How to write a letter to the editor

Tips Included!

  • Salutation (Pro Tip - Never write “Dear Sir/Madam”. It’s old fashioned and cumbersome. “Dear Editor” succinctly covers all your bases, and saves you the hassle of trying to determine the actual name of the editor of your target publication. You may determine where to direct letters to the editor, in the online, “Submissions” section, of any given publication.):

    • Dear Editor,
       
  • Catchy Title Phrase (Pro Tip - Do your best to write something appropriate as a summary title, because if you don’t write one, the editor will, and his or her headline might not be desirable.):

    • That There Would Be Any Debate At All is Tragic
       
  • Body (Pro Tip - Strictly limit your word count to 140 - 150 words. Doing so increases the likelihood that your letter will be published, and decreases the possibility that the editor will delete or change your words.):

    • Dennis Brown, president of Flags Unlimited, affirmed his commitment to offering the Confederate flag to consumers, saying that he won’t remove it unless the “international community” has a “conversation” about its inappropriateness. Mr. Brown, what are you waiting for?
    • Flags are powerful symbols. The Canadian flag symbolizes liberation from oppression and tyranny. The Confederate flag is a powerful symbol, too. So powerful, in fact, that the Ku Klux Klan proudly uses it as their emblem.
    • There should be no debate. Anyone who would argue that it symbolizes historical heritage, cultural uniqueness or southern pride, is, at best, tone deaf to the reality that millions of African Canadians and Americans might feel otherwise.
       
  • Conclusion (Pro Tip - Make your conclusion as tight and powerful as possible, to summarize the theme[s] in the body of your letter.):

    • To them, the Confederate flag symbolizes slavery, white domination, racist hatred and violence. Flags symbolize leadership, too. Mr. Brown, demonstrate leadership. Stop selling the shameful Confederate flag now.
       
  • Closing (Pro Tip - “Thank you” is all that’s required here. Nothing more or less.):

    • Thank you,
       
  • Signature (Pro Tip - Always include your first and last name, title, full address and phone number. Failure to include any of these will result in your letter not being published. Note - The news publication will NOT print your address or phone number, but they need these to verify that you are a bona fide writer, and not a “bot”. You may also request that your name be withheld, but you must still identify yourself to the Editor for your letter to be eligible for submission.):

    • Jane Doe
      Green Party Candidate for Some Riding
      XX Pretty Trees Road
      City, Province
      Postal Code
      Phone Number