Podcast: The Art of Letter-Writing, with Donovan Beeson

10 Feb 2012

incoming Jan 12 05
All images by Donovan Beeson, used with permission

How many letters have you written in the past year? Not emails, and not greeting cards or thank-you notes, but honest-to-goodness handwritten letters? If the answer is "Now many", that's not surprising. With the advent of email and social media, we're doing more speedy communicating with each other than ever, but the slow, thoughtful nature of letters is getting lost.

Austin 13My guest for this show is Donovan Beeson, who co-founded the Letter Writer's Alliance – a worldwide group with over 2,000 members and counting. Donovan and Kathy Zadrony offer pen pal connections, downloadable stationery, and both online and real-life camaraderie to letter-lovers everywhere.

Donovan also maintains the INtangible Blog, which is 100% hand-lettered and hand-drawn. It celebrates her love of vintage post-office goodies and interesting ephemera.

This show is actually about a great many things: it's about why letter-writing is beneficial, but it's also about what online communication does well. It's about mail art, and how a well-decorated letter actually touches many more people than whoever it's addressed to. Donovan and I also talk about letter-writing socials, mailable carrier pigeons, and perfection in blogs vs. the honesty of errors.


first drawer

Here, I'll mail you some links:

• Here's Donovan's hand-written blog, the INtangible Blog. Always a lovely read.

• Join the Letter Writer's Alliance to connect with other letter-writers.

16 Sparrows is Donovan and Kathy's stationery business, which gave rise to the Letter Writer's Alliance and the Pigeon Post.

• If you want to spend some happy hours perusing postal history and beautiful old typewriters, look no further than Donovan's Flickr stream.

• If you're curious about postal art, check out Good Mail Day by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler.

• Here's the Love Letters project Donovan mentioned in the interview.

• Don't forget our lovely sponsor, Swap-bot! In fact, Swap-bot was the subject of a past episode of CraftyPod. Click here to listen!



I started one of my blogs totally because I wanted to get back to handwriting more... communicating more really... I think we should always handwrite thank you notes, at the least!

Great podcast - yay!

Really inspired to start a letter writing social after listening to this. Thanks Diane and Swap-bot!

Thank you so much for sharing swap-bot.com with me! I've already signed up and will be swaping in no time! Love your blog. :0)

This was such a great interview! I'm proud to call Donovan both my friend AND my pen-pal! And I can also vouch for the excellence of the Pigeon Post!

Good Mail Day has a lot of presence online, from Tumblr to flickr to the little website up there. Parties interested in mail are invited to explore!

Oh, Diane. You slay me!