Submit a Letter to the Editor
A letter to the editor (LTE) is a way of letting people know what you think in a regularly printed publication. Sending an LTE to your local newspaper is an effective way to reach a large audience, influence opinions and raise awareness about an issue that may not be receiving a lot of media coverage. When enough people submit a letter to the editor on a specific issue through a letter writing campaign, you ultimately are able to generate momentum and create an impression of widespread support or opposition on an issue. LTEs are among the most widely read features in any newspaper or magazine.
- Make it personal: Share your personal story about being a family child care provider and the impact of your work in the community.
- Get to the point: Don’t make the reader wait to find out what you have to say. Tell them your key point at the beginning. Clear, well-written letters are likely to be given more serious consideration for publication.
- Appeal to your audience: Include local references so your piece is relevant to the readership of your target publication. Refer to a relevant article or recent event in your community to make a connection with readers.
- Outline the problem and provide solutions: Use this as opportunity to educate readers on the importance of the issue and provide solutions to the problem. Be specific whenever you can.
- Keep it short: Most newspapers have length requirements of 250-300 words for a letter to the editor. Stick to one subject and keep your letter brief to ensure the important aspects of your piece are not edited out by the newspaper.
- Choose an optimal time: Letters can be written any time of the year. While newspapers will publish general commentary, it’s even better if your letter is timely to current events or you are using the letter to start a public conversation. A planned series of LTEs can stimulate public interest and generate additional media coverage.
- Send letters to local and community newspapers. You have a greater chance of getting your letter published in a daily or weekly paper that has a smaller circulation. There’s less competition for space compared to larger publications and editors prioritize the opinions of residents in the area.
- Digital is the way to go: Almost every print publication accepts letters via email or through a form on the website. Make it easier for editors to review and publish your letter through digital means.