Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editors of newspapers are a good, inexpensive way to get your point of view into other people’s heads—or at least before their eyes.

A Letter to the Editor (LTE) needs to be short and clear. Most papers put a limit on word count; if your letter is too long, it may be edited to fit—or left on the newsroom floor. So concentrate on concision and clarity. If you can add a dollop of humor or pathos, so much the better.

If your letter was prompted by an article in the paper to which you’re writing, be sure to mention it. For example, “Re: Sept 3 story on Caperton v Massey.”

Most newspapers receive more letters than they are able (or willing) to print, so if yours isn’t published don’t be discouraged. The more letters the paper receives on a given topic, the more likely some of them are to be published.  Even if yours isn’t published, it helps to keep your issue alive in the paper.

50STATES.COM has a list of links to Texas newspapers; these are home pages, so you’ll have to hunt for the pages where you submit LTEs. LTE pages of two local papers are the Austin American-Statesman (daily) and the Austin Chronicle (weekly).