Creating connection in Windham County using the written word
PenPal Your Neighbor is a project aimed at connecting neighbors to neighbors from inside their homes this winter, through the power of snail mail. Participants will be paired with another Windham County resident and encouraged to write five letters back and forth to one another. The project is free to participate in. In addition to a penpal, participants will receive postage, stationery, and ideas for what to write about.
PenPals will be paired on a first come, first served basis. Participation is limited to 50 people (25 penpal pairs). Please see the FAQ section for more information.
PenPal Your Neighbor was created by Lauren Harkawik, a Wilmington-based writer who believes stories and the written word have the power to help us understand ourselves and each other better.
This program is supported by a Brattleboro Town Arts Fund Grant and made possible by the Arts Council of Windham County.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to participate in PenPal Your Neighbor?
A: Nothing! It's free to participate. We just ask that you commit to sending five correspondences back and forth with your penpal.
Q: What will I receive?
A: Each participant will receive the name and mailing address of their penpal and a penpal packet, which will contain postage and stationery to support five correspondences with the your penpal, and a list of writing prompts -- stories you may want to tell your penpal.
Q: Do I have to use the writing prompts?
A: No! They're just there to give you ideas, in case you aren't sure what to write about in your letters.
Q: When will I get my penpal packet?
A: Penpal packets will be sent out on a rolling basis starting in late March. Penpals will continue to be paired until we've reached 50 participants (25 pairs).
Q: Should I wait until late March to sign up?
A: No! Participation is limited to 50 participants (25 pairs of penpals), so sign up as soon as you decide you're interested.
Q: Who will my penpal be?
A: Your penpal will be someone who lives in Windham County and is also interested in connecting through the written word this winter. When possible, penpals pairs will be multigenerational, so you can connect with someone who may have a different perspective and different experiences than your own.
Q: What if I already know the penpal you pair me up with?
A: Small town life! If you already know your penpal, consider being their penpal anyway. This is likely to be a new form of communication and connection for you. If you happen to be paired with your mortal enemy and the awkwardness is insurmountable, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work out a new penpal for you.