Friday, December 31, 2010

Yes, again, it's this time of year, when we wish each other lots of success, happiness, health and of course love! I would go on and wish you all a wonderful 2011 filled with many big envelopes and packages of FB's swaps coming your way. Treasure your friends and family. And make every moment count. Enjoy penpalling and swapping, but above all make regular visits to this blog! Hope I made you laugh! Ho-ho-ho! New 2011, what do you have in store for us?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pen Pal Book

Hello and welcome to the review of Pen Pal Book: the newsletter.Here's the basic information that I came across to:

PenPal Book, Issue 29
"It is hard to find people who still like to do snail mail, so I have a newsletter I send out in January, April, July & Oct. To get a copy it is $12 black or $18 color for one issue. To get 4 issues its $20 black or $25 color. Its like buying two and getting two FREE. Personal ads are FREE to be put in, but Business ads are 5 cents per word/ symbols/ name & address. I take Cash, Checks & Money orders in my name Kimberly Garigin. This is a hobby and not a business. Address: Kimberly Garigin, 3726 Green Pond RD, Gray Court, SC 29645
If you buy 4 or more issues you get a 2 raffle tickets, a gift, a membership card, ads to hand out to friends, pals or family. Movie, comic & Music sheets to earn credit towards discounts on issues or get them FREE. Post cards of credit you can earn. A coupon to save money on your next order and more!!!
I do take PayPal payments just let me know through my email. If you don't send me money through your checking or banking account paypal takes $3.20 away from me for a fee. So if your sending through a credit card please add $3.20 to the total so I don't pay a fee...."

It sounded really interesting, so I went ahead and contacted the owner - Kimberly, who was really friendly and easy to talk to. She agreed to give me this exclusive interview for the readers of PenPal Magazine's Blog.

Maxine: Hello, Kimberly and welcome to my blog PenPal Magazine.
Kimberly: Hello, Maxine thanks for having me.
Maxine: Tell us more about your newsletter? How did the idea about the newsletter came to be?  
Kimberly: Back in 2002 I saw an ad for a newsletter. At that time I didn't know people did newsletters so I decided to subscribe to check it out. Once I started getting it, it looked weak. More like copies of papers. I was told by the Editor to send stuff in, but never saw my stuff. I even asked for the stuff back and didn't get it. So I decided to start my own! In Oct 2003 I had my first issue done and started advertising with other Editors from that newsletter and that's how my newsletter got off the computer. "The Pen Pal Book" has changed over the years due to subscribers giving me advise and I have been working with other Editors to make it more like a magazine. I have known most of the Editors from the start.
Maxine: Tell us more about the newsletter itself and a bit about its history? 
Kimberly: I started it Oct 2003, comes out Jan. Apr. July & Oct. I put Personal ads, as well as inmates ads even though I tell them my subscribers don't write to inmates. I put Business ads along with poems, stories, articles, and anything else that people send me in the mail, email or stuff I find that sound interesting. I even started doing raffles where subscribers can win!! I thought it would be cool to give out ribbons to subscribers who send stuff to me and at the end of the year hand out trophies for the subscriber that has been with me since the start, and who has sent me the most reviews and stuff.
Maxine: What columns/pages can we expect in PenPal Book?
Kimberly: I will always have Personal and business ads. I try to always have Quiz's, Fun pages. There is 3 months in the newsletters so my January issue has Jan, Feb & March. I also try to have Movie Reviews, Comics, TV Reviews, Music Reviews. I always have "Say it with words" where other subscribers can talk to each other or to me. I have Surveys that one subscriber sent me and Senior jokes, which doesn't always have jokes for kids so parents are ready!! I use to have Oprah & Sylvia Browne, but it was to time consuming for me since the past two years have been bad. In the past two issues have had Raffles, ribbons & trophies....When a Celebrity died and it is someone everyone knows like Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Farrah Faucett, and many more we have lost this past year I try to do an article on that person or people. I even put their photos in.
Maxine: Do you have any issues that are available on-line so that we can look at them before ordering?
Kimberly: I am sending you 2 of my issues to look at and I could send a free issue for people to get in their e-mail account. To continue to get it in the e-mail it would be $7 plus $3 to ship any prizes they get in the raffles. This is 4 issues a year. As long as they saw the article from your website and send me their e-mail they can get one of my issues free depending on what issue I am on. Just have them put in the Subject PPB and let me know they saw my article and I will send them the issue as long as they can see Microsoft works. You can put my e-mail on your site. 
Maxine: One question that I am sure that most people are wondering, do you have to pay to get your ad in your newsletter?
Kimberly: Personal ads are very welcome and there is no Fee, how ever since my newsletter is a Hobby so I make money off the Business ads and subscribers. The good news is when people subscribe they can earn credit for sending stuff to me. The credit to me is like money, 20 cents for a poem, Joining is $1.50, Jokes 10 cents and so forth. They can use the credit as soon as they get it or save them up to earn free issues or a one time free subscription. Once they get the free subscription after that they only pay half price for the subscriptions each year. All the money I get go towards Ink, paper, envelopes, postage, ribbons, trophies and many more. I am disabled so I don't make or get much money. I have been Pen palling since I was 15, so I know how important it is to help other people find pen pals.
Maxine: Do you search for any guest writers?
Kimberly: No, any of my subscribers can be writers. If someone who isn't a subscriber want to write for my newsletter they get to show off their talents because I don't have any way to pay them back since I am living off government money and using subscribers money to make the newsletters. If I get another Editors issue and I like what was put inside I will ask for permission than if its okay I put it in my newsletter and let subscribers know where I got the article or story from!!
Maxine:Thank you once again for this interview, Kimberly!
So my opinion about the Pen Pal Connection Paper Magazine:
Subscription: Easy - just to place an order!
Magazine type: Paid, paper newsletter, issued quarterly. Upsides: paper (yeah!) and it also comes in digital version.
Payment: Cash, Checks or Money orders. You can pay for the newsletter via  PayPal. Note that you will have to click on the "I will pay the fee" button as you send the money. Don't be cheap! For other payment options or questions contact: Vandine69(at) Write as Subject PPB that is the abbreviation for Pen Pal Book.
Information wise: It includes articles and Ads and all the fun sections that Kimberley told us about.
Ads from Pen Pals: Great job presenting the pen pals' ads!
Design: The design is a newsletter one, neat and clean. You can easily find your way to the sections that you can preview. You can contact the owner and get a sample from the magazine.
Check out their website: PenPal Book Website.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Letters & Journals: The e-Newsletter (since June 2010) & Paper Magazine (2011)

Letters & Journals - one of my favorite websites so far offer you an electronic newsletter and a promise for a paper magazine that is going to be released somewhere in 2011. Judging by the cover it will be a must see one! I am already excited about it and decided to share it will all of you out there!
"The launch of the print version of Letters & Journals is scheduled for 2011. It’s been a long time in research and planning and the challenge in 2010 has been to build a following of potential subscribers.
To date we have a list of 2,300 names of possible subscribers/ buyers. Our goal is to get 5,000 names. Once we have a list of 5,000 names then we will begin approaching advertisers and following up with the ones who have already expressed interest (thank you!).
If you know some people or groups who would be interested, please encourage them to sign up for the website, the e-newsletter or just let me know to add them to my Magazine Updates Only list. None of the lists are being sold or shared and there is no obligation."
Text from: Letters & Journals Official Blog.

The magazine idea of "Letters and Journals" sounded awesome to me and with such a cover - I simply could not resist to send an email to Jackie and I asked about an exclusive interview. She responded really quickly and here is the sneak peek of what's coming our way in the first paper issue of the magazine "Letters and Journals".

Maxine: Tell us more about how the idea about the website and of course the e-newsletter and the magazine came to be?
Jackie: I got the idea for a magazine on letter writing while completing my master's thesis on the history of letter writing in 2004. During my research I came across hundreds of newspaper and internet articles bemoaning the loss of letter writing. These articles were written by people who love letter writing and miss it in their lives and I remember thinking, 'Who are all these people (like me) who love letter writing? Wouldn't it be great if we had a community or a magazine where we could share our appreciation of this hobby?' And that got me to thinking that there should be one. Then a light bulb went off and I thought 'Why don't I do one?' I have some related background (BA in English, worked on HS and college newspapers, bookstore manager for 10 yrs and district manager for a book company for 7 years, love the printed word, letters and mail and soon I will have my Master's degree in Communication (which I have now).
Adding journals seemed a natural fit as it's not just letters/mail that I love, but also pens, notebooks, journals, ink, pencils, postcards, stamps, etc.
So began my research into how to start a magazine. Reading books, searching online, noting ideas in other magazines that would work, talking to others who have done it (Kim at Faerie Magazine, Lydia at Performing Songwriter magazine and Cathy Scheibe of Toy Farmer magazine who is from ND (like me). Finding blogs and groups by people with the same interest. Joining groups like Exceptional Women in Publishing and the MN Magazine Periodical Association. Attending conferences as my budget allows.
Thinking big and starting small. An example of this is designing my perfect magazine in my head and then listing what makes it exceptional. Next, I choose one aspect of that and find out what I need to do to make it happen. In this case, I spoke to printers at a conference and got feedback on some of my ideas (quarterly issues, perfect bound, wt of the paper). I went to a paper show courtesy of my graphic designer who attends these regularly and was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to attend one with her.
The website was a natural choice since it's something I can do right away without the funds like I'll need to print the magazine. Also, for my day job I work at a website company that happens to cater to publishers. It's a small company and our president is brilliant. I have learned a lot about what to do/not do. If only I could afford them. Ha!

Maxine:A question that I am sure everyone will be asking, when is the paper magazine going to be released?
Jackie: I hope to have a print edition out sometime in 2011. At this point it is looking to be later in the year. I have the editor and art director ready to go, but what's missing at this point is having enough people to sell it to. Apparently, where a lot of new publishers go wrong is to create a magazine that doesn't have enough subscribers to sustain it. But it's hard to get all the subscribers you can when the magazine isn't around to show them all it can be. So it's been a longer process than I had hoped, but we're more than halfway to our goal of 5,000 interested people (potential subscribers). Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear from someone expressing interest in the magazine.

Maxine: Can you tell us more about the topics/sections that are going to be included in the paper version?
Jackie: I am continually adding to my list of topics for the print magazine! It surprises people how many topics there are. And since the magazine will only always be quarterly, we hope to keep the quality of the stories top notch. Here are some examples.

For the Paper Enthusiast - Product Reviews
From the Desk of… - Writing areas of famous people and L&J readers
L&J Online- Highlights of online only content available to all
City by City Guide to Stationery Stores- Features reviews, pictures, highlights of stationery stores
Fan Mail- Who gets it? How has it changed? What does it look like today? 20 years ago?
Calendar- Online contests (monthly), conferences, seminars, trade shows, retreats
Travel- Writing retreats, journal workshops, conferences, trade shows, seminars
Exotic Postmarks- History of postmarks, stamp collecting, postcards, foreign mail
Pen Pal Corner- Profile of pen pals, tools for writer, how to find/become one, class assignments
Letters in the Attic- found collections of letters, genealogy, saved letters, letters bought at an auction
Famous Letter Collections- Excerpts/highlights from books on letter collections
Mail Art- What it is, how to, reviews of mail art/artists
Scrapbook Journals- Journaling for scrapbook enthusiasts
Journal Type- Experiment with different journals (Nature, Daily, Art, Travel, Child, etc)
Fun with Day Planners- Review of different types of people’s planners
Famous Journal Collections- Excerpts/highlights from famous journals
Blog- The online journal experience
Letter Writing and Pen Pal Blogs

Maxine Is the paper magazine going to be a paid one? If so, any estimates about pages/prices that you can share with us?
Jackie: If all goes according to plan the magazine will retail for $7.99 or $8.99. Ideally we would offer electronic copy at a cheaper rate (and free if you purchase a subscription which will probably be $25-$30 for an annual subscripton. This will depend on timing, advertising, etc. so is subject to change, but that is what I am estimating at this point.

Maxine:Are there going to be PenPal and Swappers Ads in the magazine?
Jackie: I am undecided on this. There are so many other places where you can advertise for free, I'm not sure that people would pay for a personal ad. But you never know and there is always on online option down the road, in which case, it would be free.

Maxine: Do you plan to release "samples" of the magazine, so our readers can check them out first before ordering the magazine? 
Jackie: Yes. I am at the very beginning stages of putting together a zine which I would like to offer online and in print. I see this as a miniature version of the magazine.
Also, if I could find a magazine sponsor who would want to partner with L&J for the premiere edition and foot the bill for printing a limited run, then we could give those away as samples to the first 5,000 or 10,000 people who sent in their mailing address (or confirmed the address already on file). Possibly the lucky recipients would have to pay $2 or so for postage, but until a sponsor is found, that is all hypothetical.

Maxine: Once again, thank you for agreeing to be featured in the blog. I really enjoyed the idea about the interview, so that we can jazz up the whole blog entry about Letters and Journals. Needless to say that I am a huge fan of your website! Keep up the amazing work!
Jackie: Thank you for the opportunity to help get the word out about L&J! Thanks also for supporting other letter writing publications. I had not seen your site before. It's very well done and I think a lot of people will find it useful as well.
So my opinion about Letters&Journals: the e-newsletter and the paper magazine:

Subscription: Easy - just get on their website:
Magazine type: Prelaunch state of the paper version. Waiting anxiously to see it in 2011. For now you will have to settle with the e-newsletter, which covers interesting stories and updates from the site itself.
Payment: Free e-newsletter. The paper magazine will be paid.
Information wise: e-newsletter: includes updates and interesting topics.
Sections in the magazine: It looks like it will be the go-to magazine of everything that's cool and new in regards from writing supplies to journals and journal keeping.
Design: Pretty Good judging by the cover of the paper issue. E-newsletter: cute! Check out previous newsletters on their website!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Signal PenPal magazine

If you have actually tried to "Ask Google" about "Pen Pal Magazine", you probably have noticed that the first couple of pages from the search results are dedicated to Signal, which is a pen pal magazine established in the 1960s. Over the years their "newspaper" design changed to a more "newsletter"-ish one and in the 1990s they branched out creating multiple regional magazines under the same name. Maybe that together with the long existence of the magazine are the reason why you will find that the words form the Google search will almost always associate with "Signal".

Here is how the issue looked in 2000. If you click here you will see the covers from the early 2000s to nowadays. Saying nowadays though is a bit relative, since the last issue that they have uploaded on the website is from 2008. Still even if it is called a magazine, I think that a newsletter is more the name that they should have gone with. Their main focus and essential objective is publishing PenPal ads from around the world. However, they don't make the clear distinction of what a PenPal newsletter is and what's a Dating Newsletter. If you look at the ads, you will find that the people who had posted the ads are suggesting that they are searching more or less for a relationship than pure penpal-ship. Which is annoying for us, the true PenPal-ers who really want nothing but a friendship with the person whom we are writing, too. I wouldn't have reviewed the newsletter if I haven't pointed out that you can see a tendency for the ads to be place mostly from African countries. No offense to anyone. I am just cautious with such magazines since I hate getting "romance" mail or "please send me money" type of letters in my mail box. We all have our hardships, so please, for crying out loud, don't abuse penpalling media to get a sponsor, marriage or investments. We all know those investment scams.

And this is the cover from the issue from 2008. And here's some info posted on their website in regards to the way of ordering it:


- issue 2, 2008 * volume 49
- b&w digitally duplicated, multicolor cover
- 16 pages, size 210x297 mm
- about 400 penpals, a few photos
- texts: computer and laserprinter
- issueance date: July 2008
- Sample US$ 5, Euro 5 or 10 International Reply Coupons ppd, airmail US$ 1, Euro 1 or 2 IRCs extra."

So my opinion about The Friendship Club Newsletter:
Subscription: I haven't placed one myself. Since I couldn't find any relevant information for 2010 or even 2009, I think that they had stopped releasing it.
Magazine type: paper newsletter, paid, monthly released.
Payment: International Reply coupons (IRC's - I have no idea how they work. Never used them!)
Information wise: It presents only PenPal Ads!
Ads from Pen Pals:Publishing an Ad here might get you unwanted marriage proposals, begging you mail for money or scam letters for investment opportunities (I read that several people were complaining about issues like that. If you want to try it / read the testimonies yourself - just use Google).
Design: You can pretty much get the feeling of the design of the magazine when you look at the front pages!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

PenPal Connection Paper Magazine:

Welcome to yet another review of Pen Pal Media. This time we are going to take a look at a paper magazine, called Pen Pal Connections (by Dawn Thomas).

Here's some information about the magazine:
"The Pen Pal Connection is a group for people who love to snail mail pen pal. We share pen pal stories, the pen pal experience, tips on letter writing, organizing your pen pals, pals looking for more pen pals & much more.
The Pen Pal Connection is a quarterly published magazine. In this group we can also submit articles and stories for publication, receive magazine updates, announcements & much more.
The Pen Pal Connection is $5.00 for a sample copy USA only ($6.00 US funds only for International orders)
One year subscription $18.00 (4 issues) (One year for International orders $25.00 US Funds only)"

So my opinion about the Pen Pal Connection Paper Magazine:
Subscription: Easy - just get in touch with the team!
Magazine type: Paid, paper magazine, issued quarterly. You can pretty much make the conclusions yourself - advantages: paper (yeah!), disadvantages - you have to pay for the issues. Shipping is included. Keep in mind that each issue is 28 to 32 pages long. Guess that it comes pricey to run a paper magazine! Payment: Checks or Money orders. That makes it hard to get from outside the US. However, you can contact the owner and see if other payment options are available.
Information wise: It includes articles and Ads - quite well maintained.
Ads from Pen Pals: Good job presenting the pen pals!
Design: You can get a feeling of the magazine's design from the photos that I have included. Sadly, they have not released officially other photos and I can't upload you photos from inside the magazine as they are their property. Hope it makes sense. But overall you can get a general idea of the magazine's design from its cover.
Join their yahoo group at: Y! Group: PenPalConnections.
Connect with them via Facebook: PenPal Connections on Facebook

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The PenPal Newsletter vol. 1

I have subscribed for Jeanne's Newsletter. The form is easy to fill out and you can find it by checking out the link: "The PenPal Newsletter Subscription". On her website you can find out the ways to participate in the newsletter, find a new friend and tons of other cool things. 

After subscription you will receive the newsletter in your email box (don't forget to check out the junk folder in your email as mine came in it). Just mark it "Not Spam" and you won't have any other problems with receiving it ever again. The first volume came out on Nov 13, 2010 and it included editorial, short pen pal list, interesting thoughts and sections such as web page of the week and book of the week. Moreover there was a section about a true penpal's story.

Here's the Editorial of the newsletter:
"Dear Readers,
Firstly, thanks a lot for signing up for the Penpal Newsletter!
Sorry for sending it out awfully late but I had some job issues and I couldn't come online a lot.
I know, maybe everything looks a little bit messy but I hope by time, I will get better. Since many years I wanted to create a Penpal Web page but my web design and coding skills are very limited. So, I decided to create this Newsletter. Maybe it's is a little outdated but hopefully, you will enjoy it anyway. In advance, I also want to say sorry about my spelling, I am not a native English speaker but I try my best to write in proper English. However, sometimes, I have really wired typos, which I even don't notice after reading the text for 100 times but after clicking the sending button..
Now, I also want to explain a little bit about the sections in the Penpal Newsletter.
The Penpal List- I guess, I don't need to explain what you can find there.:) The first list is small but fine. I hope in future more readers of the Penpal Newsletter will post their add here too. We have already many readers but I guess, they want to check out how the Newsletters looks like and so on.
Book & Webpage of the Week - in this section I will add one of my or one of the readers Book & Webpage review.
In future I want add some more stuff. If you have any ideas, just let me know.
Now, I wish you a nice reading.
Best wishes, Jeanne"

So my opinion about the Pen Pal Newsletter vol 1:
Subscription: Easy to do - it doesn't take a lot of time!
Newsletter type: Free digital newsletter, monthly (or at least I hope it is a monthly one).
Information wise: The information is presented on clear English and in form that anyone can understand it. If more people participate in the newsletter, I have big hopes for it!
Ads from Pen Pals: good job presenting the pen pals (since it is the very first volume of  the e-newsletter, I assume that when people get to know it, it will become more diverse. However, I am wondering if Jeanne posts more ads the whole newsletter design will get to become a long-sheet wise, so I guess we'd have to wait for the December volume to come out and see how things are done there).
Design: the newsletter is table format, so don't expect luxurious images or huge articles. After all, it has to be sent out via email so bear with it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Friendship Club Newsletter

I landed on an advertisement for this newsletter and it simply took my whole attention.
"Hello, my name is Renee. I have a pen pal club called The Friendship Club that has around since 1989. Contact Renee at sweetpea32873(at) if you would like to join, have questions or would like to sent in an ad or submissions for upcoming newsletters which are published once a month. Cost to join is $3.00 per current issue or $36 for a year (12 issues). I accept cash, money order or PayPal. Submissions are printed for free. No prisoners please! Write or send payment to:
The Friendship Club
c/o Renee Akridge
719 Latimer Ave.
LaGrange, KY 40031, USA"

I was amazed! Since 1989!!! That's almost my entire penpalling career and I have never heard about it! It was time to take matters in my own hands and correct my knowledge. As I was really curious about the newsletter, I immediately contacted the owner.

Maxine: Hello, Renee and welcome to my blog PenPal Magazine.
Renee: Thank you, Maxine, for making my newsletter a part of your blog. I am really excited to be part of it.
Maxine: Tell us more about your newsletter? How did the idea about the newsletter came to be?  
Renee: Well I wanted to make a club with a name that can effect pen pal and making friends in the world and came up with this. 
Maxine: How did you manage to keep the newsletter going for over 20 years?
Renee: It is hard, believe me. But I am dedicated pen pal who would not stop promoting our wonderful hobby! I'm trying to make it work.
Maxine: Tell us more about the newsletter itself and a bit about its history? 
Renee: When Friendship Club Newsletter started out, it was completely free. Soon we reached 100 members! Since we are a paper newsletter (postal version) with a cover, I needed to start charging for it as I wasn't able to afford doing it for free. There are a lot of expenses that you need to keep track of when doing a paper magazine - such as ink for printing, postage expenses, etc. That's how the newsletter became paid paper one. The number of our members has gotten smaller since then.
Maxine: What columns/pages can we expect in Friendship Club Newsletter (FCN)?
Renee: We have editorial, also polls, traditions/birthday event section, recipes, jokes, pen pal ads, ads, poems and stories.
Maxine: Do you have any issues that are available online so that we can look at them before ordering?
Renee: I do email sample copies that are just a couple of pages of the newsletter without the cover. The full version (whole newsletter) is shipped by snail mail after your order and it includes a cover page and any extra pages added. I use my computer to make the newsletters and print them out.  
Maxine: One question that I am sure that most people are wondering, do you have to pay to get your ad in your newsletter?
Renee: No! All ads are free to send in and print.
Maxine: Do you search for any guest writers?
Renee: Yes! We have some guest writers who send in an article every month. I am always searching for new guest writers.

So my opinion about The Friendship Club Newsletter:
Subscription: Easy, fast and friend - just contact the owner. Renee replies really fast to any inquires about the newsletter in a very friendly manner!
Magazine type: newsletter, paid, paper, monthly released.
Payment: Cash, money order, check, PayPal.
Information wise: Interesting sections: polls, traditions/birthday event section, recipes, jokes, pen pal ads, ads, poems and stories.
Ads from Pen Pals: Yes!
Design: Newsletter type. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pen Pal Video by Glass Completely Empty Productions

I have been pen-palling for as long as I can remember. I was fascinated by the world of pen-palling since it was my get away place. Growing up, I wasn't one of the popular girls in school. I realized that I wasn't ugly or dorky back then. I was simply shy and let's say "creative" in my own way (I was writing poems). Yeah, I know how geeky that might sound and as nothing came out of it (in terms of being published), I simply stopped writing them. But my hands were itching to start doing something else - creative and in the same time dealing with my hobby - writing. You can easily guess where my interest ultimately lead me to pen-palling. The Question remains: Are you crazy about letters? Do I hear a "Yes"? Great! Then read this post really carefully and help make the change to someone's life.
Log onto Facebook and find Glass Completely Empty Productions or simply e-mail Rae at: rae @ (remove the spaces either side of the @) Deadline for emailing Rae and to be involved with the pen-palling film is 1st January 2011. So secure your place in this wonderful documentary that will be around for the next generations and for everyone who would love to get a peek of what is it to be a pen pal!

The Glass Completely Empty Products are also searching for:
* Vendors (i.e. stationery/label sellers)
* Authors who have written books, articles & poems on pen-palling
* Magazines/books on pen-friending.

Monday, December 6, 2010

SandbookNet - PenPal and Swappers - Magazine

SandbookNet: PenPal Magazine
issue 1, November 2010

For the site's 2nd anniversary, the team of Sandbook.Net put together a digital magazine. They have promised to make 3 issues that are released on monthly basis and on the 11th of each month. So the first issue of the magazine is out and you can download it from their website - SandbookNet The PenPal and Swappers Magazine. You can pretty much suspect that the Magazine button will present a huge interest to any pen pal or swapper as it has a lot of cool articles and ideas about pen-paling.
Despite the fact that initially it was announced that the issue will arrive in your mailbox as an attachment, later SandbookNet made it clear that due to the overall size of the document (a pdf document) they can't send it through the email. So you have to do it yourself. That's a minor setback, but hey, once you open the luxurious issue you will know that everything has been worth the download and the wait!

Here are some images, as released from the
Letter Insider: The Do's and Dont's in PenPalling:

Cover Story: How to make nice and neat FB's:

 Simplicity Embellished - the best lifestyle blog that also happens to deal with correspondence. Check our the blog itself here:

 Samantha's Thoughts: a mother, a penpal and a writer:

Facebook Discussion: How did I start PenPalling?

For more interesting articles, traditions and correspondence tips, check out the whole SandbookNet PenPal and Swappers Magazine - issue 1, available for download on www.Sandbook.Net website. 

So my opinion about it:
Subscription: Easy to do - however you are subscribing only for a notification on when and how to download the magazine. As this notification is distributed as a mass message and as such can arrive in your Spam Folder, so check it out. Once you click it "Not Spam" you will have no problems with the next messages from the Sandbook.Net Team.
Newsletter type: Free digital, monthly Pen Pal Magazine (I hope that they will continue releasing it after the 3 months initial / testing period).
Information wise: Many interesting articles divided by topic. The team ensures that all Guest Authors write different topics as they vet them beforehand. The topics are diverse enough so that you can read tips on how to write letters, how to be a better pen pal, travel around the world to visit new cultures and get to know new traditions. Moreover, they present Pen Pal of the Month (a contest that is held on their website), Fun Pages, Recipes, Relationship Section and tons more. There are some typos that you will be able to see, but overall a really professional magazine and I am anxiously waiting for issue 2 that, if the schedule is right, should be released on Dec 11, 2010.
Ads from Pen Pals: The Ads section is in the middle of the magazine - you can find different ads from around the globe. Moreover, you can publish a Lost Pen Pal Ad. Pretty cool, huh?
Design: The magazine is done really professional. Behind the SandbookNet Team as we later on learned is Gaya Designs, who are responsible for the nice and cute designs.
I can't say more than just leave you to the wonderful pages of SandBook.Net: The Magazine!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

PenPal Magazine - what to expect

Hi, readers!

This blog will present to you all of the Active PenPal Magazines that there are out there: digital or paper, free or paid. We are going to show you inside information from within the pages of PenPal Magazines, newsletters or any form of organized penpal edition/issue. Yes, when you google "PenPal Magazines" there are a lot of links coming up, but unfortunetely those that Google rate highest are either outdated or simply floaded with "suspicious" Ads. You don't want to publish your snail mail or even email address there! Believe me! I have made that mistake! That's how the idea of this blog came to be! I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I will enjoy getting first hand interviews and reviews of magazines, newsletters and more.

So, if you know a good PenPal Magazine or Newsletter or you happen to own one - comment here, or get back in touch with me. I would love to make a review of it on this blog or even interview you! The sky is the limit as they say!
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