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Write a Letter to the Editor

Why are letters to the editor important?

  • The Opinion section is one of the most-read in print and online

  • Elected officials, the editorial board of the newspaper, reporters, and other thought leaders read these

  • The more people write about any one topic, the more space that opinion will receive in the newspaper. So even if your LTE isn’t printed, you give a similar LTE a better chance of being printed

  • It helps to create an impression of widespread support for or against an issue

  • It can also provide information that was not addressed in a news article

Ready to write? Here are some tips:

Address only one topic and keep it short
  • Most publications will have strict limits on the length of letters
  • Keeping your letter brief will ensure all of your points are included
Reference a specific article that ran in the newspaper
  • Here's a good example of how to reference an article
  • Notice that the writer includes the title of the article as well as the date it was published
Establish your expertise
  • You are an expert if you are a:
    • Planned Parenthood patient
    • Planned Parenthood health care provider
    • Health care provider
    • Mother
    • Person who lives in the area your newspaper covers
    • Member of the LGBTQ+ community
    • Voter
    • Latina, African American, Asian American, or another ethnicity or race
    • Young person
    • Feminist
    • Person who saw the effects on women before Roe v Wade
  • Examples of how to establish your expertise
    • "I have been going to Planned Parenthood for three years, and I know how important this organization is for millions of people in this country." 
    • "As a mother of two young daughters, I have to stand up for women's rights." 
    • "As a woman who fought for abortion rights in the 1970's, I can't believe that I have to still fight for women's health care 50 years later."
Be timely
  • If you read an article and have a strong reaction, write your LTE the same day
Write the way you speak
  • You don't need to be overly formal. Check out an example HERE. 
Call the reader to action
  • If you want people to call their senator and tell them to protect Planned Parenthood's funding, say so! 
Be sure to include your contact information
  • Many newspapers will only print a LTE after verifying the author's identity and address
  • They will usually only print your name and city if your letter is published

If you’re interested in writing a letter to the editor, here are some publications that you can submit to: