Letters to the Editor: How to Write Them and Why They Work. Get Published!

Each week, our Liberty and Prosperity messages reach thousands of people in the South Jersey area through our radio spots, Facebook, Twitter, and our email updates.   However, very few of us are writing letters to the editor.  Let’s change that!

Writing a letter to the editor is easier than you think.  In addition to writing letters to your State Legislators and members of Congress, sending letters to the editor are important advocacy goals because they:

– reach a large audience
– are often monitored by elected officials
– can bring up information not addressed in a news article
– create an impression of widespread support for or opposition to an issue

Tips on Writing Letters to the Editor:

Keep it short and address only one or two subjects.  Many newspapers have strict limits on the length of letters and have limited space to publish them.  The Philly.com (Inquirer & Daily News) limits letters to 150 words. NJ.com (Star Ledger) and APP.com (Asbury Park Press) limit letters to 200 words. Only Press of Atlantic City still permits 350 word letters.

Feel free to use, even copy, our material.   You have blanket permission to use anything you see on this website, our Facebook Page or our Twitter Page at @LandP1776 in anything you write to help us deliver our message.

Keeping your letter brief will help assure that your important points are not cut out by the newspaper’s editor.   You are much better qualified to make needed cuts to your own letter.

Hit one or two of your most important points that are most effective. Then have a sentence or two to explain or support each point.   Look at a Letter to the Editor as a jab or base hit.   Do NOT try to get a knock out or home run in a Letter to the Editor.

Make it legible.  Use a typewriter or computer if your handwriting is difficult to read. However, almost all newspapers prefer email or that you submit with their online form.

Send letters to weekly community newspapers also.  The smaller the newspaper’s circulation, the easier it is to get your letter printed.

Be sure to include your contact information.  Many newspapers will only print a letter to the editor after calling the author to verify his or her identity and address.  Newspapers will not give out that information, and will usually only print your name and city should your letter be published.

Make references to previous articles in the newspaper.  While some papers print general commentary, many will only print letters that refer to a specific article.  Here are some examples of easy ways to refer to articles in your opening sentence:

Your recent editorial “Offshore Wind Farms Offer Green Alternative to High Electric Bills” left out some critical scientific facts.

I strongly disagree with (author’s name) claim that helping taxpayers who prefer educating their children in private or religious schools will somehow hurt public schools.   (“Name of Op-Ed,” date)

I am disappointed that Congressman Doe is resisting President Trump’s efforts to enforce our immigration laws. (refer to date and headline of article)

Get the most from your letter by replying to dissenting views.   Although many newspapers limit submissions to a certain number per person, most will allow letter writers to respond to criticism of their original letter. Take the opportunity to spread your message further by submitting a short response.   Also respond to dissenting views in the “comments” section of the newspapers online edition.

Where and How to Submit Letters in and around New Jersey. (If you have contact information for other newspapers, please let us know so we can add them to this list:

Daily Newspapers:

Press of Atlantic City: https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/:   Email to: letters@pressofac.com

(Letters max 350 words, Guest Columns 750 words)

Philadelphia Inquirer: https://www.inquirer.com/: Email to: inquirer.letters@phillynews.com (Max 150 words)

Daily Journal (Vineland/Millville/USA Today Network): https://www.thedailyjournal.com/; Email to: djopinion@thedailyjournal.com

South Jersey Times (Glassboro, Woodbury, Mullica Hill): https://www.nj.com/south/. Email to: sjletters@njadvancemedia.com

Courier Post (Cherry Hill/South Jersey/USA Today Network): https://www.courierpostonline.com/: Email to: cpedit@courierpostonline.com

Asbury Park Press: (Ocean, Monmouth Counties) USA Today Network): https://www.app.com/: yourviews@app.com

Star Ledger: (Newark): https://www.nj.com/: Email to: eletters@starledger.com

The Record (Bergen County): https://www.northjersey.com/: Email to: letters@northjersey.com

Jersey Journal (Hoboken/Jersey City): https://www.nj.com/jjournal/: Email to: jjletters@jjournal.com

Weekly Newspapers:

Cape May County Herald: https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/

Anonymous and short “Spout Off”: https://spoutoff.capemaycountyherald.com/

Submit Letter to Editor Online: https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

Sentinel (Somers Point, Ocean City to Cape May):  http://www.ocsentinel.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/ Email to: oceancitysentinel@comcast.net

The Sandpaper (Ocean County):  https://www.thesandpaper.net  Email to:  letters@thesandpaper.net

Online Micro-Newspapers:

The Patch:  (Patch Microsoft Newspapers are located at Ocean City, Barnegat and throughout New Jersey)  https://patch.com/  

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