Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Here are some outlets for letters to the editor.

Tips for writing them:

 

  • Have an opinion and state it forcefully: Use your letter to make knowledgeable arguments about the issue at hand. Letters providing lengthy explanations or restatements of news articles will likely not be published.
  • Speak from a specific perspective if you can: Are you a doctor with thoughts on the health impacts of climate change? A grandparent concerned about your grandchildren’s future? A bicycle commuter worried about safety in a city so oriented towards cars and parking? You will seem more relatable and authoritative if it’s clear that your opinion is tethered to something you understand at a personal level.
  • Be timely: Most newspapers prefer letters about current events and issues recently covered by the newspaper. Also, if you are responding to a specific article, include the title, author, and date of the article.
  • Be succinct: Keep your letter to under 200 words. Short letters are more likely to be published and read.
  • Cite sources: Provide citations (Web URLs) for facts or reports mentioned in your letter.
  • Be civil: Sarcasm and anger can be effective in small doses, but don’t overdo it. And while critiques of ideas, reasoning or positions are welcomed, personal attacks are not.
  • Sign your name: Most newspapers won’t publish anonymous letters or letters sent from a “pen name.” Sign your own full name or two initials and your last name. Also, if asked, provide your address and telephone number (which some newspapers use for verification).
  • Understand that it will probably be edited: Most newspapers and online news outlets reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity before publishing.
  • Try again: If your first letter isn’t published, submit again…. And again, and again!