How To Write Letters To Editors
A simple guide to writing a Letter To The Editor (LTE), including some listings of local papers where you can send your letter to the editor via email.
Do you have a desire to participate in Libertarian politics, but cringe at the idea of public speaking? Unable to fulfill the many hours of legwork that the Libertarian Party may be asking you? Too broke and too tired to donate money or time to a cause that you truly believe in?
Don’t despair! Write a Letter To The Editor, instead!
You can do it from the privacy of your own home and you can do it on your own time. It’s not much more expensive than the internet connection that you currently have. You can do as much in a LTE as you can do at an OPH booth and reach many non-Libertarians, in the process.
Guidelines For Writing A Letter To The Editor:
- K.I.S.S.: Keep it simple…250 words or less, 2-3 paragraphs, at most.
- Stick to one topic (recent current issue or event).
- Your letter stands the best chance of getting printed when it responds to something recently printed in that newspaper.
- Include your major point(s) within the first few lines/paragraphs. If your letter is cut short, it will likely be the last few lines, so don’t save your point for the end.
- Limit the number of points you make.
- Keep it local, if possible.
- Personalize it. Explain how the issue will affect you, your family, your neighbors, your area. (Use the libertarian perspective, if possible. To fully qualify for the Advocates or the LPCO awards, you must use the word “libertarian or Libertarian” in the body, title, or signature of your letter to the editor.)
- Don’t ramble. Avoid using big words and statistics.
- Be as factual as possible without being dull.
- Focus on the positive. Propose solutions for the negative, when possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for action. Tell readers what you want them to do (vote Libertarian, call their legislators, etc.)
- Encourage your friends and neighbors to write a letter to the editor.
- Send a copy to your legislator(s). Sending the letter to the appropriate legislator or the appropriate committee or organization can also be effective.
- Spell-check. Proofread. Repeat.
- Have a friend spell-check, proofread. Repeat.
- Most newspapers have a 2-month guideline that states that only one letter per same writer can be published every two months (or 8 weeks).
- Submit your letter by mail, fax, or email. Include your name, home address, and phone number (the newspaper will want to call you to verify that you are the author of the letter).
Excellent tips, sources and guides for writing letters to the editor:
Letters to the Editor – Key Points for Success (PRFA)
How to Write Libertarian Letters to the Editor (LPNC)
From the Editor: Make your ideas public (LP)