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Texts. Emails. IMs. Clearly we?re into electronic communication. Still, nothing beats a handwritten letter, especially when your penmanship is superb.

If yours has started to look a bit like chicken scratch, we?ve found a cure. Old Town stationery shop Greer is hosting calligrapher Michele Hatty Fritz this Friday through Sunday for three workshops for beginners. ($250 per person, materials included)

Sounds fancy, but Fritz is known for teaching easy techniques that students can pick up fast. Here, a few of her letter-writing secrets:

Invest in fun personalized stationery. Having nice paper with your monogram at the ready makes it much easier to jot off a quick thank-you note or a hello to a friend.

Keep a stash of vintage stamps on hand. For pure charm, you can?t beat vintage postage stamps on an envelope. There are lots of places to buy them--Fritz?s go-to is Verde Studio on Etsy--just include enough postage to cover the current rate.

Practice your penmanship. Even if you aren't into calligraphy, you can still strive for nice handwriting. Just wield your pen a little more slowly and carefully every time you use it--even when jotting down your grocery list. You?ll see improvement over time.

Workshops are Friday, April 4, at 6 p.m., and Saturday April 5, and Sunday April 6, from noon to 4 p.m. at Greer, 1657 N, Wells St.; 312-337-8000 or greerchicago.com. Students will take home all the supplies they need to continue their new hobby, and also get a 20 percent discount on additional purchases.

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