Whether you want to praise, criticize, vilify, or show off, make sure you're taken seriously by using discipline and clarity in your editorial letter. Change the world one letter at a time.
Step 1: Identify subject Identify the article or subject with which you want to take issue, including dates for reference and fact checking. Include your address, phone number, and e-mail address in your letter's header so that your piece has a chance of being published.
TIP: Don't alienate your readers by attacking anyone. This is a public dialogue.
Step 2: Read examples Review newspaper editorial pages or online letters to pluck good ideas or emulate tone and style. Decide if you are praising someone's actions, writing a complaint letter, or correcting bad information.
TIP: Don't expect miracles. Be happy that you were able to spout your message unaltered for public consumption.
Step 3: Keep it short Write a brief, intelligent, and easy to understand composition of 150 words. Pick one specific reason the topic deserves discussion.
Step 4: Be witty Show your wit and be yourself, so that the reader is comfortable considering your argument. Find original ways to get the point across with your own fresh perspective.
Step 5: Keep audience in mind Write the letter only for this audience and publication rather than broadening your message for wider consumption. Local appeal is a significant factor in getting it in the paper.
Step 6: Propose solution Propose a respectful and rational resolution in the last paragraph. Invite the reader to support your cause without sounding like a salesman.
Step 7: Wait Wait before submitting another piece. Editors want their editorial letters to vary. If your letter is not printed within a couple weeks, send it to another paper. Keep trying to get your voice heard!
FACT: Founded by Ben Franklin, The Saturday Evening Post is the oldest American magazine, dating back to 1728.