The Letters Page

The University of Nottingham

A literary journal in letters

The Letters Page is a correspondence-themed literary journal with the written letter as its primary form.

Published three times a year, each issue is available as a free downloadable PDF. 

A limited-edition annual printed version will also be available to purchase.   

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Recently, at The Letters Page

  • I write a letter to myself at least once a week. Over the course of ten years this has amounted to a small library of correspondence, stacked under my bed in A5 wire bound journals. I started my first journal when I was eleven years old, nervous about starting high school, and haven’t stopped writing since.

    It began as a desperate attempt to remember everything. I would write down in precise detail the events of the day with a commentary about how it made me feel. I was anxious about beginning a new part of my life which naturally meant letting go of another part. Now I write out of habit, as a comfort and perhaps as therapy. What I write and how often I write varies, as does the style of each letter. Sometimes I write a bullet point list of what I want to achieve the following day or week, other times I write quotes from books and films. Mostly, I write a couple of paragraphs about what seemed most significant on the day, its events and the emotions I felt.

    My letters are time capsules of memories, messages from the past directed towards the future. I can pick up a journal at random, flip to a page and find myself, aged 16 and excited to be going to Paris, or 20 years old and angry that I have to spend the summer working in retail. My letters are personal and tangible. I can see how my vocabulary has broadened and my spelling improved. I can deduce how I was feeling from the style of my handwriting (harsh, jaggy scribbles means angry). Some pages are bumpy from tears and others are scattered with gel pen stars.

    Every day we construct a version of ourselves to present to the world. Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram encourage each of us to create a personality and put it on show. Every status update is catered to an audience of friends, family and strangers, written with the hope of receiving some kind of feedback. When I write to myself, usually in bed at the end of the day, I write for no audience and with no ulterior motive. There is something raw and honest about putting pen to paper in the silence of the night, when the rest of the world has switched off. That my letters will most likely never be read by another person makes them even more sacred, like a secret that exists just outside of myself.

    This guest blog was written by Natty Moore, a University of Nottingham student.

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The Letters Page

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The University of Nottingham
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