The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Written by: Frances B.


How to Write a Letter, According to Hemingway

Letter writing is a dying art form—but a still noble one. We turn to Ernest Hemingway, a master letter writer himself, for tips on how to pen an old-school “screed.”



1. Open with a compliment.

writing 1 final


2. Own up to being late.

writing 6 final


3. Or blame your job (especially when writing to your parents).

writing 2 final


4. Tell them what’s new.

writing 3 final


5. Share reading recommendations.

writing 4 final


6. Offer honest advice.

writing 5 final


7. Show the love.

writing 7 final


8. Encourage a prompt reply.

writing 8 final


9. Remind them to stay in touch.

writing 10 final


10. Last but not least, mail the letter quickly!

writing 9 final

For more on Hemingway’s letters, visit The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 2 (1923-1925).

Enjoyed reading this article? Share it today:

About the Author: Frances B.

Frances is an associate publicity manager in Cambridge's New York office. Follow her @CambridgeUP_NY....

View the Author profile >

Latest Comments

Have your say!