When I invited you to send letters about what letter-writing means to you for a chance to win a copy of Samara O’Shea’s book “For the Love of Letters,” I wasn’t sure how many people would take the time to submit an entry after listening to O’Shea on CraftSanity episode 69. But I knew that there had to be some kindred letter lovers out there and you certainly answered the call. Thank you to you all for taking the time to write and share your letter-writing stories. It has been an absolute pleasure to read your responses.
There are few things I consider more wonderful than a sincere and heartfelt letter that reveals a glimpse of the writer’s life. Happy or sad, letters like snapshots document our lives and capture those illusive memories on paper before they slip away. It’s great to see so many of you doing your part to keep this fantastic tradition alive.
Some of you wrote beautiful letters on beautiful stationery, while others transformed regular paper into works of art with skillfully crafted sentences and hand-drawn illustrations to boot.
Some of you wrote about the intimate joy that is the act of handwriting a letter to a dear friend, memories of childhood pen pals, and the box of old letters up in your closet that chronicle your love life before e-mail. (I have one of those too!)
Karen in Powell, Ohio took me back with her wonderful tribute to those great fold-up notes many of us passed during junior high and high school. Karen wrote her “note” on the traditional wide ruled notebook paper and cleverly folded it into a tidy rectangle with little pull-tab. What fun!
Flori in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote about her resolution to write 100 letters in one year. She fell short of her goal penning only 60, but wrote about her experience writing to the people who have made a difference in her life. She wrote former teachers, childhood friends, college roommates and relatives, savoring the joy of expressing her gratitude to them. What a fantastic idea! Thanks, Flori, for the inspiration to express our gratitude to the people who have helped us out along this sometimes rocky road of life.
I could go on and on about these letters. And seeing how long it’s taken me to get to this contest wrap-up, it’s probably best that that I get to the business of announcing the winners. So here we go….
Congrats to Lisa Scandrette of San Francisco, California and Chris Willow-Schomaker of Columbia, Missouri for writing great letters! These two ladies were randomly selected from the “best of the best” submission pile and each will receive a copy of “For the Love of Letters” donated by the publisher. (Thank you HarperCollins!)
Lisa wrote a lovely letter about how a 4-year correspondence with a handsome young man she met at camp that led to marriage. Read the lisaletter.pdf to learn more about this sweet courtship that unfolded by mail. How romantic!
Chris wrote a wonderful letter during which she shares the story of the last letter she received from her grandmother before her death. Read the chrisletter.pdf for the story in her words.
Many thanks to everyone who entered. You all wrote such wonderful letters and I wish I had copies of Samara’s book for all of you.
Let’s keep sending that snail mail, okay?
P.S. Those of you who have written me personal letters and not heard back yet, I haven’t forgotten you. I have all your letters organized in a binder and big plans to keep chipping away at my responses. : )