the keep writing postcard project

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Frequently Asked Questions!

HOW DID THIS START?

The Keep Writing postcard Project was started in 2008. as a way to keep in touch with friends and penpals when I started college in my 30’s. I was in my 30’s, had travelled a bit around the US and a little in Europe and I wrote letters and postcards every day. I decided to move to a new town to attend college. I thought there was no way I could keep up with friends while in school. I had no social media and no interest in it. I asked if anyone would want a one-a-month postcard from me.

It helps that I was going to school for printmaking!

WHAT IS IT?

I realized other people might be interested in receiving mail too! From a list of friends and penpals, my subscriber swelled to 200, from many states and countries .

Each month, each subscriber receives a folded card--one part is a postcard to keep, the other tells a story and offers a prompt for response. Responses are archived and also shared in public shows. Themes include homes, language, assumptions, posture, maps and collaborations.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Every month, usually around the 20th, I will send you a card—usually letterpress printed. It will typically be folded in half and taped shut. When you open it will look something like this:

On the inside, one part will have an image, a postcard I designed (sometimes with the help of freinds) and printed and is yours to keep. How do you know which side to keep? When you flip it over it will have your name and address on it! 

The other half of the card will explain a little bit about where the image came from, and what to do next. There will be a prompt. Maybe a question. In the card above, I asked for subscribers to write what their knuckle tattoos might look like.

Write your response, cut at the fold, put a stamp on it and mail it back to me!

Here are some responses I received from the above card:

WHAT IF I CAN’T DRAW?

You can answer the prompt in any way that you can mail back to me—write, glue magazine pictures, draw a diagram—this isn’t about creating a masterpiece, it is about connecting and communicating.

(By the way, I teach a class for this! See my class listings for more information!)

WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO MAIL IT BACK?

It is your card! Mail it when you are ready. Or never. Some people like to keep them together and save them. Some people write the first response that comes to mind and send them right away!

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO RESPOND?

As long as you need. This project has been around since 2008 and I have no plans to stop. If it has been a while you may need to check my address as I have moved a few times. You can do that here!

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RESPONSES?

I post every response to a tumblr site--www.keepwritingpostcards.tumblr.com

I also post some responses on instagram (under the name @gutwrenchpress and with the tag #keepwritingpostcards). 

Once every few years I have a show sharing all the responses I have received in a certain time frame. So far I had a show in 2011 as part of my BFA graduation, in 2014 in Oakland, and in 2018 to celebrate 10 years! The shows are small but sweet with lots of room for reading. 

If you want me to know the card is from you, sign your name. If you want to remain a mystery, don't .

If you don't want your responses shared at all, just let me know! Write a note on the back of the card and I will not post it on the internet or share it in shows!

from a show at EM Wolfman's in Oakland CA July 2014

from a show at EM Wolfman's in Oakland CA July 2014

REALLY? 12 CARDS AND RESPONSES A YEAR?

Once or twice a year, I will send you just a postcard, one side, with no prompt for a response. Everyone needs a break once in a while!

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO RENEW?

If you bought a subscription on this site after October 9,2020, your subscription will automatically renew each year!

If you are a subscriber from before this time, I will send you a note with instructions.

If this was a gift, I will let you know one month before it ends.

The best way to stay informed? Sign up for my monthly newsletter.

WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO PAY YEARLY? 

You can sign up to be a monthly subscriber via Patreonwww.patreon.com/keepwriting. You get the same card plus options for bonuses like extra blank postcards to send to anyone you want!

CAN I GIVE THIS AS A GIFT?

Yes! Subscribe, choose the "gift"option and include the recipient's name and address. I will send a card announcing the gift with a note from you.

WHAT IF I MOVE?

Email me at gutwrenchpress@gmail.com to let me know about your new address!

CHEATSHEET OF HELPFUL LINKS

questions? email me: gutwrenchpress@gmail.com

I STILL DON’T GET IT, DO YOU HAVE A VIDEO THAT EXPLAINS THIS?

Of course I do. Watch it and be glad I print postcards and don’t make videos all day.