Letters of Joy

Letters of Joy

In 1980, Kathleen Joy O’Brien, the calligrapher and teacher who had inspired many calligraphers in the Puget Sound Area, died of cancer. Kathleen had been secretary to the president of Edmonds Community College. Through this close association, ECC became a hub for calligraphy classes, workshops and, in 1981, the site for Letters of Joy, still held there annually.

The newly formed Write On Calligraphers wanted to honor Kathleen’s memory, by passing on her love of calligraphy and related art forms, with a mini-conference. The first Letters of Joy, was held in February of 1981.

The first conference was a one-day event, consisting of a workshop and an evening lecture with local calligrapher and graphic designer Tim Girvin. It included an exhibit of Kathleen’s work. Seventy-five people attended.

Typically the first weekend in May, Letters of Joy includes a Friday evening lecture and approximately 20 2-hour classes on Saturday taught by a wide variety of calligraphy teachers and other artists. The keynote speaker teaches three sessions of his or her class so that almost all attendees will be able sample his or her teaching style and learn a new technique or two.

National and local vendors offer everything from the latest calligraphy tools and toys to decorative papers and crafted items; two silent auctions round out the days’ activities.

The location for Letters of Joy was changed in 2016. We are enjoying the use of  Shoreline Community College! 

Letters of Joy will not be held in the year 2018 so that the Board Members can concentrate on sponsoring Seattletters!

At the August 9th board meeting of Write on Calligraphers in 2016, it was unanimously voted to sponsor the International Calligraphy Conference in the summer of 2018. Click on the following link for information concerning Seattletters!

The dates are July 14-21, 2018 and will be held at Western Washington University in Bellingham, north of Seattle. The Co-Directors are Katherine Malmsten and Sue Gruhn.

Letters of Joy will return with joy the first weekend of May in the year 2019.

The Keynote Speaker will be announced once plans are underway for LOJ2019.

Please join us for this anticipated event once again, after enjoying Seattleletters with us, in 2018.