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What Makes a Good Letter to the Editor?
- Shorter letters have a better chance of publication.
- Maintain civility and raise the level of discourse in public debate. Copy editors screen out letters that are too personal in tone or engage in gratuitous name calling.
- Sometimes letters get passed over because they resemble a ransom note with a smattering of boldface words and capitalizations to emphasize their VERY IMPORTANT POINTS. Let the power of your prose and your arguments carry the day, not the caps lock on your keyboard. This goes for punctuation too!!!!!
- The copy editors who sift through the letters make an effort to include not only a diversity of views, but a geographic representation of their readership.
Below is a list of where to send your letters to the editor. For each newspaper, we have included their mail address, email address, fax number, telephone number, and web site address.
Please note: Most newspapers require that letters be signed and that an address and daytime phone number be included for verification. If you are sending your letter via email or fax, type "Letter to the Editor" in the subject heading. Most newspapers retain the right to edit your letter before publishing it; in order to ensure as little editing as possible, try to keep your letter to about 250 words. For general letter writing tips, read this San Francisco Chronicle column. For specific "letter to the editor" guidelines, contact the individual newspaper.