Leadership and Civic Engagement
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 an example Letter to the Editor about a WREN related issue. You can use it as an example to write your own Letter to the Editor, and then follow the instructions provided to submit it.
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. (ex. 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 is an example letter that you can model your letter after:
Subject: Healthcare Discrimination Legislation
Recently a Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee debated a dangerous and far-reaching bill that permits any person participating in health care service to deny care to individuals for any reason, without a medical justification.
If this bill, S.811, were approved South Carolina would be creating a health care system where patients’ health needs come second to health care workers’ personal beliefs. No one should be denied health care because of the personal beliefs of a person working in a health care facility, hospital, pharmacy, or insurance company.
South Carolina already has extremely poor healthcare access and healthcare outcomes. We are just beginning to emerge from the worst pandemic in a century, which has taken the lives of more than 8,600 South Carolinians and upended our economy and our educational system. Now is the time to invest the resources of the General Assembly into fortifying our health care system so that our population is healthier and more resilient – we should not be devising new ways to polarize our communities and pit patients and providers against each other.
Let’s do all we can to support our health care workers and the people who rely on them so that we can advance the health and dignity of ALL.
[address, phone, email]