First Fan Letter Sent

Piggybacking on Daisy’s first fan letter, I thought I’d write about the time I first sent a fan letter. I was in the fourth grade and my friend Fawn and I wrote to Michael J. Fox. Fawn told him how much she loved him. I thought my letter should be more constructive and therefore told him that I thought Teen Wolf was not his best work and that I liked Family Ties a lot more. Fawn got a postcard back, I did not.

I realized that Michael was probably not looking for my advice and maybe I hurt his feelings. So the next year when Fawn and I were taking a theater class and had high hopes of making it to Hollywood, we came up with a brilliant idea. We would offer to be in one of Michael Jackson’s videos and we’d even choreograph it for him. And a natural fit would be P.Y.T, Pretty Young Thing. We crafted the letter on the Snoopy stationery that my grandma had bought me. We waited and waited but alas no reply from this Michael either. I was a little down about it but figured he might be kind of busy and receiving tons of letters. Ya think, lol?!

I decided to take a break from writing fan letters for a while until I came across an interview in Sassy magazine in high school with John and John, the two guys from the band They Might Be Giants. The guys said that they reply to every fan letter and that they loved funny letters. I was a huge fan of TMBG so I decided to put them to the test and whipped out the funniest letter I could muster. And a few weeks later, I received a handwritten letter back from them! I was elated. So for me the third time was a charm.

So have you ever written a celebrity and did they write back?


  1. When I was in elementary school, I wrote to Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. Even then, I knew I wanted to be a writer. (I believe, in addition to telling them how much I liked their books, I asked them both how they got started!) But I never received a response from either of them...

    I'm in the position right now where I can answer every fan letter that comes my way--and make it a point to do so. (Of course, response is easier these days thanks to email...)

  2. I love that you gave career advice to Michael J. Fox!

    When I was a teen, I wrote one fan letter to an author. She lived in the same state--in a town where I'd spent a summer, in fact--so I felt somehow that she was more approachable. She wrote me a lovely long letter in reply (I had asked for advice on becoming a writer). I still have her letter.

    I try to answer all my fan messages. I think I've managed that--except when they bounce back for some technical reason.

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    2. In high school, I wrote to singer/comedian Tom Lehrer, reporting how we'd intended to perform one of his songs for the school talent show, but the principal vetoed it. I requested some sheet music, but said he was a hot shot star and probably didn't care about his fans. He wrote back, thanking me, declined to send me the sheet music, saying he was a hot shot star and didn't care what I thought. I always treasured that.

    3. I'd treasure that, too, Brian! I shoulda written to more musicians...


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