Where best to write my fan letter to an author?
November 17, 2011 7:23 AM   Subscribe

How best do I contact an (aged, not terribly well known) author? Via her publisher? Who do I address it to so it doesn't go straight in the bin? Are there any other ways?

I have finally decided to write a letter of thanks to Judith Kerr, whose Pink Rabbit books greatly influenced me as a child and who I still think of fondly decades later. I'd like for my letter to reach her, though it won't be the end of the world if it does not.

Would I just address it to her, c/o her publisher? Is there a specific... department I should be sending this to? (Author Relations, something like that, I don't know.) I don't have any other "professional" information about her. Clearly though fan letters can reach authors, as Letters of Note has taught me.

(I know she lives in Barnes, London, but have ruled out hanging around the local supermarket. That's a bit creepy, and with her being 88 it's likely she doesn't go out an awful lot.)

Thank you all!
posted by ClarissaWAM to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes, address it to her c/o her publisher.
posted by kindall at 7:31 AM on November 17, 2011

Best answer: I actually worked for that house for a while, though not in London. Letters to authors were collected by the author's editor's assistant, and sent off in a package once a month or so. It will definitely get to her that way. In a house with as many authors as HC, tons of fan mail comes through, and they are very good at processing it.
posted by apparently at 7:35 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Marvellous, thank you very much both for reassuring me! Letter will be posted over the weekend!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 8:09 AM on November 17, 2011

You can actually find her home address by going to 192.com and searching for Anne Judith Kneale (her married name) in London SW13. You will have to pay to reveal the full address.
posted by TheRaven at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2011

Best answer: The advice above is incorrect. The standard source for this is Who's Who, which states that Judith Kerr should be contacted at the following address: c/o Society of Authors, 84 Drayton Gardens, London SW10 9SB.

From everything I've read and heard about her, Judith Kerr is a genuinely kind and lovely person. Her books are very popular in the UK and she probably gets sacks of fanmail, but I daresay she reads every single letter and may even reply to you if she has time. Incidentally, her Who's Who entry lists her recreations as: 'Walking across the river in the early morning, talking to cats, watching old films, remembering, staying alive'.
posted by verstegan at 5:49 AM on November 18, 2011

Response by poster: Oh dear, conflicting information! Well, I guess I can bear to write out my letter twice and send it to both addresses to be on the safe side. Also thanks for the 192.com tip TheRaven! I do prefer to go through "official channels" if the option is there though,
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:21 AM on November 19, 2011

Response by poster: (sorry, meant to add, thank you for the additional information on her verstegan! Doesn't she sound lovely :)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:23 AM on November 19, 2011

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