Letters Home from the Peace Corps Project

January 30th, 2007 by admin

Letters Home from the Peace Corps
Peace Corps Writers has agreed to edit a collection of Peace Corps letters to be published as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. We are happy to say we will be advised in this project by Andrew Carroll, editor of the best selling books of “war letters,” featuring the extraordinary correspondence of American soldiers from many eras. Andrew Carroll is the Executive Director of the American Poetry & Literacy Project, a nonprofit organization he co-founded with the late Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, which distributes free books throughout the country to promote literacy.

Letters Home From Peace Corps will be one way for Peace Corps Writers to preserve the history of the Peace Corps. We believe that personal correspondence offers a valuable insight into the experience we all shared. Letters and emails to family and friends are treasured documents that we must save. Your letters home tell a story, and with this book, we hope to preserve your story — as expressed in your own words — for posterity, and we ask you to share them with us.

While we prefer to see previously unpublished material, letters and/or emails that have already appeared in local newspapers, self-published books, and/or family web sites are all acceptable.
Selecting your letters for submission
In selecting a letter (or email) to be considered for publication in the book, we ask that you choose it thus: Would a reader find the letter intriguing? . . . Dramatic? . . . Humorous? Historic? Insightful? If you can answer yes to one of these questions, send it.

We will select the very best letters that tell the story — through the eyes of PCVs and Staff — of the Peace Corps since its beginnings in 1961.

Your letters can be about any aspect of the Peace Corps experience: Making the Decision to Join, Training, Peace Corps Service, Friends, HCNs, Family Visits, After the Peace Corps, Life as an RPCV, Returning to the Host Country.

Send us no more than three of your best letters or emails. Select the letter(s) that mean the most to you; that tell a story you want to tell.
Mailing us your correspondence for the first round of selection by June 1, 2007.
For letter(s):
o Send a legible photocopy or typed transcript. If we have trouble reading your handwriting, your letter will not be considered for publication.
o Please do not send original letters. We cannot return anything sent to us.
o Send to:
Marian Haley Beil
4 Lodge Pole Road
Pittsford, New York 14534
For email:
o Send your emails to: jpcoyne@peacecorpswriters.org
o Please put in the subject line:
Letters Home From the Peace Corps
Please include for either letters or emails:
o Information about yourself or the PCV/RPCV or staff member who wrote the letter (e.g., where and when he or she served, and any other important personal and/or background information),
o Your phone number.
o Your email address.
o Your mailing address.

Do not send a query asking if we are interested in your correspondence. If your letters (or emails) are Peace Corps-related and meet the criteria described above, you should assume that we are interested in reading them and considering them for publication in Letters Home From the Peace Corps.

We look forward to hearing from you.
Marian Haley Beil
John Coyne
Editors: Letters Home From the Peace Corps