Time to Share Your Autostraddle Air Mail

Hey everyone! Some 800+ of you (at least!) should remember our super-awesome pen pal project from this summer.Β Have you sent a letter to your Autostraddle pen pal lately? We hope you’ve been keeping up with your new buddies, but who could blame you for letting yuletide stress swallow up some of your lesser obligations?


Now that it’s post-finals and post-holidays, it’s time to pull out your snowman stationary and send your pen pal some love. Or perhaps you could make your pen pal some cookies? Laura sent me her famous homemade Oreos earlier this semester and it made my week. You, too, could engender this same sense of joy! (Just remember, you don’t want to make your vegan or peanut-allergic pen pal cry, so make sure to ascertain any dietary restrictions or preferences they might have before you send off your baked goods).

Do you have any excellent pictures, quotes, stories, etc. that you’ve received or sent so far that you want to share with the class? With permission from your pen pal, pull out the shoebox from under your bed where you’ve been stashing all the cute things and send that love our way email-style to julia [at] autostraddle [dot] com or laura [at] autostraddle [dot] com. We’ll feature it in a gallery in January!

(Also, if you’re having trouble reaching your pen pal, please contact us at the above emails, and we’ll send your pen pal a line and see what’s up.)

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Julia has written 1 articles for us.


  1. Thumb up 3

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    I want a pen pal too! When the program started the first time, I was in the process of moving, but I have an address now! I want some letters!!!

  2. Thumb up 9

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    Like several others, I was moving when the first pen pal list was drawn up.

    Please do another one, or I will be forever unable to make amends for never replying to my school-mandated Belgian pen friend when I was 10.

    Oh! The guilt!

    But it’s ok, I am prepared now. I have: five coloured envelopes, two sheets of butterfly stickers, sixteen glitter pens and one bucket of attitude.

  3. Thumb up 2

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    I’ve got my new monogrammed wax seal and paper embosser coming in the mail and most of my former high school friend pen pals are horrible corresponders. Clearly I want in on this.

  4. Thumb up 2

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    I’ll bite!

    Getting mail from overseas is way more exciting than the bills I usually receive, especially when it includes glitter, stickers and a photo collage. Also I felt vaguely stalker-ish when I realised I recognised my pen pal from her blog/AS contributions.

    I’ve been a completely useless pen pal over the last couple of months (ugh, so ashamed) because work completely took over my life. I DID just send an Aussie-festive-season-themed box of things to make up for it, so that counts, right?

  5. Thumb up 2

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    This post makes me feel guilty that I still haven’t sent anything to my penpal. I’ll work on that this weekend!

  6. Thumb up 3

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    I always thought that having a pen pal was nice… but having a pen pal from AS is simply amazing!
    Although I am not sure I would even sign up because I’m not out to my mom (not out to anybody actually) and… well, I don’t know how I would explain this random letter from another country.

    • Thumb up 4

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      I try not to upset my mum any more than I have to with the gay stuff, so i tell her it’s a website for girls that has great stuff about feminism, and a really nice community when I talk about it with her. Don’t avoid a penpal for this reason. (If pen pals happen again anyway.)

  7. Thumb up 1

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    Dear Pen Pal,
    A two page letter cost me $1.50 + gas. I never received a reply.
    You now owe me $2.00…
    I want my $2.00…


    Nah, I’m joking. I probably wrote the incorrect address.

    • Thumb up 2

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      Mine never wrote back either, even after triple checking I wrote the address on the envelope correctly. So, so sad. πŸ™

      • Thumb up 1

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        I’ll be your new pen pal if you like. And I mean that in the non-pervy way that I just re-read it as lol. I didn’t hear about this project so I want to get involved too!

        • Thumb up 7

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          I don’t think “I’ll be your pen pal if you like,” is a very pervy thing to say. If it is, I think you need to work on your dirty talk.

          • Thumb up 4

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            Gosh I think you might be right, all the elocution lessons at finishing school really don’t prepare you for any form of dirty talk lol

  8. Thumb up 2

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    My dearest darlingest prodigal Ketzel:
    I just got your letter yesterday! It would seem you mixed up the name of my town, and the US postal service just figured it out. If you read this, I promise your mega-beautiful letter is in the mail <3

  9. Thumb up 2

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    The letter I wrote included:

    Gold glitter!
    Rainbow stickers!
    A small collage of watermelons!
    A page of thought bubbles!

    I never received a response, nor did my pen pal write back to Laura’s follow up inquiry.

    I’m genuinely worried that this person may not be all right, because who doesn’t like glitter, rainbows, collages of fruit, and cartoonish letters?

  10. Thumb up 2

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    I wrote my penpal back but never received a second reply – but my reply was a month later because I’d just moved to start grad school out-of-state…so probably my fault.

    Still – I also vote for AS Penpal 2.0.

  11. Thumb up 1

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    I miss my penpal. We exchanged a bunch of letters, but then I got super busy with grad school, and it took me a month to reply (this was in early November), and I haven’t heard back from her. Brittany, I miss you!

  12. Thumb up 1

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    Alex, I sent you a letter to Istanbul. I hope you got that letter. I don’t know where you went after you left Istanbul and I don’t have your new adress.

  13. Thumb up 1

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    I lost my pen pal’s address and I feel really bad about it! She changed addresses right after the first letter and somehow I got confused and threw it away. So if molly from new york reads this then mail me something with your address on it please πŸ™‚ sorry

  14. Thumb up 1

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    My pen pal is terrific. We’ve only exchanged 3-4 pieces of mail because of busy schedules, but they are always welcome and enjoyed. Her last one sent shortly before Thanksgiving said she was in the middle of moving. I sent her a holiday card and short letter this week anyway, and only hope Canada forwards it…

  15. Thumb up 2

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    Yes! I would be up for doing the penpal thing again. I haven’t had a proper penpal for ages and I am happy to post internationally (and received some nice stationery for Christmas!!)

    Also, I hope Autostraddle won’t mind me sharing this – but I actually started a LiveJournal community for this a few years ago (I know I know, LJ, oldschool!) It’s for finding queer penpals:


    I don’t moderate it at all any more but I think quite a few people still use it. Might be of interest to some people.

  16. Thumb up 1

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    I was a bit remiss in sending out my initial letter, but hopefully it should have arrived by now… if you’re reading this, Nuala, sorry for the delay!

  17. Thumb up 0

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    Yeah, I definitely wrote to my penpal a little late, but after being bugged to do so I diligently did! And then she never wrote back. So I’ll definitely jump into the ring for a second.

  18. Thumb up 5

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    I’ve been working on my handwriting,I have new Powerpuff Girls stickers and my mother thinks I have a great sense of humor. Calm yourselves ladies. One at a time.

  19. Thumb up 8

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    I’ve been collecting stickers since I was seven and I seriously need to offload them onto someone – so I would TOTES be up for a new penpal round (since I never got in on the last one) so that someone can SAVE ME FROM DROWNING IN HEARTS AND RAINBOWS AND FLUFFY UNICORNS.

    (No I’m not kidding. I have fluffy unicorn stickers. Form an orderly queue, ladies.)

  20. Thumb up 1

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    I’d love a penpal! I thoroughly enjoy handwriting and don’t get the opportunity to write for any reason beyond having fun with it, nearly enough!

  21. Thumb up 1

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    I don’t have fluffy unicorn stickers! πŸ™ But I live in Spain, so maybe I can find some cool touristy stickers for my penpal… if I get one. πŸ™‚

  22. Thumb up 1

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    I want an AS penpal SOOO BAD!!! I have beautiful penmanship! I have great taste in stickers! I have free time on my hands! Who wants in on this?

  23. Thumb up 0

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    Hey hey, I would totally be up for a pen pal. If one of you fine folk would like a canadian pen pal, post a comment below…..I’m all over this pen and paper stuff!

  24. Thumb up 0

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    I’d totally be up for a pen pal. I know everyone has said this but if anyone is interested, message me on here or reply to this reply. πŸ˜€

  25. Thumb up 0

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    I completely missed the pen pal train last time, so i’d also like to vote for another chance to get one! πŸ™‚

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