Friends of Betty MacDonald
For fans of this beloved American writer
Inkubator: The Editor's Log
Commemorative Stamp Drive
Dear Friends: As many of you know, for several years now, we have hoped to have a commemorative stamp issued by the US Postal Service, depicting our favorite author. I put this on the back burner a few years ago, when it seemed there already was a stamp request in the works, but I have found out from the Postal Service that no stamp is in the offing. Their process can take up to three years, so it would behoove us to begin the "campaign" now, with the goal of seeing the stamp issued in 2015. That would be the 70th anniversary of the release of "The Egg and I," and the Postal Service prefers a commemorative event to link to the issuance, so this seems a good time to make the request.

The way it works is simple: A committee reviews the requests and determines who (or what) will be honored with a commemorative stamp. I think Betty is a shoe-in once the committee meets, but we have to do the nuts and bolts part and write the letters! If you would like, I can probably send you some boilerplate language that you could use; just let me know. Bear in mind, however, that only PAPER letters are accepted, no e-mail. I can create a Word document that you can use and add your own information to; just send me a quick e-mail and I'll get that to you.

Here is the pertinent portion of the Postal Service's blurb on submitting a commemorative stamp request (I added the highlighting):

The Committee meets four times yearly. At these two day meetings, the members review all eligible proposals that have been received since the previous meeting. No in-person appeals by stamp proponents are permitted. The criteria established by this independent group ensure that stamp subjects have stood the test of time, are consistent with public opinion and have broad national interest. The members also review and provide guidance on artwork and designs for stamp subjects that are scheduled to be issued.

The Stamp Selection Process

Stamp proposals must be submitted in writing to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. Proposals made by email will not receive a response. This allows everyone the same opportunity to suggest a new stamp subject. Subjects should be submitted at least three years in advance of the proposed date of issue to allow sufficient time for consideration and for design and production, if the subject is approved. All properly submitted proposals for eligible subjects will be reviewed by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee regardless of how they are submitted, i.e., stamped cards, letters or petitions.

Stamp proposals are to be submitted in writing to the following address:

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260-3501

After a proposed subject is determined not to violate the criteria set by CSAC, the subject is listed on the CSAC's agenda for its next meeting. The CSAC considers all new proposals and takes one of two actions: it may reject the new proposal or it may set it aside for consideration for future issuance. If the proposal is rejected, it may be resubmitted to the Committee again, no sooner than three years after the rejection date.

Proponents are not advised if a subject has been approved for issuance until a general announcement is made to the public. While the Postal Service relies heavily upon the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee for its advice, it has the exclusive and final authority to determine both subject matter and designs for U.S. postal stamps and postal stationery.

Artwork for Stamp Designs

Once a subject is approved, the Postal Service relies heavily on art directors under contract to the Postal Service for the selection of artists who will execute the designs. Stamp designing is an unusual art form requiring exacting skill in portraying a subject within very small dimensions. Due to the demands of stamp design and reproduction requirements, it is our policy not to review nor accept unsolicited artwork.

Thanks and let's get this thing DONE!


Sign in to post a comment!

HomeAboutFAQContactsTo the Editor