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How to Write and Address a Letter

As a young girl in the 90s, I remember sending letters to my best friend who had switched schools. The letters were by no means regular, and almost always illegible, but I can remember the feeling I got when my dad would come home and tell me I had mail. In a time before everyone had a computer for email, cell phones to text, or social media, getting a letter in the mail was just as exciting as getting your package from Amazon. It took a few days to a week to receive a letter, but the anticipation only added to the joy I felt when I got one.

I think that instant communication is something we take for granted now. It’s so easy to pull up a friend’s phone number and shoot her a text, or a message on social media. It’s also the reason that handwriting letters is a dying art, and why I’m so excited to be participating in InCoWriMo this year. One of the rules for InCoWriMo is that each letter has to be delivered, but what if you don’t know how to format a letter or address an envelope? Don’t worry! That’s why we’re here!

The kind of letter you’ll be writing for InCoWriMo is an informal or friendly letter. If you’re sending this letter to someone you know, your letter will have five parts.

1) The Heading: At the top left-hand corner of your paper, you will write your address in a line-by-line format. The last line will be the date. Like this:

123 Place Ln

Somewhere, WV 00000

January 16th, 2020

2) The Greeting: Under your heading, you’ll greet the recipient of your letter. You can use the formal greeting of “Dear,” as in “Dear Mom,” or you can use an informal greeting such as “Hi Mom!”

3) The Body: This is the main event! Here is where you’ll write down everything you want to tell your recipient. It can be anything! Just write!

4) The Closing: When you’ve finished writing your letter, you’ll want to close it. Do this by writing a complimentary closure. You can be formal, “Sincerely,” or informal, “Best.” If you’re writing to a loved one, “Love Always.” You can close it in any manner you see fit.

5) The Signature: Finish every letter by signing it. If you have anything else to say after you’ve signed it, you can add it to the bottom of the letter in a postscript, “P.S.”

Once you’ve written your letter, you’ll want to place it in an envelope in order to mail it. You’ll address your envelope this way:

1) Return Address: In the top left-hand corner, you’ll want to put your return address. This is the address you would want the postal service to send the letter back to if the delivery address is wrong, or the person you’ve addressed the letter to is no longer at that address. You’ll write your return address line-by-line, like in the heading of your letter, except your name will be the first line, and no date on the last line.

2) Delivery Address: This is the name and address of the person you are sending the letter to. It will be in the center of the envelope, and be written line-by-line exactly like your return address.

3) Postage: You’ll need a stamp (or a few depending on the weight of your envelope) for the letter you’ll be sending. The current cost of a postage stamp at the time of the writing of this post is 50 cents. You can buy several stamps online and have them shipped to you, or you can buy one at the post office when you send your letter. Simply place the stamp in the top right-hand corner of your envelope, and then place your envelope in any outgoing mailbox either at the post office or outside.

These are all the things you need to know about how to write and address a friendly letter! If you’re planning on doing a drop, you will want to leave out the heading (for your safety), and your envelope won’t need to be addressed to anyone in particular. That way anyone can pick up your letter, and you won’t have to worry about someone you don’t know showing up at your house.

Here at the Henlo Press, we’re very excited to be participating in InCoWriMo. We’re in the process of planning a write-in for the first day, and creating a Facebook page to support and encourage fellow participants. Keep an eye on our main page to find out more information! Write on, friends!


Your Friend at the Henlo Press

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