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What Do I Write To My Pen Pal?
Tips on what to write in your first letter to your pen pal.

  • You found someone that you think you may want as a pen pal; what should you write in your first email?

    First impressions are very important. If you blow it in your first letter, chances are, your pen pal will not write you back. Here are some tips for writing interesting emails.

    1. Be sure they know who the letter is from and why you are writing it. The clearer you are, the more likely you will receive a reply.
    2. Tell them your nickname or first name, age, gender and the country you live in.
    3. Let them know where you found their name and email address. This way they know you are someone serious about finding a pen pal.
    4. Let your potential pen pal know your hobbies and interests. This opens the flood gates to communication and lets them see if you have similar interests.
    5. Be specific. Don't say you like to read. Tell them what you like to read. Say something like, "I read a lot of adventure novels and my favorite ones are the Hardy Boys".
    6. Never, never, never demand that your pen pal write you back. That is not friendly and very rude. Invite them to write you back instead. For example, "Looking forward to hearing from you", "I can't wait to hear all about your camping trip", etc.
    7. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. In-other-words, write to more than one potential pen pal. Write to at least 3 or 4 different people and your chances of having at least one of them email you back are increased. And don't CC all your potential pen pals at once. This looks bad. Send individual emails to each person.
    8. Try not to lie. If you lie and you get caught, you can kiss your new friend good bye. Check out this guides article on, "Can I Lie To My Pen Pal?"
    9. Always keep safety in mind when writing to any stranger. Check out this guides article on, "Is It Safe To Write Letters?".
    10. Make sure you close your emails with something friendly that promotes friendship. For example, "Your New Friend", "Cheery Good-byes", "Yours" or "Cheers". Do not sign your email "Love". This person doesn't know you, you do not know them and love is not appropriate. You will also scare them off using that word.

  • Here is an example of a first letter to a potential pen pal.

    Hello Sarah.

    My name is Shauna and I found your name and email address at Kids Pen Pals from The Youth Online Club. I am from Canada and am very interested in becoming your pen pal.

    I am 15 years old and in grade 9. My favorite subject is science. I have been listening to N'SYNC a lot lately. I am a big fan of comedies and my favorite to date is Liar Liar with Jim Carey. Have you ever seen that movie?

    I belong to the Girl Guides and enjoy camping. I see that you are a Girl Guide too. Are you enjoying being a Girl Guide? Does your troop camp a lot?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you and becoming friends.

    Your new friend,
    Shauna

  • Here is an example of a poor letter.

    Hi there. I am interested in talking with people from all over the world. Write me back as soon as possible. I'm waiting for your answer. I'm from the USA. Bye.

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