Tips on Writing Letters to the Editor That Get Published

Start by telling a little about yourself –

I am a member of AFSCME Local ….
I am concerned about the effects that “right to work” legislation would have in our state …
As a working parent, I need to be protected by a strong union …
My husband and I both hold down jobs so we can raise our four children …
I fought against Senate Bill 5 in 2011, and now …

Keep it short and simple –

Newspapers want your opinion, not your life story. Try keep it under 350 words (about four paragraphs).

Focus your letter on one clear issue, and give an example –

Identify the issue: “I am worried about right to work laws coming back to our state.”
Provide an example: “In 2011, firefighters, steelworkers, utility workers, teachers, police and other union workers came together to repeal Senate Bill 5. Laws like SB 5 hurt workers and their families. We were united against them in 2011, and we still feel that way now.”

If you’re responding to an editorial or news story – note the headline, date, and mention the paper’s name –

Be sure to note the article’s headline, date, and newspaper name.
For example: “I really enjoyed the editorial “Right to Work Hurts Working Families” in the December 12, 2014 issue of the Akron Beacon Journal because …”

Don’t ignore the weekly and community newspapers in your area.

Weekly and community newspapers are read by many people. Your letter often has a much better chance of being published in a smaller paper.

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