How To: Write a Letter to The Editor
by Maya Ward on Dec 10, 2020
Have you ever seen something on the news or read an article and wanted to say something about it? Well, a letter to the editor is a great way to make your opinion known and raise awareness about an issue that you care about. They are easy to do, and a great way to take part in activism.
We are encouraging all members of our network to send in letters to the editor about issues that matter to them whenever they feel inspired. To help we have provided a few templates of Letters to the Editor about WREN related issues. You can copy them or write your own, and then follow the instructions provided to submit them.
After you send in your letter, let us know! Tag us in a post on Social Media (@WRENetwork on Twitter and Instagram) or (@WomensRightsAndEmpowermentNetwork on Facebook) and tell us about it.
Tips For Sending a Letter to the Editor:
- Keep your letter under 300 words. Editors have limited space for printing letters, and some papers have stated policies regarding length (check the editorial page for this).
- Make sure your most important points are stated in the first paragraph. Editors may need to cut parts of your letter and they usually do so from the bottom up.
- Refer to a recent event in your community or to a recent article – make a connection and make it relevant.
- Use local statistics and personal stories to better illustrate your point.
- Make sure you include your title as well as your name – it adds credibility, especially if it’s relevant to the topic being discussed. If you are a program director, your title may lend credibility to the letter.
- Editors may want to contact you, so include your phone number and e-mail address.
- If your letter is not accepted the first time around, try again. You might submit a revised version with a different angle on the issue at a later date.
- Exclusivity is key, do not send the same letter to 5 different publications. Editors do not all want to publish the same content.
Credit to Community Toolbox For the Tips.
How to Send a Letter to the Editor:
Most news outlets will have a section on their website with specific instructions on how to send a letter to the editor. Many have an email address or online submission form for you to use as well as the option to send a letter via mail. Here we have instructions for a few of the main publications in South Carolina, but check out your local publications as well. Chances are they receive far less letters and are more likely to publish yours.
Greenville News – firstname.lastname@example.org
Post and Courier – email@example.com
Nervous about writing your first letter? No worries, here are a few templates you can use:
Topic: COVID-19 Protections for Workers
Yes, we need more people to mask up and social distance (link to article). But we also need protections for those who follow the guidelines but are forced to work and could soon be shut out of protections under federal relief legislation. Those laws are set to expire at the end of the year. The provisions need to be extended and expanded to include up to 106 million workers who were left out.
This pandemic has reinforced the interdependent nature of our society. It’s unfathomable that the Senate majority could make time to rush through a Supreme Court justice, but can’t find time to pass the HEROES Act or other comprehensive emergency legislation to ensure that all families have the support they need during these trying times. We need our elected officials to act now––not just for families, but for the health of the nation as well.
[address, phone, email]
Topic: Covid-19 And Caregiving
The COVID-19 pandemic means that families are being forced to make hard decisions this holiday season (link relevant article). Instead of deciding who’s going to bring the turkey, families must consider how much longer they can balance work responsibilities with the crushing care responsibilities this health crisis has caused. Some will find themselves having to choose between their livelihood and being there for their loved ones.
The provisions in Congress’ coronavirus relief bills are scheduled to sunset Dec. 31, eliminating the only support families have had during this pandemic. Congress must act to expand and extend paid leave provisions, and to close the loopholes that exclude millions of working families, in addition to funding the child care industry which is facing economic collapse.
[address, phone, email]