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Pen Pal Swap Archived

Membership & Pen Pal Requests are CLOSED.
The L.W.A. will not longer be an active organization after July 2020.

You can view details and our timeline on the blog post about this announcement.

While we understand that you are excited to get started, please read this page before requesting a pen pal

Our Pen Pal Style

We value serendipity and learning new things through letters. This means that we do not do a 100% match on interests. We use interests as a guideline to find you someone you have some overlap of interests in. Writing to someone who is a duplicate of you will get boring, so we leave room for growth of relationship in our matches.

If your are not keen on this matching style, then the L.W.A. pen pal swap is likely not a good fit. We have no list to review – it is all trial and error. Sometimes you'll find a great pal and sometimes not.  

Pen Pal Overview

  • We have Pen Pal FAQs for your perusal.
  • Our swap is between L.W.A. members only, so you know who you are writing to loves letters as much as you do.
  • We make this page available to the public in order to be transparent as to how our swap works and to make our pen pal policy viewable to all.
  • This swap is not for members who are currently incarcerated since there are a plethora of prisoner pen pal organizations available.

letter waiting to be written

Be an awesome pen pal:

Start writing immediately

  • Write to your pen pal within 2 weeks of receiving their mailing info.
  • If you know you won't be able to write an intro letter in 2 weeks or less, wait to sign-up until you will have the time.

Actually write and respond.

  • Only sign-up for the swap if you fully intend to maintain correspondence with your pen pals.
  • Don't be the sad trombone in someone's empty mailbox.

Give your pal a chance.

  • Seriously–give it two to three letters before you decide if it is a good pen match.
  • If you are going to look at someone's interests and not even bother to write the first letter to get a correspondence going, don't even sign up for the swap. Doing this is wasting the time of your potential pal and Kathy's time matching you up.

Be respectful of your pen pal and don't be a jerk.

  • Being a pen pal is not an open invitation to judge folks or make them feel uncomfortable. We are all different and the point of open your world up to other letter lovers is to embrace and enjoy our differences.
  • Having a pen pal is a gift of that person's time. Respect that.

What to expect from your request:

Be Patient

  • Kathy hand-matches each pen pal request and this sometimes takes time, especially if you have special requests.
  • We get an average of 100 pen pal requests a week, so your patience is super appreciated. You can expect an address for your pen pal in 2-3 weeks.

Match Info is Emailed

  • Your pen pal match will be emailed to you, so please supply an email you check regularly.
  • Double check that you wrote your email correctly!
  • You will be emailed an address to write to and your second pal will get your mailing address. You should end up with two good pen pals.

Special Requests are Iffy to No

  • Understand that sometimes all special requests cannot be met, but I try to match you as best as possible.
  • I cannot honor requests for pen pals from specific countries.
    (For example, if you put "Only people from Wales," I will most likely not be able to find you that match. While our membership is worldwide, trying to hunt down specific nationalities slows down matching significantly.)

    Pen Pal Policy

    It is unfortunate that we must have a disclaimer, but below is what you agree to when you join the pen pal swap.

    The pen pal swap is kept within Letter Writers Alliance (L.W.A.) members. By joining the swap you agree to act in a respectful manner and to not use this service for unlawful means. That being said, we do not filter who can become a member nor can we dictate what our members do in their personal lives.

    In joining this swap you agree to be solely responsible for your communications with your pen pal and that the Letter Writers Alliance and its owners are not liable for any damages or loss that may occur due to your pen pal correspondence. You agree that the use of this service is at your sole risk. You consent to indemnify and hold harmless the L.W.A. from any claim, demand, or damage asserted by you or a third party due to your correspondence.

    In return, the L.W.A. will match you with as many pen pals as you wish for free for as long as the organization is in service. The L.W.A. also agrees to keep your information safe and not share it with anyone other than the pen pals you requested. We will not sell your information or otherwise do anything evil or anything worthy of mustache-twirling with the information you have given us. View our privacy policy for more info on our information policies.