen friend?

While I do my best to match you with a like-minded pen friend, it's inevitable that you will not be paired well from time to time. Participation in any letter writing exchange through The Victorian Letter Writing Guild requires only one thing: write your assigned pen friend one letter. If you receive your pen friend's letter and find that she is not a suitable match for you, simply stop writing to her. There are no obligations past the initial introductory letter. If you still want a pen friend before the next round comes up, let me know. I often have members asking for more than one match at a time---or I may even write to you myself! I would encourage everyone to give their partners a chance, though. You never know what great friendships could be born out of a little patience and grace for those who are different from you.

What are your priorities for matching pen friends?

I always do my best to match you based on several factors: age, region, and interests. I always focus first on age and interests, as these distinctions are cross-cultural and seem to be the keys to finding a long-lasting pen friend. For those with specific region requests, I always give priority to the longer-standing members first. Be assured, though, that I keep very good records and I'm usually good about giving everyone who wants one a turn to have an international pen friend. Please keep in mind that the group currently has over 400 members---at least 75% of whom are American and at least 40% of whom request a specific, non-American country. The best way for our group to grow internationally is for all of us to share it with our international friends on social media.

Can I have more than one pen friend through the Guild?

Yes. Many members have been with me long enough to have several pen friends at the same time. Just because an exchange season has passed, this doesn't mean you have to stop corresponding. She who finds a virtuous pen friend finds a good thing, so keep writing if you're so inclined! If you would like to be assigned more than one pen friend per round, let me know when you send in your application/confirmation. If you are a member in good standing and have participated in several successful exchanges with the Guild, I will consider assigning you more than one pen friend.

What if my assigned pen friend doesn't write to me?

First step is: send your letter anyway. After that, you should attempt to contact your pen friend by email a couple times. If this proves fruitless, please do let me know. While I don't want anyone to feel like a "tattle tale", this greatly helps me keep the Guild a safe and fun thing that everyone can enjoy.

Is this a "women only" organization? Do you discriminate? 

Anyone is welcome to enjoy the site, but the pen friend exchanges are for women only. There are several other international sites offering mixed gender exchanges. If you need help finding some, check my sidebar. I do not discriminate against anything except unkindness. We have members from many walks of faith, many lifestyles, many cultures. All are welcome who would be kind, patient, and willing to extend grace to another in hopes of forming friendships. I have and will continue to ban members who are unkind, rude, or demanding of myself or other members.

Does my letter have to be Victorian themed/decorated/written with a fountain or quill/worded with flowery 19th century language?

No. The classification of "Victorian" is used in reference to the "old fashioned" art of letter writing---not so much to the style of letters or art work employed. Of course, many who join the exchanges enjoy this aesthetic, as well, but using it is not mandatory. Please don't be intimidated by believing you must be a fantastic artist or eloquent speaker to participate in our exchanges. We are average women with average lives who share a love for simplicity and beauty. If you can relate, you belong here!

How do I get a pen friend?

Visit the Pen Friend Sign Up link above to get your name on the list for the next round of pen friend matches!