Talk:Pen pal

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I find the style of this article a bit jarring. It is written in the imperative, and in a rather conversational and enthusiastic tone. Maybe I'm just a dull person, but I find that kind of writing a pain to read. Also, article says "in Germany, Hawaii, Australia, England, or Japan" -- this sounds rather somewhere-centric (probably continental U.S.) -- if you live in one of those places, the statement just doesn't have the same effect. -- SJK

The article reads like someone wrote it for a webcolumn somewhere aimed at children. I've done a little work on it to generalise it and raise it to an adult level, but more is still required. A history of penpalship/letterwriting might be a good addition, with some famous penpals/correspondants from history.


I removed the following sentences from paragraphs because they don't have an encyclopedic tone: --Chuck Smith

There is no restriction on who can become a penpal. The only requirement is the willingness to write letters and to share a part of your life with a stranger.
Write to people in Germany, Hawaii, Australia, England, or Japan. With a little researching you can even find a penpal at the north pole.
There's more to writing letters than good grammar and punctuation. Letter-writing is a great way to practice your grammar and punctuation but more important is the letter itself.
Once you find a good club, choose a country you would like to know more about. Maybe you don't prefer a country but are happy to write to other people in your own area. When you choose your penpal or penpals keep a copy of their address and write down any other information available about their interests.
If you get one try to pass it on as soon as you can. If you want to make one remember to keep it light, too many pages will cost more in stamps to send for yourself and everyone else.
There are all kinds of things you can do with letter writing. You are only limited by your own imagination and the envelope you mail your letter in.

Should it be penpal or pen pal? --Chuck Smith

A google search showed 276,000 returns for "pen pal" and 247,000 for "penpal". Personally, I've never seen the second spelling. -- Zoe
It should be pen pal or pen-pal, and never penpal. However, penpal is quickly gaining popularity. The google search should evidence that. --Stonewall Canyon 04:38, Apr 13, 2006 (UTC)

Also over 100,000 combined for "pen friend" and "pen friends", which are now listed in the article. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 02:15, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

Prison Pen-pals[edit]

Each holiday season I write to a prisoner I know and send cards with small gifts to some I don't. Prisoners of course are limited to snail mail. Use of a post ofice box is recommended. There are many websites for obtaining addresses, found by searching Google for "prison" and "pen-pal" - usually free to the writer. Now, does this belong in the article? Simesa 08:29, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a partial article for "" on Wiki now. It actually contradicts some of this section. Many prisoners here in the US now have limited access to email. I'm not proficient with Wiki, so if anyone wants to add it, go for it. I keep screwing these articles up more than I contribute. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:39, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I've removed all the external links, as they're all basically just advertising individual penpal sites (except perhaps the second one), and they don't really add any additional information to the article. Wikipedia is not a web directory, and this list could run to hundreds of sites easily.

  • Language Tandem Intelligent search engine helps you to find your ideal penpal for language exchange (free service)
  • All Info About Penpalling Your guide to penpalling with lots of great info on how to make penpalling fun.
  • International Pen Friends USA Provides penpals aged from 8 to 80 from all around the world. A Special School Class Service is also available for Teachers.
  • Penpal Park Good, well laid out site with free membership and live web-based instant messaging and message boards.
  • Pen Pal Palace search for, find and meet international penpals, penfriends and make new penpal, epal and e-mail friends throughout the world with this free, quick and easy method.
  • Language Exchange Penpal Language exchange with Pen Friends worldwide.
  • BEPenfriends site which is dedicated to forging pen pal friendships and relationships
  • Esperantomondo multilingual site that facilitates correspondence in Esperanto with more than 900 users from 57 different countries
  • InterPals Penpal Net one of the largest and most popular online pen pal sites (free)Pen pal are fun to have I would LOVE to be yuors
  • Just Write ... "Where Letter Writers Meet." Subscribe to the print magazine.
  • Pen Pal World a free, online pen pal site
  • Pen Pal International a large, free, online pen pal site
  • friend SHACK new, secure and always free, online pen pal / friendship finding site
  • The Letter Exchange Snail mail magazine and forwarding service established in 1982.
  • Write-A-Prisoner in the U.S.
  • Letternet Pen pal organization sponsored by Deutsche Post, the German postal service.
  • A free website finding penfriends for prisoners all over the world.

sjorford (talk) 11:16, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

This is really getting out of control. What can be done to keep this link spam from continuing? --Stonewall Canyon 04:41, Apr 13, 2006 (UTC)

More specific spam links were removed. --StonewallCanyon 02:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

There should still be certain well known sites in an external link section TheSun 03:49, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Pen Pal Wiki[edit]

Hi. I recently founded a wiki on Wikia called Pen Pal Wiki. I think a link from this article to Pen Pal Wiki is a good idea, although at the same time it could be counted as just more spam. So I'll leave it someone else to add a link to Pen Pal Wiki if they see fit. Markdarb 00:16, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Australian / Commercial Bias[edit]

I'd be interested in knowing why there are numerous "acceptable" links to commerical web sites on this page. For example:

  • organizations: "Global Penfriends is an example of a Partial subscription service where people can register their profiles for free and also choose to upgrade their account." -- how more blatantly commerical can a citation be?
  • organizations: "Another is International Pen Friends, established in 1967, which serves people of all ages." That's an Austrialian based commercial website.
  • external links: "" -- a clearly commercial website...just one of many in the list

So here's my question: What is the standard being used to edit content on this page? Usdave 17:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I've removed these links. We have standards such as Wikipedia:External links. But people come into articles which nobody is paying attention to and leave spam links, which may sit there for a long time if no one removes them. --Xyzzyplugh 16:12, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


What is the history of the PP movement? I assume it's a 20th century phenomenon? Drutt (talk) 21:52, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Pen Pal-ing[edit]

The problem with pen pal-ing I see is confounded by the near ubiquitous anonymity of the internet and the hatred for spam. Snail mail counters spam. I'm looking for a middle ground between internet anonymity and a p.o. box. --TaylorWW (talk) 14:49, 3 June 2009 (UTC)