Swap-bot Time: September 22, 2020 11:04 am

New Pen Pals with Conversation Starters (Int.)

Launch gallery slideshow

Swap Coordinator:Pouffia (contact)
Swap categories: Letters & Writing 
Number of people in swap:34
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Rating requirement:4.98
Last day to signup/drop:April 30, 2016
Date items must be sent by:May 31, 2016
Number of swap partners:3

Hey everyone, welcome to a new pen pal swap with conversation starters. The point of this swap is to find lasting pen pals, not to exchange one letter and be done with it. Because introductory letters can get tedious, both for the writer and the reader, I'm hosting a pen pal swap with conversation starters (actual ones, so no questions like "what's your favorite color?" This isn't a journal prompt).

The basics:

For this swap you will get 3 partners, and you will send each of them 1 letter. Each letter must be written on A4 paper (about 8.3 x 11.7 inches, little more, little less), and must contain an introduction including:

  • your name
  • your age
  • your village/town/city and what it's like living there

Also mandatory...

  • pick 2 things from your swap partner's profile and respond to it. All too often introductory letters contain busloads of information about the writer and unfortunately little interest in the person receiving it. While this is understandable, it can become boring to read pages and pages about other people's lives, interests, and so on. You get a conversation going by showing interest in the other person. So, scour your swap partner's profile and find something you have in common, or find something you don't have in common and ask questions. This should ignite the spark of conversation, and it should add some variety to the task, too.

Then add...

A little something about you. You choose at least 3 of the following prompts (at least 5 lines per prompt):

  • two things you love (not counting: family, friends, other people you know, pets, etc.), and why you love them

  • two things that annoy you (not counting: family, friends, other people you know, pets, etc.), and why they annoy you

  • describe what you're passionate about and why you are passionate about it

  • if there was only 1 movie you could recommend, which one would it be and why?

  • if there was only 1 book you could recommend, which one would it be and why?

  • which country would you like to visit and why does it attract you?

  • include 2 (self-taken) photos and tell something about them

  • include a newspaper or magazine article and give your views on it, or explain why it interests you (if it is not in English, translate the title and explain what it's about too)

  • what is a bad habit of yours?

  • what is a good habit of yours?

  • have you had any strange/funny/memorable encounters on your travels/vacations?

  • if you had the chance to meet anyone who's ever lived (or is still living), who would it be and why?

  • when was the last time you laughed yourself into a cramp and why did you?

  • do you hold any controversial views? If so, what are they?


Feel free to add to your letter with more of the usual stuff, for example by introducing your family, telling a bit about your hobbies, or whatever you feel like chatting about.

Want to type the letter?

That's okay! Just don't use any fonts larger than size 12.

As a bonus, this swap will be Type 3 rated because it is time intensive.

Anyone with a rating of 4.98 can join. Those with recent 3 or 1 ratings might be banned, depending on reasons for the low ratings. No unrated users, but newbies might participate (depending on profile and recent swaps).

P.S. I will adjust the number of swap partners if 3 or less sign up


scooter63 04/19/2016 #

I would love to join this swap. Please allow me. TIA

Kiwijo 04/24/2016 #

Can I use two sheets of A5 instead of 1 sheet of A4?

Pouffia 04/24/2016 #

Kiwijo, no, 5 lines (per prompt) on an A5 sheet are significantly less than 5 lines on an A4 sheet, so it really has to be A4.

thepinkaholic 04/25/2016 #

This looks so fun! I can't wait!

washingtonmaverick 04/26/2016 #

I'd totally do this swap but the paper requirements have me absolutely confused. I have no idea what an A4 sheet of paper is and feel that the questions can be answered with out a specific paper size listed. I truly feel that the paper size negates the quality this swap could possibly be.

Pouffia 04/27/2016 #

I added the sizes of an A4 paper in inches to clarify, otherwise I'm sure Google would be of help. I added the paper requirement to ensure the letters are of substance. As I said above, each prompt requires 5 lines at least, and 5 lines on a small sheet of paper is a lot less than 5 lines on a large sheet of paper. It's to prevent people give short, insubstantial answers just to have the swap done.

MidnightWriter 04/27/2016 #

@Pouffia but what if we did twice the number of lines on an A5 sheet? So instead of 5 lines a question we did 10? That way itv would be the same amount of space.

Pouffia 04/28/2016 #

Yeah sure, that's not a bad idea. Go for it.

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