Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general
You have gotten lots of good advice, Thetford, and I would only add to what Silas posted about the number of pages in your letters. I used to write to a lady in the state of Virginia, who could only receive 5 pages in her letters. So, that is good to know. But, ask your perspective PP, in your introductory letter, about any restrictions, and they will fill you in, I'm sure.
Other than that I would only say what others have said . . relax and be yourself. These people are in prison and chances are that they might not be highly educated. They only want to hear from YOU . . from someone on the outside, and they are not highly critical. You might want to make a list of topics that you want to write about, before you start. Then, make yourself comfortable and let the juices flow. Try to envision an immage of this new friend and talk to them, with your pen, just like you would any of your good friends. I can almost promise that they are going to love your letter and you are going to dance a wild dance when you get your first reply. Happy Writing! :-)
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.
Cowards are cruel, but the brave love mercy.
"The purpose of life is to contribute, in some way, to making things better" Robert F. Kennedy