Posted July 24, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 30 Comments

Yup, you read that right. I’ve decided to start a book blogging penpal program after seeing multiple tweets about how people wish they had blogging penpals, wanted people to talk about books with “in real life”, and wanted to send letters. So I thought: why not create a book blogging penpal exchange?

And then my thought was, “Cool idea, Stormy. Sounds like a lot of work though. Just wait for someone else to do it.” But I liked the idea too much. So I decided to jump into it with full force. So here’s what it is:

Book Blogging PenPal Exchange

This is a PenPal EXCHANGE, meaning that I’ll partner two bloggers up & they’ll be each other penPals for a MONTH. Basic stuff. Here’s how it’ll work:

1)Towards the end of every month, I’ll link a Google docs form for penpals to fill out if interested.
2) Sign-ups will typically close the 28th(but this month’s will close on the 1st), and I will pair penpals by the beginning(1-4th ish) of the new month.

3) On the sign-up forms, you’ll give some info about your blog, your interests, etc, blogging preferences. You WON’T give your mailing address. After pairing bloggers, I’ll send an email to  the PAIR for that month & you can exchange mailing info through that. This is for liability reasons.

4) You’re asked to try and exchange 4 pieces of snail mail a month. So, each person should write about two. At the end of the month, feel free to keep pen-paling if you’d like! And if you choose to keep pen-paling, you can still sign up for a new penpal too.

5)Ideally, I’d love to pair newer bloggers up with older bloggers, so that’s another potential benefit of bookish penpals!

6)If PenPals are your thing but a penpal EXCHANGE doesn’t make you excited, I recommend checking out these lovely bloggers and their penpal system:

RULES & STUFF(I know, I know. . . But it’s important!)

1. YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER TO PARTICIPATE. Unfortunately, this rule has to be in place for liability reasons. In the future, if this program expands, it may be possible to offer it to under 18-year-olds with parental permission.


Be respectful of me and your penpal. I withold the right to deny someone a penpal for any reason(not responding to last penpal, complaints about rude behavior, etc.)

3. This is NOT a gift exchange. We all love gifts, and you love your penpal. I get it! But, I don’t want any participant to feel like they need to recopicrotate a gift. If you decide to continue conversing via snail-mail after your month, than go for it! But during the month of official penpal ness, please refrain from giving gifts(If you want to get in on the gift-giving spirit, I recommend the Book R.AK. hosted by Book Soulmates).

FAQ’s (I would assume).

Do I have to be a book blogger?

No, however I do ask that you be active in the online bookish community. So if you’re not a blogger, but you comment on book blogs, follow bloggers on twitter, maybe write occasional reviews, or a booktuber, go for it! This isn’t a monitored thing, but it just makes it easier to keep everyone on the same page.

Do I have to be willing to send internationally?

No, however, you are able to sign up if you’re international. You can specify a specific country only, Canada & US, anywhere, etc.

Can I skip months?

Yup! Just sign up for the months you want to be a penpal.

Can I sign up past the closing window if I send you an email?

Unfortunately, no. I’m going to need some time to sort out penpals and when people are being added late, it’s makes it really hard to make it fair for everyone.

What if there’s an odd number of sign-ups?

Then I or someone else will have two penpals that month!(only if they’re willing).

Can I sign up even if I’m not in the US?


Do we have to limit ourselves to talking about books & blogging?

Nope! Books & blogging is a great starting point, but let your PenPal relationship develop naturally. If that means you start talking about your favorite sport teams or career or whatever. Just keep it reasonable–don’t share information you don’t want shared, and be mindful of what YOU share.

Hope you enjoy the PenPal exchange!



30 responses to “Introducting: BOOK BLOGGING PENPAL EXCHANGE!

  1. Bookish Recap: July 21st – 27th | A Bookish Heart

    […] Stormy also introduces her idea of a book blogging penpal exchange! […]

  2. Just came across your post, which means I missed the deadline. 🙁 Any chance you’ll repeat this book blogger penpal idea at a later date?

    • stormydawnc

      Yes! If this month goes well, I plan on making it a monthly thing. I’ll probably open the sign-ups around the 20th or 21st, and close then on the 28th.

      • Jorie


        I was just curious, when do our partner matches come through?! I’ve been ever so curious who I would be matched up with this month!? I did read on your twitter feed that you were working on them last night!? Maybe the post today or on the morrow!?

  3. Jorie

    Hi Stormy!

    I came across your blog via Doing Dewey, which I think was linked through Bout of Books!? I am getting ready to join Bout of Books, 8.0, as my book blog *launches!* this weekend! I explained that in the form I filled out for you! 🙂 I am hopeful I made it here in time for the first pen pal exchange as it said the deadline was 1st of August! Eek. Cutting it close, but its just past 1 am, so hopefully, I made it!? Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • stormydawnc

      Don’t worry–sign-ups aren’t closing until 11:30 PM on August 1st, so you’re in good shape!

  4. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    Great idea Stormy! I’ll definitely sign up for this month. It should be fun 🙂 Way to be proactive and just do it yourself instead of waiting for someone else to do it. A lot of us are procrastinators when it comes to things that are extra 😛

  5. As I said on Twitter: THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME. I’ve wanted a pen-pal since I was a little kid but I never had the chance. I’m so excited to see who I get and everything that follows. Great idea!

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks! And I’d say you should sign up. . . except I have a bit of a vested interest in this idea actually succeeding, so I’m biased, haha! BUT, in all fairness, you could sign up for a month at a time and then just evaluate from there?

  6. Leanne

    This is a really great idea, Stormy! I’m so glad you went ahead and set it up instead of waiting. 🙂 It’s a shame the convenience of digital interaction has limited hand-written letters so much. Very nice to see it being kept alive in one more way.

    I will definitely help spread the word in my weekend wrap-up. I bet tons of people will be interested in this!

    Also: Cute notebook paper form!

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks! I thought the google docs notebook paper form was appropriate given the context!
      Thanks for spreading the word. I love digital interactions, but I definitely miss pen-and-paper sometimes.

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks! I thought the google docs notebook paper form was appropriate given the context!
      Thanks for spreading the word. I love digital interactions, but I definitely miss pen-and-paper sometimes.

  7. Stormy, this is such a fabulous idea! I’ve always liked the thought of handwritten letters but I’ve never had a pen pal before, so I am very excited to get started with this! Thanks for putting this together 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks! Glad to know I’m not the only one who still loves letters. I had a PenPal in elementary school and I remember it being really fun(though how anyone read my handwriting is anyone’s guess. . . )

  8. Thanks so much for organizing this- it’s such a fantastic idea! I still love writing and receiving handwritten letters; I think they have a personal touch just can’t be captured with electronic communications like email.

    • stormydawnc

      Glad you’re interested! I love digital communication, but there’s something very NICE about snail mail sometimes.

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