Letters to the editor are a great way to earn media attention for our cause if they are done well. The easier you make it for the editor, the more likely your letter will be published. Here are some tips:
Be unique. Stick to any talking points that help your message and your argument, but do not replicate exact ideas. Editors will not publish replicates of previously submitted letters to the editor.
Check spelling and grammar. Most editors will not edit your letter for spelling or grammatical errors so make sure to do so before submitting!
Be respectful. Even though letters are encouraged and intended to be passionate, any disrespectful, crude, or discriminatory language will automatically render the letter unpublishable.
Focus. Limit your letter to one or two ideas. If you are addressing more than two ideas, use bullet points.
Provide a title. A majority of the time, the newspaper editor will choose their own title which is their right to use discretion for their readership; however, by providing a brief five-to-seven word title with your letter, they will more clearly understand the position of your letter and may even print it with that title!
Not anonymous. Most newspapers do not allow anonymous submissions, so please be prepared to provide your name and contact information. Not every paper publishes this information – it is intended to verify that you are a real person, and to prevent from spam, fraudulent, or misrepresentation of a person.
Follow submission guidelines. Not every paper has the same submission policies. Do they use an online form? Do you send an email to an individual? Check before just emailing the newspaper and follow their guidelines to ensure likelihood of publication.
Find out if there is a word limit. Newspapers usually have a word limit. Check before you begin writing or submit your letter. Even if there is not a word limit, try to stick to under 250 words – you will lose most audiences after that length and editors will likely edit down your submission for space.