Follow The Republic:
We encourage people to share what’s on their minds, and Republic readers respond in strong fashion. Last year we published 546 letters, or 10.5 per week.
Without scientific surveys to measure against, career-long perspective makes that a high volume. Even so, we would love to publish more.
Here are some suggestions to help you navigate the process.
Many newspapers have limits on Letters to the Editor. Some deal with length, others frequency.
We are opening the frequency window, allowing two letters per month. For some writers, once a month is too limiting. We doubled that.
I sense the average word maximum among newspapers is 250 per letter. At some, it’s as few as 100. The Republic’s word limit is 500 per letter. Some dailies may allow longer letters, but I don’t know of any.
Five hundred words? It’s the length of this column. You get as much space to write as I do.
We encourage you to submit letters electronically, by email or by attaching a Word document. It’s easier for you and us.
We have an automated form on our website. Simply fill out the form.
Start with the “Contact Us” navigational bar at the top of the home page of republic.com. Hover your cursor over “submissions,” then click on “letter to the editor.” Then start filling in the blanks.
Five pieces of information are required, but all we publish are your full name (no initials, please) and city of residence. The rest is for verification purposes.
If you prefer, email letters to email@example.com.
If you would rather invest in the cost of postage, paper and envelope, the U.S. Postal Service says “thanks.” While we don’t exclude writing the old-fashioned way, electronic submissions get your letter into print quicker — and assure greater accuracy, removing the human factor of someone else typing it in.
However, you still must provide all of the same verification information: Full name, street address, city, state and ZIP code, and telephone number.
Letters are subject to editing, for length or clarity. If spelling or grammar isn’t your strong suit, for example, we will help with that.
We give preference to letters written by local people, or those who write about topics that matter most to local people.
Chain or form letters? Typically not.
Please address your letter to “the editor.” Don’t send us one addressed to someone else (such as “an open letter to ...”). If your letter is really directed to someone else, send it to them. But even these letters can easily be modified to meet our to-the-editor requirement.
Some discussions don’t fit as a Letter to the Editor:
Personal attacks: You can be critical without getting personal.
Product or business endorsements: Our advertising representatives will be happy to assist you.
Consumer complaints: We refer you to the Better Business Bureau.
Additional guidelines are in place during election season, but let’s save that for another day.
Last of my 500 words: Write us a letter. We would love to publish it.
Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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