Letter box

I found this box in a shop that was full of second hand furniture and trinkets and nick nacks of all kinds. It is not an especially attractive box, but something made me open it. Inside was a folded sheet of paper, blotches and faded with old age.

I discovered that it was part of a letter written in Australia, on the 29th December 1950 . Who were these people? How did the writer come to be so far away and not able to visit the women to whom the letter is addressed? Why had it been kept so long? Had it always been kept in the carved box?

I am not suggesting that you go out and scour the antique scour the antique emporia of your locality for old letters hidden in boxes. I am suggesting that something like this could be a great start for a story, or even a drama leading into writing. You need a box or a bag and then you can create a letter that might pique the interest of the writers you work with.

It could be a letter from a child to another child, it could be a message from a being from another world, or a letter written in the past. The container you put the letter in may give some clues, and the letter will give more. You need lots of gaps but enough information to set the writing imagination going.

Older writers might like to compose their own letter. Begin with the box. Explain that it contains a letter that seems to have been important, precious even, to the owner of the box. Who might it be. Why s the letter important? Write the letter!

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