Write a Letter to the Editor
A letter to the editor is one of the most effective ways to influence your Members of Congress. Elected officials pay attention to the media in their districts. Constituents who get published can reiterate their point by sending a copy of their letter to the editor to their elected official.
To get started, familiarize yourself with our FMA talking points. You can pre-write parts of a letter opposing the FMA so that you can submit a letter quickly when the subject comes up.
- Know the rules about letters to the editor for the paper you’re writing to. The main things that papers usually have requirements for are:
- Contact information (so they can verify that you wrote the letter)
- Exclusivity (you can’t send an identical letter to other papers)
- Maximum length
- Reference to a recently published article
- As a member of the clergy you have a direct connection with the issue, be sure to say so!
- There is no perfect structure that will guarantee that your letter will be published, but the basic formula for a letter to the editor is to say what you’re commenting on, point out what’s wrong, follow with your alternative view and/or analysis, and reiterate your point in a short conclusion.
- Though you may have a lot to say, KEEP IT BRIEF! The paper may shorten your letter to suit its format for that day. The more it has to cut, the less control you have of what gets printed.
- Your computer has a spelling and grammar check function. Don’t forget to use them.
- Double check that you have adhered to all the guidelines before sending your letter in. If you don’t follow the paper’s requirements, your letter won’t be published.
- Send your letter via e-mail, not postal mail. Put the text of your letter into the body of the e-mail, NOT as an attachment. (Many e-mail systems reject messages with attachments.)
If you get published, please send us a copy!