Our Favorite Fountain Pen Forums

Tech was supposed to kill the fountain pen.

Instead, digital communication is keeping fountain pens alive and well for a new generation of creatives to enjoy.

In the second half of the 20th Century, fountain pens seemed destined for extinction. Word processors, computers, and mobile phones aimed to make the fountain pen, as a writing tool, obsolete. If cursive is no longer being taught in schools and commerce no longer relies on handwritten communication, how does one find out about fountain pens?

Enter the information age and the internet!

Pen enthusiasts were no longer alone in their love for writing instruments. With fountain pen community, people around the world found a way to connect over a common passion.

Now, pen pals can trade cleaning tips, pen and ink recommendations, troubleshoot problems, and share funny memes that only pen geeks would understand.

In the early naughts (that’s the 2000’s), Fountain Pen Network (FPN for short) was the main online information resource and forum for all things fountain pen related. If you Googled a question about fountain pens, chances are, you would see a link to an FPN thread.

While FPN has plenty of active users, many pen enthusiasts have found other meeting spots around the web that are easier to access across all devices (since the FPN message board is not mobile-friendly).

Here are our favorite forums to hang out and appreciate fountain pens with fellow pen aficionados from around the world.

Quick List of our Favorite Fountain Pen Forums

Reddit r/fountainpens

Although Reddit isn’t a social media powerhouse like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it is still a heavily trafficked website that includes a diverse collection of niche communities called “subreddits.”

Started in 2010, the r/fountainpens subreddit is a place where you can share your newest pen and ink acquisition, pictures of a pen show haul, flex your handwriting with a flex nib, ask technical questions, or ask people’s opinions toward a certain brand, nib, or filling mechanism.

Instead of “likes” and “hearts,” Reddit content is valued on an upvote/downvote system (with comments as well). Although you’ll see sponsored Reddit ads while browsing the posts, the forum content is usually free of promotional messages from pen shops, manufacturers, or distributors.

One of the components usually found within an online pen community is the ability to buy, sell, or trade pens with fellow members. Although pen transactions are not permitted on r/fountainpens people can use r/Pen_Swap (50,000+ members) to transact.

Fountain Pen Network Group on Facebook

Facebook is one of the biggest social media networks in the world. Facebook’s “Groups” feature allows people to connect over shared interests.

The reason why a “Fountain Pen Network” group exists on Facebook as it does is that it sidesteps the technical limitations of the Fountain Pen Network forum. Pen enthusiasts can use their Facebook apps on their mobile or desktop to interact with the community.

On the Fountain Pen Network Facebook Group, you can expect members to post pictures of their pens, creative drawings and writings made with fountain pens and ink, photos of bustling pen shows, and people sharing their entire collections.

FPN members seek troubleshooting help with fixing pens, identifying pens, or sourcing pens that are hard to find. It’s a good resource to ask for feedback on people’s experience with a particular pen, nib, ink, or writing accessory.

Many find using Facebook problematic for its intrusive advertising, collecting of personal data, and toxic discourse that can turn posts into dumpster fires of hate. While a group of fountain pen enthusiasts generally tend to behave themselves, Facebook sometimes brings the worst out in people.

Thankfully, joining a group on Facebook isn’t the only option to access the pen community.

PenAddict Slack

Slack isn’t just for companies, although that’s how most people come to know this app.

Back in 2007, Brad Dowdy started the PenAddict.com blog, chronicling his journey through all the stationery world had to offer. In 2012, he started the weekly PenAddict Podcast. Over 10+ years of consistent posting and Brad amassed a great following - as well as 500 podcast episodes!

Although it’s technically an offshoot of the PenAddict following, the PenAddict Slack is an active community of pen enthusiasts who chat about pens, writing, life, and everything in between.

All the various PenAddict discussion topics are separated into channels that you can join. For example, if you are interested in journaling, joining the #journaling channel. Need to list a pen for sale? Put it on the #sell-trade channel. Want to chat abou the recent novel you finished? Join the #books channel. And so on.

Posts on Slack feel more like a threaded text message conversation than on other social media channels or Reddit. The big bonus is that there are no ads whatsoever to distract you. You do need a slack account and an invite to join the community, but both are free.

While the PenAddict Slack offers a search feature, it is limited to 90 days of content. Therefore, it isn’t a viable resource for reference information.

“Pendemic” Fountain Pen Discord Server

Discord is the newest community platform that is gaining momentum thanks to its popularity within the gaming community and discontent with Reddit’s new fees for third-party developer access, which many users and communities rely upon.

Many people from the r/fountainpens Subreddit have migrated to using the “Pendemic” Discord recently.

Discord operates similarly to Slack in that topics are separated into text or voice channels. Members of a Discord server are free to join in discussing various pen (and non-pen-related) topics. Threading conversations tends to be messier in Discord than on Slack. In that regard, the platform can feel like a big group text convo.

Discord has no advertisements, is free to join, and works on mobile and desktop platforms.

Members regularly share their pens photographed on mugs, conduct handwritten conversations in #digi-snail-mail, buy & sell pens, host giveaways, and collaborate on creative projects.

Joining smaller niche communities

If you have a favorite brand, a pen review youtuber who shares your taste in pens, or a retail shop that you enjoy following (wink wink), there are smaller niche communities to explore online.

Many shops and pen brands have social media accounts and youtube channels you can follow. Some brands, like Retro 51, might also have a Facebook Group dedicated to their fans. If you’re looking to make your “for you” news feeds heavier on fountain pens, there are many content creators, pen influencers, writers, and artists to follow across all digital platforms.

A way to find these people is to search pen-related hashtags like #fountainpen #fountainpens #fountainpenaddict #fountainpengeeks #fountainpennetwork #penaddict and #”brand name” (#pilotpen if you like Pilot).

Key Takeaways about the Online Pen Community

No matter the technology, fountain pen community geeks will always find ways to geek out with each other online. Although the online community started with the Fountain Pen Network forum, times change, opening up new ways to connect over our passion for pens.

We recommend checking out the various pen forums we discussed in this article and see if you can find a few new pen pals. Whenever we can share our love for the fountain pen hobby with others, it increases our own enjoyment as well.

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