The Meals in the Mail mailbox is officially open! All submissions postmarked on or before 8 Nov 2023 will be accepted. Scroll down for submission guidelines.
Post your recipes and stories to:
Naomi and Melanie
c/- Meals in the Mail
PO Box 191
OUR POSTAL ADDRESS
Every time Melanie and Naomi reopen the Meals in the Mail mailbox for recipe-and-story submissions, the official postal address will be shared at the top of this page. All subscribers will be notified whenever the mailbox opens and closes.
To participate in Meals in the Mail, all you need is:
A recipe that is personally special or sentimental to you
A short story sharing what makes it so special
Your postal address (so we can write back to you) and an email address (so we can contact you if we need to clarify anything)
Put all of the above into a letter, and post them to us at the Meals in the Mail address (this address is shared whenever the mailbox is open)
That’s all there is to it!
Don’t forget: by submitting your stories and recipes to Meals in the Mail, you are giving us permission to share them on our platforms and/or publish them in our books. Please advise us in the letter you send if you do not want us to share.
If your letter is received during official submission periods, Naomi and Melanie will personally write back to you, with recipes and stories of their own.
To help increase the chances of us featuring your letter and recipe on the Meals in the Mail platform or books, here are some additional guidelines to consider.
* Recipes for any occasion
You can share something savoury or sweet, complex or super-simple. Your recipe might be one for a special occasion or calendar celebration, or it could be something simple, humble, and everyday. This is entirely up to you.
* Keep ‘em tasty
But your recipe does need to be tasty, at least by your own standards. This may sound like a no-brainer, but we have received letters introducing recipes as, “This is disgusting, but interesting for XYZ reason…” We might agree that the recipe is interesting, but probably don’t want to try the food, let alone share it with others! Your recipe doesn’t need to be a Michelin-star dish, but tasty is a good start.
* Don’t breach copyright
This is very important. If you are hoping that we will share your recipe and story in Meals in the Mail, it needs to be your own, not one taken directly from a cookbook or magazine.
It’s perfectly alright to share your own version of something created by someone else (and always a good thing to give that someone else credit for the inspiration), but we will not be allowed to share anything you send us if they are direct copies of previously-published recipes.
* Avoid branded or pre-made ingredients
Because Meals in the Mail is an international project, it’s very difficult for us and our readers to replicate ingredients in your recipe if it calls for specific pre-packaged or branded ingredients (such as Cool Whip, or Marie Biscuits, or sachets of vanilla-sugar).
If these are ingredients in your recipe, think about how you might recreate them without buying those ingredients from the supermarket (eg. substituting whipped cream and sugar for Cool Whip; explaining the types of biscuits that might be used in place of Marie Biscuits, or making them from scratch; and substituting your vanilla-sugar with separate measurements of vanilla and sugar).
* The story is as important as the food
Meals in the Mail is not just about recipes. It is also about stories. We want to know why this particular recipe is special and sentimental to you.
Maybe it’s the breakfast in bed you make for someone you love; the Christmas feast you serve to your extended family every year; the biscuits your grandad used to bake to cheer you when you were sad; the go-to dish you cook that first gave you confidence in the kitchen; or the last meal you shared with your best friend before they moved overseas. You get the picture.
You don’t need to write anything long (unless you want to) and you don’t need to be a poet, but the more heartfelt your reason for sharing this particular recipe, the more likely it is to be featured and published.
* We love the personal touches
All you need to send in for Meals in the Mail are your recipe and your story, and your submission will never be penalised if this is all you do. However, we really do love those extra, personal touches that many people send with their recipes.
For example, if your recipe was something your mother learned from her mother while growing up on a Greek island, it would be wonderful to see old photographs of your mother and grandmother in Greece. If your recipe was inspired by the apple tree that grew in your childhood garden, we’d love to see a photograph of the tree in your garden (even better if child-you is under it!).
Does your recipe come from an old handwritten recipe book, or is it inspired by clippings from old magazines? We’d adore photographs of those, too.
* Art is lovely, but not required
If you’ve been following Meals in the Mail for any length of time, you’ll have seen that many people send their recipes in with wonderfully creative illustrations on the recipes themselves, mail-art on the envelopes, and all kinds of artsy inclusions. We adore these but they are by no means required, so please don’t feel the pressure to get artsy or crafty, unless this is something that gives you joy.
* A word about permissions and privacy
As stated at the top of this page, by submitting to Meals in the Mail, you are giving us permission to share your recipe and story on our platforms and publications.
We will credit you by sharing your first name, your town, and your country. If you would like us to link to your website or social media platform in our electronic publications, be sure to share the link (pick just one) in your letter.
To ensure your privacy, we will never share your postal address or surname.
If there is any part of your letter or recipe that you do not want to have shared publicly, please explicitly advise us of this in the letter itself.
(Letting us know of something you want kept private at a later date, via email or social media, is hard for us to keep track of, since we are working with actual hard-copy letters, so be sure to make these exclusions clear in your letter).
* How we will thank you
Everyone who submits a recipe via Meals in the Mail during official “open mailbox” periods will receive a personal letter of thanks from Naomi and Melanie. We will write to you no matter where you live in the world.
If we publish your recipe and story in one of our books, we’ll also send you a copy of the book for free.