Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Letter Writing Series: Fan Mail


fan mail, fan letter, fan, letter writing, correspondence, Beatles, music beatlemania,Ever fall in love with... a song? Saw a play or movie that changed your life? Read a book that inspired a career? Art certainly has the power to move us, and though modern day stories often make them out to be cliches, a fan letter can be just the ticket to show your appreciation for the one who created that work. Whether they are an actor, a writer, musician or, heck, even a chef, consider sending them some fan mail; after all, as Annie Neugebeaur writes, the purpose of a fan letter is to share an "experience that went above and beyond average." 

When starting your letter, introduce yourself and share which of their work inspired you to write to the celebrity. You can tell a little bit about yourself, if you like, but remember this is not actually someone you know. So keep the personal information you share related any anecdotes about how their work impacted your life. Maybe the actor was in a film you watched everyday with your nan as she was in hospice. Maybe the book they wrote inspired you to write yourself etc. 

A few do and don'ts to remember: Don’t write in hyperbole; try to be sincere and write in your natural voice; it is a fine line to keep it respectful without getting stuffy. If you know the person through real life or even through social media, you can mention that, but keep most of the focus on their work. Don’t go on about if you find them attractive- that’s creepy, no matter who they or you are. Also- don’t talk about the negative. If there is something you didn’t like; keep it to yourself. No one asked for unsolicited criticism.

Try to keep the letter to a single page and conclude by wishing them well in future endeavors. Use a benediction like “sincerely” or “from your biggest fan.” Benedictions like “love” can be off putting, since in most circumstances the celebrity is unlikely to know you.
fan mail, fan letter, fan, letter writing, correspondence, Beatles, music beatlemania,


Snail mail adds a sense of authenticity to a fan letter, but it can be hard to find people’s mailing address. See if the celebrity has a mailing address on posted on a homepage, or if they have a fan club with their mailing address. Otherwise, send the letter care of their agency or place of work. If you want a response, make sure to include your mailing address, ideally on a self-addressed and stamped envelope to make it easier for them to return your correspondence. Even with this, please be aware that they may not have time, or inclination to respond to you and that that is perfectly fine. After all, you are writing to thank a person, and sharing that love of another's work; know that it is always appreciated.

Further Reading: 

5 comments:

  1. Love this! I think it would be fun to write fan letters.

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    1. This is a very good article, I think there will be many people like it, of course, I was one of the people. I think this article increase my knowledge. it is nice to know this. Thanks for the time and effort.
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  2. I was inspired into my career by a costume drama I saw on TV (it was The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby on ITV), there's a theatre scene in it that just gave me goosebumps. I read about the cast, and discovered drama schools in London through their background info. I wrote to the actor who played Nicholas (James D'Arcy), he sent me a signed photo and lovely handwritten letter...he kept in touch through email a little too. I actually ended up going to one of those drama schools and I kept his photo on my pinboard throughout. The scene still gives me goosebumps. It's at 1:35:47 here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38FhuxiyRCs

    It fills me with joy at what I chose to do.

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    1. This is a fantastic thing to share- thank you for doing so Clare!

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  3. Ooh! I was thinking of writing a few fan letters, so this is a helpful read!
    And I'm loving the choice of photos :)

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