Authors Save the Postal Service By Writing Letters

With the U.S. Postal Service in a dire financial situation, a number of well-known authors have made it their mission to bring back the letter-writing of yesteryear.

According to this article by The New York Times, readers of the web site The Rumpus can pay $5 a month to receive at least one new letter every week from a notable author, including Dave Eggers, Jonathan Ames, Aimee Bender, and Stephen Elliott. The letters aren’t necessarily personalized, but they are hand-written and show the authors’ creative side.

This is just one of many different letter-writing campaigns started to boost snail mail, according to the article. The Rumpus‘s project has already encouraged 18,000 people to sign up. And much like authors use social media to connect with their readers, they’re also starting to realize letter-writing is another way to connect, as John Williams explains.

“Authors are really into this because it’s such a creative form,” Mr. Elliott said. “And it’s such a powerful direct link between authors and readers. Also, most authors include a return address and people write them back, a lot, which is incredibly gratifying.”

Just imagine getting a letter from one of your favorite authors in the mail — one that tells you a personal anecdote of theirs. That’s pretty amazing, and the fact that it’s helping a federal organization on the fritz and inspiring people to write and read more is even better.

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