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Hearty congratulations to Wendy and Steve, two staff writers who were recently engaged. Some of us helped Steve find the perfect engagement ring for Wendy. We all searched online, but it was Steve who finally found an online e commerce site that sold sterling silver jewelry (Wendy’s favorite) and selected from among their numerous stunning sterling silver rings, a lovely ring with cubic zirconia stones. If you are not familiar with cubic zirconia, it is a synthetic stone that rivals the diamond in its dispersion exceeding that of diamonds. The synthetic gemstone really dazzles the eye. Talk about glittering brilliance! Wendy’s sterling silver ring is impressive, but her smile and joy of showing off her lovely engagement ring is even more so. Congratulations to the both of you.

Corie and Youngna are excited, but overwhelmed! The management of the project has begun to take on a life of its own with new requirements, needs and aspirations. These include server space, a secure database of participants, an active website and a technological infrastructure that can support a constant flow of interested letter writers, their changes of address and entry and exit from the project, and lastly but probably most importantly, our office space which hosts many writers and editors who are both local and who travel to work for us. Donations to the MLP will be applied directly to the project’s operational costs.

Recently there were 2 very unexpected and much appreciated donations. The first donation was a surprise for a couple of reasons- firstly we had just moved into our office space and thing were in definite need of some TLC, secondly the donation pertained directly to this need! We received an a package from the only store Clean It Supply, full of janitorial supplies – mops, scrubbers, a janitorial cart with a bottle of top of the line floor cleaner and a commercial back pack vacuum cleaner. This strange and thoughtful donation was completely fantastic and surprisingly exactly what we needed, especially that vacuum cleaner. Receiving a donation like this made cleaning up feel actually FUN! The chief editor- Dan Spats spent just one afternoon getting all of the construction dust out of the space.

The other surprising donations we’ve received were sent from some very special people. When Corie opened the first elegant canvas gift basket with leather trim she found several bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlo along with delightful gourmet nibbles. Tucked into an engraved metal fortune cookie was a substantial check! The second gift basket contained Dom Perignon champagne and caviar with fluted glasses. Hidden in this gift basket was another generous check. Needless to say, this was a wonderful start and will help keep the project afloat.

The Modern Letter Project is a collaboration between Corie Trancho-Robie and Youngna Park reviving the lost art of snail mail correspondence.

It is our hope that, at end of the year each participant in the project will have a network of new pen pals, friends, and a collection of letters to treasure, and as a group, the art of letter-writing will explore new intersections between letter-writing with art and technology.

Each participant receives one address per month for twelve months. For each of those months, they write a total of at least two letters:
1.    To the address sent to them
2.    A response to the person who has written to them
Project images are located in the Modern Letter Project flickr pool and more information about letters, stationery, events, and more can be found on our blog.

If you are interested in participating, please send the following information to themodernletter(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject heading I Want to Write Letters and we will contact you when there is an opening.
1.    Your full name
2.    Your mailing address (must be willing to share)
At that time, we will ask you to confirm your willingness to participate, as well as your age. We are currently only accepting participants over 18 years old.

One day Corie and Youngna got to talking: the internet is such a great way to connect people and a great way to keep in touch, but isn’t there something just missing, like that satisfying feeling of getting a personal letter? We collectively lamented the days of good ol’ snail mail and decided to reach out to some friends. Turns out we had lots of pals who missed receiving letters, and others who missed writing them, so we decided to connect the dots, and thus, the Modern Letter Project was born.

The MLP launched in March 2007 with 80 participants. Since its inception, the project has attracted over 200 participants from all ends of the globe. New friends are being made, family recipes shared, art projects created out of the idea of cherishing the written letter.

We appreciate your support. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at themodernletter [at] gmail [dot] com.

Putting the snail back in mail:
An international pen pal project
for the modern world.