Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Harcum invites community to love, write

Harcum College will host a love letter writing workshop taught by Samara O'Shea Feb. 9 to remind everyone how far a handwritten letter can get you.

Harcum invites community to love, write

Philadelphia native Samara O´Shea´s book "For the Love of Letters" got published in 2009. O´Shea will appear at Harcum College Feb. 9 to teach a workshop on love letter writing. (Courtesy Samara O´Shea)
Philadelphia native Samara O'Shea's book "For the Love of Letters" got published in 2009. O'Shea will appear at Harcum College Feb. 9 to teach a workshop on love letter writing. (Courtesy Samara O'Shea)

Samara O’Shea still keeps a love letter from a boy she met at summer camp during her sophomore year of high school. More surprisingly, O’Shea still writes letters.

O’Shea, author of “For the Love of Letters” and “Note to Self,” pens about 5-10 letters a month to close friends and relatives using a felt-tip tool, and in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, she’ll help the community surrounding Harcum College put their love to stationary.

The West Philadelphia native, who writes letters for others as part of her career, will host “For the Love of Letters Writing Workshop” at Harcum College’s Kevin D. Marlo Little Theatre Feb. 9 at 6:45 p.m. Seating for the free class will be held on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Even though O’Shea said a love letter isn’t all that hard to write, the workshop is meant to help everyone realize no one should be intimidated by the art.

“You really can’t go wrong with a love letter,” O’Shea said. “It’s not like a cover letter. It’s full of inappropriate phrases and spelling mistakes. You’re telling a person what you like about them. The odds are really in your favor.”

Throughout her research for the session, O’Shea unearthed a few love letters she’ll share and discuss. One, a letter O’Shea’s friend wrote to his significant other on Thanksgiving, is modern. Another is a letter by author John Steinbeck, who wrote to his son Thom on different kinds of love in 1958.

But even if workshop attendees aren’t as eloquent as Steinbeck, O’Shea said simplicity works too.

“If you really want to write a love letter, just start listing things you like about them,” she said. “Who doesn’t want that?”

Harcum College’s Kevin D. Marlo Little Theatre is located at 750 Montgomery Avenue. “For the Love of Letters Writing Workshop” is free and open to the public, but the theatre has a 70-person capacity. For more information, call 610-526-6184.

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About this blog
Josh Fernandez is a 2011 graduate of Temple University where he studied journalism and gender studies. He was a writer and editor for The Temple News, and has interned at Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Daily News. Josh lived in Aston, Pa. in Delaware County before moving to University City in Philadelphia.

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