When looking for penpals you may want to look in non-traditional as well as traditional ways. We’ll talk about some of each.
Good penpals are also folks who like to write.
You can find people who would love to write to you and hear from you most anywhere you find writers. Check your local library or newspaper community page for writer’s groups or poetry clubs to visit with or join. Search the Internet for listservs that allow you to send and receive email messages to and from the group. You will be limited to the given topic of the listserv but you will still make friends who will want to write to you by letter or by email.
You can meet folks who communicate a lot by writing by posting on newsgroups or joining online clubs such as those found at Yahoo. You can start your own club or group about penpals and enlist everyone who joins your collective in looking for like-minded people. Songwriters and other types or writers may also be good letter writers interested in corresponding.
Attend open mike nights and jam sessions to locate some potential friends. College or other writing courses and seminars draw writers and once you’ve made a connection you will certainly want to keep in touch. Try suggesting writing back and forth as an inexpensive solution, a suggestion applicable to most situations we mention here.
A more traditional search.
Some fan club type magazines have ads for organizations that pair penpals together. Though you may not hit it off terribly well with your first penpal, they can introduce you directly to others and soon one or two will pop up that you really click with. You may also meet folks you want to write later when traveling. Going even a short distance you may make lasting friends who may want frequent contact by letter.
Try planning a road trip to someplace or for some event that will introduce you to outgoing folks of similar interests and if possible, those who are likely to be the writing kind. You can also write family, friends, relatives and old acquaintances. As they introduce you to others you may meet new penpals who will share messages you will treasure. Dating services and singles groups also provide a hunting ground for penpals.
Sorting out the people you meet.
By meeting folks through established channels and relationships you have a built-in method for screening for people you want in your life even as a penpal. You should use caution even with letter writing. Some penpal organizations will keep a record as to who is writing to whom. If there is trouble there will be a record of a mailing address for the other party. You can also have folks checked out online. There are many services offering background checks for a flat fee.
Cultivate the relationships you develop and exercise good judgment. By maintaining relationships with good and dutiful penpals and by writing often, you will circumvent the need to frequently look for new ones.