New Years Resolution: Send a letter every day.
December 26, 2008 5:03 PM   Subscribe

New Years Resolution: Write a letter every day.

Dilemma (in two parts):

1. The list so far includes a list of authors, classic actors, icons a la Hugh Hefner and the occasional lesser known celebrity. Where should I send these letters? Is there some sort of listing online for places to send fan mail?

2. Once my list runs out, do you have any suggestions for lesser known interesting people that I should write to? I am open to write to almost anyone, but if you know of a really interesting person in your field that I might not come across on my own, I would love to hear about them.
posted by thebrokenmuse to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I suggest you write letters to your friends, family, maybe a mentor or one of your old teachers, people like that.
posted by box at 5:15 PM on December 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

What about writing to people in prison?
posted by ms.v. at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2008

A diary can be a letter to yourself. Why not do that?
posted by FergieBelle at 6:05 PM on December 26, 2008

the prison thing is a good idea. why not try fictitious characters? or you could write to god, send it out, see what happens. put a message in a bottle and send it out to sea, you can also have great fun by fooling people. one year for christmas i got a letter from someone i had never met before with pictures and asking how i was doing. i was incredibly confused until i found out that my dad had taken a picture of a random couple and made a fake letter. it made for a good laugh.

what about writing extensive letters to people in nursing homes or kids in orphanages?
posted by big open mouth at 6:06 PM on December 26, 2008

Nobel Prize winners, specifically excluding the Peace Prize (because then it's just famous statesmen/etc). Do that one once a week, and learn something about their discovery before you write it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:13 PM on December 26, 2008

Response by poster: Just to clarify- I am looking for specific people. I already write letters to friends and family, this is more about trying to find real life people who are doing interesting things with their lives to write to. Thanks you guys!
posted by thebrokenmuse at 6:36 PM on December 26, 2008

Best answer: Send invitations to politicians inviting them to parties (birthday, holiday, baby shower, etc.) They always respond -- their staffers send a note -- figuring you might be a big campaign contributor. Those polite rejection letters are fascinating (scheduling conflict, etc.) and collectible.

Put them all in an album, and your grandkids can take it to Antiques Roadshow.
posted by quarantine at 7:17 PM on December 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

why not photographers for national geographics? religious gurus in india? <--- this guy is awesome, too. write to them and ask them what life is like, ask spiritual leaders what the meaning of life is, etc.
posted by big open mouth at 7:20 PM on December 26, 2008

With anyone, see if they have an official website which may contain an address for fanmail. Generically, send letters to authors c/o the publisher of their most recent published book. With actors see if you can dig up information on their management. There are web-based resources like this one. A search for name + contact or name + fan mail will often pop something up.
posted by nanojath at 7:34 PM on December 26, 2008

You can write me, if you want. I'm cool, and definitely lesser-known.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:51 PM on December 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Pick a major university, pick a department that interests you and then look down their list of faculty - generally anyone with tenure will have done interesting things. If you want to make things simple, pick the department chair. Most schools will have a link to website for individual faculty including their publications where you can get a feel for their work. You can send the letter to their name, department and then the main address for the university.
posted by metahawk at 9:29 PM on December 26, 2008

Write one to me! Unlike celebrities, I'll actually write back. And I'd appreciate it way more than someone who gets 32984729342.5 fan letters a day.

You can also maybe find a kid to mentor through email - it's almost like writing a letter and you'll help someone out. I imagine you can do it through snail mail too? No links, sorry, but I know these things exist.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 9:33 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh c'mon, like us MeFites aren't interesting enough for you ;)? The thing is, though, are you expecting a response back? If you write to celebrities, politicians, and other famous/popular people, the trouble is that they tend to be really busy, and won't be able to respond back. Yes, some will reply back warm-heartedly, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

On the other hand, cartoonists, while busybodies, tend to fare better at letter-responding... I think. I never actually tried.

If all else fails, there's always the hive mind.
posted by curagea at 10:17 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Read small town newspapers online to find people to write to. Example: a local college student spent her summer volunteering for a relief organization in Africa. Look up her address at and write her a letter.
posted by HotPatatta at 10:51 PM on December 26, 2008

Response by poster: Great answers so far, you guys! Thank you.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 1:20 AM on December 27, 2008

As life happens (when you read papers, books, watch tv, meet people, etc) ideas of things you'd like to say or ask will pop into your mind. Keep a notebook or pad on you to jot them down, and write them later into the relevant letters.
posted by mirileh at 11:34 AM on December 27, 2008

Write notes on postcards and leave them in random places, with the instruction to write a little note and drop it in the mail. You can pre-stamp the postcards and put your address on them, so you can see who picked up your card.
posted by missjenny at 12:49 PM on December 27, 2008 [3 favorites]

Write to me and tell me a story about yourself- something that might translate well to a radio show.
posted by lifeofthunder at 8:59 PM on December 27, 2008

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