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A letter to the editor is from a personal perspective, representing the opinion of the person who wrote it or the agency they represent. Make sure an organization wants you to represent them in print before you write a letter on their behalf!
Letters to the editor
   More people read letters to the editor than almost any other section in the newspaper, especially in smaller communities. So they are a great way to spread the word about important issues. Remember - elected officials and other policy makers typically keep an eye on letters to the editor as a way of gauging public opinion.
   Letters to the editor should be short and to the point (usually 250 to 500 words). Make your first sentence catchy and you will hook more readers. Include your telephone number or email address if you want to recruit others to your cause.
   When writing your letter to the editor,remember these tips:
  • Be brief. Newspapers will often specify a maximum length. If not, check out the other letters in your paper to get an idea. If a letter is too long, it will be edited and you could lose some of your most important facts and ideas.
  • Reference your letter to current events. If possible, refer to a recent news story or an article that has appeared in the newspaper. Tie your subject into what is happening in your state or community.
  • Skip the form letters. Mass mailings of form letters are obvious and usually less likely to get published.
  • Include solutions. For example, connect readers to an innovative new approach to the problem you are addressing. Always stress the possibilities, not just the problems.
  • Give your address and phone number. Most newspapers will verify your identity before they will print a letter. Most will not publish anonymous letters.

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