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A Writer On Writing: Christmas Round Robin Letters - And A Competition

"Writing a round robin letter is like trying to have a one-sided conversation in the dark,'' writes Sally Jenkins.

I donít usually write one but this year I did and itís currently winging its way to those I rarely see. The cost of postage drove me to include the letter with my cards. I begrudge paying 50p (second class postage) just to stick a card in an envelope so I decided that people were going to hear what my family did in 2012 Ė whether they wanted to or not. After all, Iím supposed to be a writer so it shouldnít be difficult to make a round-up of the last 12 months sound interesting.

It was a lot harder than I expected!

I tried to be mindful of the fact that no-one wants to read a list of my daughtersí achievements and their plans for the future. Iíve received letters like that and they leave me feeling totally inadequate. So I skirted over that and moved onto how the recession has impacted the working lives of my husband and me. Then I decided that talk of redundancies was too depressing so I moved on to the interesting things weíve done in our spare time Ė and came up with nothing!

Writing a round robin letter is like trying to have a one-sided conversation in the dark. Itís impossible to gauge whether you are boring people because thereís no facial expressions to read and no feedback in the way of comments. So I did my best and sent it out . Itís up to the recipients whether they read it or bin it and from now on Iíll be much less dismissive of the letters I receive because I know how difficult they are to write!

Competition

If youíve had any letters printed in a newspaper or magazine during 2012 you might be interested in a competition run by the Association of Christian Writers. http://www.christianwriters.org.uk/ ACWís UK letter writing competition is looking for the best letters published in any national, regional or local magazine or newspaper during 2012. There is a prize of £50 for the best single letter published and prizes of £100, £50 and £25 for collections of 6 letters published in 6 different publications. Closing date is 31/12/2012. Full details are here. http://lucy-mills.com/2012/11/23/acw-letter-writing-competition-deadline-approaching/

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