6 things you can write to a pen pal about

A blonde woman writing with a pen in a notebook

When it comes to letter writing, one of the most frequent questions we hear is, “What should I write to my pen pal about?”

It seems that many of us love the idea of writing to someone but, when it comes down to it, we aren’t quite sure what we should be saying to a pen pal in our letters.

This is understandable, and the most important answer to the question of what to write is to share only what you are comfortable sharing.

Above all, never share anything with a pen pal that you don’t feel you should be sharing or don’t wish to share.

So, with that said, what can you write to a pen pal?

Once you’ve sent your first letter to a pen pal and have been chatting back and forth for a while, you might want to include some of the below ideas.

1.      Updates on things you have already mentioned

As you are engaged in an ongoing conversation with your pen pal, it’s nice to keep them updated on things you may have mentioned previously.

For example, if you mentioned in your last letter that your dog was unwell, you can go ahead and update them on how your dog is doing now.

If, in a past letter, you told your pen pal you had a gut feeling about somebody you had recently met, you might wish to return to that conversation and explain how you’ve been proved wrong or right.

2.      Personal or family news

Your pen pal is a friend, and so you may wish to keep them updated on any personal or family news, as you would your local friends who you see face-to-face.

This could include news about your employment, your kids’ achievements, your health, or anything else you wish to share.

3.      TV or film recommendations

A young couple watching TV together, sat on a sofa

If your pen pal tends to enjoy similar TV shows or movies to you, then you might want to let them know of anything you’ve watched that you think they’d enjoy. Likewise, you might want to give them a heads up to avoid a show!

If there is a TV series that you both love to watch, you might want to discuss recent plot developments and characters with your pen pal, too.

4.      Book recommendations

If you connect over books, then I’m sure your pen pal would love to hear about what you’ve been reading recently and the books you recommend.

You could also suggest that you both read the same book one month and then discuss it afterwards — like a book club for two!

5.      Recent holidays or events

A woman on holiday or vacation, sat in the countryside

Sharing what you have been up to since you last wrote can be fun and might spark further conversation around new topics.

If you’ve been on holiday or attended an event, I’m sure your pen pal would love to hear all about it. Think about the details that made your experience unique and make sure to include those — for example, if you have been on holiday, tell them about the interesting character you sat next to on the flight home or about how the hotel overbooked and so you had to spend one night in another hotel.

6.      What’s coming up for you

Alongside what you have been up to, it can be interesting to share what is coming up for you — this is especially good to include in your letters if you don’t write frequently.

Mention upcoming events and let your pen pal know how you are feeling about them.


Of course, it’s also important to ask your pen pal questions. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, here’s our list of 75 questions to ask a pen pal.

Lucy is our lead editor and has been passionate about stationery since childhood. She has a particular fondness for rollerball and calligraphy pens and is a keen advocate of snail mail.

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