Dear all,
I'm in the process of writing an official invitation letter to encourage poets and novelists to participate in an international literature festival. By today's standard, is it O.K. to conclude this official letter with "Best wishes" (followed by the host's signature)? Some of my colleagues seem to think "Sincerely yours" is better than "Best wishes," but my impression is that "Sincerely yours" (for that matter, "Yours sincerely," "Truly yours," or "Yours truly") sounds somewhat 'obsolete' that is, I don't remember seeing one of those in (invitation) letters sent to me these days.
Any comment will be appreciated. Thank you.
J. W. Ghong
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Dear all, I'm in the process of writing an official invitation letter to encourage poets and novelists to participate in ... of those in (invitation) letters sent to me these days. Any comment will be appreciated. Thank you. J. W. Ghong

Just my opinion, but as a writer who receives a lot of these literary missives, I'd prefer "Sincerely," over and above something like "Best wishes," or even a "yours" in there.
Because you might wish to maintain impartiality even while attempting to encourage authors.
Joanne
Dear all, I'm in the process of writing an official invitation letter to encourage poets and novelists to participate in ... remember seeing one of those in (invitation) letters sent to me these days. Any comment will be appreciated. Thank you.

If your invitations will be in the form of email, I agree that 'Best wishes' is the best choice. I don't think the closing has caught on in formal letters yet, if it ever will.
If in the US, close with 'Sincerely yours' or 'Yours truly'. They're the old standards, and it is hard to go wrong with either of them. If somewhere else, 'Yours sincerely' might be more appropriate. It is what I see in Ireland most often, for one.

Charles Riggs
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Dear all, I'm in the process of writing an official ... Any comment will be appreciated. Thank you. J. W. Ghong

Just my opinion, but as a writer who receives a lot of theseliterary missives, I'd prefer "Sincerely," over and above something like"Best wishes," or even a "yours" in there. Because you might wish to maintain impartiality even whileattempting to encourage authors.

British-type conventional practice is never to use "sincerely" unless in a personal message to somebody with whom you are already in contact: there are those who will react with genuine annoyance to a generalized "sincerely" from a stranger. American practice is rather different, though, as you've seen from Joanne's message. So it depends on your target group. (Putting the "yours" after the "sincerely" looks even more falsely intimate to British eyes.)

Many people dislike messages which pretend to be letters, but are merely circular publicity material. Nobody's fooled, and nobody feels better for the pretence. But I think it's probably all right to use the letter form to a common-interest group such as you mention I've certainly done it often enough. In spite of Joanne's objection, I think I'd go for "Dear Colleague,...Best wishes" in this case. "Dear Mrs Smith", if the letters are individually printed.

Mike.
In BrEng use either "Yours faithfully" (to unnamed addressee, e.g. "Dear Sir") or "Yours sincerely" (to a named addressee, e.g. Dear Mr Smith or DearFred) - neither are obsolete or dated.
D
Dear all, I'm in the process of writing an official ... me these days. Any comment will be appreciated. Thank you.

If your invitations will be in the form of email, I agree that 'Best wishes' is the best choice. I ... If somewhere else, 'Yours sincerely' might be more appropriate. It is what I see in Ireland most often, for one.

"Yours sincerely" is normal UK usage, too. We don't generally use either "Sincerely yours" or plain "Sincerely". For your purposes, "With best wishes" might be suitable.
Alan Jones
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British-type conventional practice is never to use "sincerely" unless in a personal message to somebody with whom you are already ... it depends on your target group. (Putting the "yours" after the "sincerely" looks even more falsely intimate to British eyes.)

I'm not entirely in agreement with Mike's first comment. It seems polite enough to use "Dear Professor X ... Yours sincerely" to someone not personally known to you but to whom you are writing on a matter of common interest.
If the letter starts "Dear Mr X" (etc) then by UK convention it has to end "Yours sincerely", though I sometimes see "Yours truly" if the letter is to do with business. This is as nearly immutable a rule as that requiring that "Dear Sir" letters end "Yours faithfully". But the old conventions may be breaking down and rules abandoned in favour of mateyness..
Alan Jones
British-type conventional practice is never to use "sincerely"unless in a ... the "sincerely" looks even more falsely intimate to British eyes.)

I'm not entirely in agreement with Mike's first comment. It seems polite enough to use "Dear Professor X ... ... ona matter of common interest. But the old conventions may be breaking down and rules abandoned in favour of mateyness..

Yes, I think so.
Mike.
If the letter starts "Dear Mr X" (etc) then by UK convention it has to end "Yours sincerely", though I ... Sir" letters end "Yours faithfully". But the old conventions may be breaking down and rules abandoned in favour of mateyness..

On the rare occasions that I need to write letters, I tend to start with ``Sir:'' or ``Sirs:'' and end with ``Cordially''. My instructor didn't seem to complain when I took the Business Comms. course last semester.

Ayaz Ahmed Khan, unixforge.org/~ayaz/, fast-ce.org/linux

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