There is nothing quite like receiving a letter in the mail. It’s an entire ritual—from the sender’s stamp, to the tear of the envelope’s seal and, finally, to the debut of the stationery. Letter writing is most definitely an art—a lost art. In this workshop we unpack the art of letter writing.
Each of our four sessions begins with a stimulating writing prompt. Participants then turn off the camera feature on Zoom and retreat to their personal spaces to write for 15 to 20 minutes. After the allotted time, you are encouraged to share what you've written before we transition to discussing the day’s featured letter.
We examine some of our great letter writers, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and John Steinbeck. We study each writer’s style, voice, and structure while discussing themes such as the ethics of publication, why the writer may have chosen to use the letter as a vessel, and what we can learn from letters. We then use these featured letters as a springboard for writing our own letters, to be submitted prior to class for our fellow participants to read.
This peer review is perhaps the most valuable aspect of the period we spend together. You are given the opportunity to give and receive feedback about your own written letters. It is a time for growth—to gauge what is working for readers and what isn’t.
Discover the lost but not forgotten art of letter writing in this two-week, four-session workshop with ardent and enthusiastic letter writer Kate Oberdorfer.