How to write an effective letter to the editor of a newspaper

How to write an effective letter to the editor of a newspaper

 

Tips for submitting letters to the editor of a newspaper:

Short: try to keep it to 100 words or less. No paper will publish more than one letter a day that’s 200 words, and will never publish ones that are longer than that.

Simple: make one point well. You don’t need to give them every fact and every argument, your aim is to get it published.

Spot-on: try to link your point to a very recent story in that paper, or at least events happening now

Single: don’t send the same letter to two different papers at the same time – if one doesn’t publish, you could try another a day or so later

Similar: read the letters pages in newspapers to get a feel for the kind of letters they like to publish. Try to write like that

Civil (OK, that didn’t start with ‘s’): you don’t have to be nice about the gambling industry, but don’t swear, and don’t be defamatory. A pun is good if you can manage it, though.

 

Other information

You will need to include your real name, address and phone number - you can request anonymity, but no editor will accept a letter from someone they can’t verify. They don’t publish the street address, but they do publish suburbs.

Disclose connections if relevant - again, they won’t publish them, but it can boost your chances of being published out of the hundreds of letters a day they receive.

Try to write earlier in the day, so the editor can fit you into their deadline for the next day’s paper.

 

Contacts

The Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph prefer letters submitted by their form, but the Tele does also have an email address.

Sydney Morning Herald: letters@smh.com.au

The Age: letters@theage.com.au

The Guardian: guardian.letters@theguardian.com

The Herald Sun: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/letter-to-the-editor

The Australian: letters@theaustralian.com.au

The Daily/Sunday Telegraph: letters@dailytelegraph.com.au or https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/letter-to-the-editor

 

Let us know if you get published! We’ll share your letter around as much as we can.