Writing a letter to the editor takes a bit of thought and some time to write and edit. Your letters will likely improve with practice. Don’t be discouraged if your initial efforts are not published, particularly in large newspapers. It’s easier to have them published in local papers. Here’s how to do it.
- Select the newspaper you want to publish your letter (some larger papers require that you submit it only to them at first).
- Find out the expectations and required criteria for your letter by looking at current letters to the editor and going on-line: search for “<newspaper name> how to submit a letter to the editor”.
- Generally the letter is expected to be in response to something published previously in the paper. That’s less of an issue for smaller local papers.
- Draft the letter, edit it to meet the requirements, and then get feedback from someone else if you can.
- Finalize the letter and submit it making sure it meets all of the requirements.
- Celebrate if it gets published and share it with your friends and family. If not, try again on another day.
Below is a sample letter that was published in the Boston Globe by a member of this group.
With loud opposition, voice of people was heard
What was missing from the Globe’s coverage of the aborted effort to pass the
American Health Care Act (“Republicans abandon health care repeal effort,” Page
A1, March 25) was that this was an enormous and important victory for the
American people. If passed, more than 20 million people would have lost health
care coverage, and huge tax savings would have gone to billionaires and
The bill failed because the people of this country stood up for their rights at local
town hall meetings, and they called their legislators. Both Republicans and
Democrats received a huge number of calls opposing this bill. Dan Donovan, a New
York Republican, said the calls to his office were running about 1000-to-1 against
the bill. Another Republican asked “Why are we voting on this?” after receiving 275
calls against and four in favor.
According to polls, only 17 percent of Americans supported this health care
proposal. How could a bill this unpopular have made it out of committee? It’s all
about the money, and those in power clearly wanted to help the rich at the expense
of the poor and middle class. This time, we the people told them no.