Redefining the Meaning of a Love Letter

Ellen Coy writing a letter. || Photo credit to Lauren Bannister.

Ellen Coy writing a letter. || Photo credit to Lauren Bannister.


Often times words bring comfort. They leave you feeling warm, even if you don’t know who wrote them.  

The words you are reading could have been written by Ellen Coy, a freshman at The King’s College who bashfully rejoices in writing love letters. These letters have helped people she will never come in contact with.

Coming from the small town of Monroe, Washington, the book lover brought her words to New York City and has spread magic wherever she goes. Pursuing an English degree, she is constantly challenging herself to leave an impact in this world through love letters, her blog, and other projects.

“I started writing love letters to strangers in coffee shops and in libraries when I was feeling inspired,” Coy said. “It’s just a letter of encouragement. I believe that my words matter and that they are going to have some kind of impact, even if they are very small, on someone in this situation.”

Coy contests that it requires a certain level of confidence to believe your letter won’t wind up, as she says, “a piece of litter.” It is notable that Coy began writing the first chance she got, even establishing her own website before she was a teenager.  

“When I was ten and wrote my first novel, my dad purchased my domain name for me through WordPress and I have continued using it ever since then,” Coy said. “It was designed to be a collaborative writers page for a bunch of different young writers to work together and create blog content, but it was always just me.”

Ellen Coy’s stationary sits on her desk. || Photo credit to Lauren Bannister.

Ellen Coy’s stationary sits on her desk. || Photo credit to Lauren Bannister.

Little did Coy know that in 2018, she would be a part of her own collaborative project. In her first semester at King’s, “Project Canvas” was published as a collaborative writers work. It can be found on Amazon. Coy is one of the 61 contributors from 11 different countries. Caroline Meek, a friend of Coy’s, started the project out of Illinois.

“[Caroline] was kind of inspired by the fact that writing is a very isolated practice,” Coy said. “She was seeking to find community within that.”

Coy can understand the feelings behind writing as she started creating her own novels when she was only 10 years old, thus solidifying the dream to move to New York City. She says that the reason why she felt inspired to come to King’s is a little different from why she chose to come to the big city.

“I have loved New York since I was probably eight years old and was writing fan mail to my favorite writers,” Coy said. “I wanted to be one of those really cool writers who had a P.O. box in NYC. I came to King’s because the writing industry is here and all the great publishing houses I have always wanted to work with are here.”

Coy summarized how her writing has changed, saying it’s become more introspective, and how she is more aware of the world as a whole. Her descriptions have grown and she has “expanded cognitively,” but it has also made her more aware of internal things.

“Sometimes I wonder if I am still finding my confidence,” Coy reflected. “Sometimes I just don’t find it. Sometimes you just have to push through that fear and the inevitable feeling that your words aren’t going to have any kind of impact and put them out there anyway. [My writing] is such an important part of me that sharing it often times is difficult because it’s very intimate. It’s very personal. It is a part of my soul.”

Coy defines the development of her work as “grace-filled.”

“So much of writing and so much of publishing and sharing your work with the world, or choosing not to, is having grace with yourself,” Coy said. “It’s letting God’s grace rest on you and resting in that reality, and asking for grace from other people when you mess up.”