Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How To Send A S.A.S.E

You're reading an ad that has an intriguing offer, but it says to "send an S.A.S.E." (or "SASE") to enter a contest by mail, receive goodies or information, or send a poem to a literary journal. What are they talking about?

An S.A.S.E. (or SASE) is a "self-addressed stamped envelope." It is used when a company is willing to send you something (or return something to you), but they expect you to pay the postage both ways.


1. Find two envelopes. Ideally, one will be slightly larger than the other. If it's a typical business offer, use regular envelopes. Both envelopes need to be large enough for whatever you want to send and receive.
2. On the smaller envelope, write your own address as the "to" address, in the lower middle of the envelope; then put a first-class stamp on the envelope, in the upper right corner. Technically, this smaller envelope is now a self-addressed stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.), which will come back to you eventually. Don't seal it! The company will seal it after they insert whatever you were asking for (or to return whatever you submitted).

3. Put the smaller envelope into the larger envelope. Then, on the larger envelope, write the company's address. You might use your own address as the "return" address in the top left corner. You'll need to put a first-class stamp in the upper right corner of this envelope as well.

4. It's fine to write a note to the company and enclose it in the larger envelope along with the smaller envelope. They will take out your note and the smaller envelope when they receive the larger envelope addressed to them.

5. Lick the flap of the larger envelope (which now holds a smaller unsealed stamped envelope, and possibly a note from you to the company), press it closed, and mail it through the U.S. Post Office.

6. Wait eagerly for your response. Expect it to take 4-6 weeks for anything to come back to you. This accounts for post office transit time as well as for time for the recipient company to process your request.

United States mail hold

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USPS delivery times 


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