Writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE)

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Before you start writing

 

To become an effective LTE writer, read some LTEs to see how they’re done. Judge each LTE by asking: Did this likely persuade anyone? Did it add anything new to the public conversation? How could it have been more effective?

 

Consider the issue you plan to write about. Why should readers care about it? Why do you care about it? What new perspective or information can you add to the public conversation on this issue?

 

Consider your audience. Whose minds are you trying to change? How can you get through to those readers?

 

Writing tips

 

Your LTE should be timely. Respond to a recently published article, a topic of current interest, or a recent or upcoming event.

 

Keep it simple. Focus on one topic and make one point.

 

Be direct. State your topic and viewpoint clearly.

 

Be brief. LTEs are usually just 200-250 words long. (Follow your newspaper’s word count limit.)

 

Be yourself. Don’t try to sound like an academic or policy expert. You’re a smart, passionate citizen who’s paying attention, and that’s powerful.

 

But if you do have expertise on your LTE topic, mention it or attach a credential to your signature. Knowledge and experience add heft to your opinion.

 

Be relatable. Describe how the topic affects you or others you know about.

 

Be concrete. Use an example, statistic, or quote to help clarify or illustrate your point.

 

Be clear. If you want readers to take some kind of action, say so.

 

Which newspapers can you send LTEs to?

 

Papers with statewide readership publish LTEs by residents from all over the state. Oregon’s statewide papers are the Oregonian, Portland Tribune, Bend Bulletin, Eugene Register-Guard, and Statesman Journal.

 

Local and regional papers publish LTEs by residents from their distribution area. (During an election, they may publish residents from within their congressional district.)

For issues of statewide interest, submit LTEs to papers with statewide readership or your local or regional paper.

 

For local or regional issues, submit LTEs to your local or regional paper.

 

Don’t forget community, ethnic, and religious newspapers and papers covering the professions. These small publications reach many readers and are often hungry for content.

 

How do you submit an LTE?

 

Virtually all newspapers now accept LTE submissions by email or on a website submission form. Check your newspaper’s Opinion section for instructions.

 

Submit your LTE to just one newspaper at a time. If the paper doesn’t contact you within a week, feel free to submit to another paper.

 

What if your LTE isn’t published?

 

Don't take it personally. Editors can only accept a few LTEs at a time and they often get hundreds of submissions. Even if your LTE isn't published, it will help boost the signal that this topic is important. Keep submitting, and to a variety of papers.

Oregon newspapers, alphabetically by city

ALBANY
Albany Democrat-Herald
541-926-2211
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit

ASHLAND
Ashland Daily Tidings
541-776-4477 
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit, 150 for elections

ASTORIA
The Daily Astorian 
800-781-3211
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit

BAKER CITY
Baker City Herald
888-318-7508
Letter to the Editor
(No word limit specified)

BANDON
Bandon Western World 
541-347-2423
Letter to the Editor
400 word limit
 
BEND
Bend Bulletin
541-382-1811 
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
BROOKINGS
Curry Pilot 
541-469-3123
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
BURNS
Burns Times Herald
541-573-2022
Letter to the Editor
(No word limit specified)

 

COLUMBIA COUNTY
Pamplin Media Group
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit


COOS BAY
The World 
541-269-1222
Letter to the Editor
400 word limit
 
CORVALLIS
Gazette-Times 
541-753-2641
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
ENTERPRISE
Wallowa County Chieftain
541-426-4567 
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
EUGENE
Register-Guard
541-338-2525
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit
 
FLORENCE
The Siuslaw News
541-997-3441
Letter to the Editor
(No word limit specified)

GRANTS PASS
Grants Pass Daily Courier
541-474-3823
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
HERMISTON
Hermiston Herald
800-522-0255
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit
 
HOOD RIVER
Hood River News
541-386-1234
Letter to the Editor
350 word limit
 

JOHN DAY
Blue Mountain Eagle
541-575-0710
Letter to the Editor
350 word limit
 
KLAMATH FALLS
Herald and News
541-885-4410
Letter to the Editor
310 word limit
 
LA GRANDE
La Grande Observer
541-963-3161
Letter to the Editor
350 word limit
 
LINCOLN CITY
The News Guard 
541-994-2178
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit

 

MADRAS
Pamplin Media Group
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit

 

MADRAS
Madras Pioneer
541-475-2275
Letter to the Editor
Political letters limit is 200 words
 
MEDFORD
Mail Tribune
541-776-4477 
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit, 150 for elections
 
NEWPORT
News Times  
541-265-8571
Letter to the Editor
(No word limit specified)

ONTARIO
Argus Observer
541-889-5387 
Letter to the Editor
300 word limit

​PENDLETON
East Oregonian
800-522-0255
Letter to the Editor
400 word limit
 
PORTLAND (#1 of 2)
The Oregonian
Letter to the Editor
250 word limit

 
PORTLAND (#2 of 2)

The Portland Tribune

Letter to the Editor

200 word limit

PORTLAND SUBURBS
Pamplin Media Group
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit
Each of these communities has a separate paper within Pamplin Media Group:
- Beaverton 
- Clackamas 
- Canby 
- Estacada 
- Forest Grove 
- Gresham 
- Hillsboro
- Lake Oswego
- Molalla
- Newberg
- Oregon City
- Sandy
- Sellwood
- Tigard
- Tualatin
- West Linn
- Wilsonville
- Woodburn 

 

PRINEVILLE
Central Oregonian
541-447-6205
Letter to the Editor
Political letters limit is 200 words
 
ROSEBURG
Register-Guard
541-338-2525
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit
 
SALEM
Statesman Journal
503-399-6773
Letter to the Editor
200 word limit
 
SISTERS
Nugget Newspaper
541-549-9941
Letter to the Editor
300 word limit
 
THE DALLES
The Dalles Chronicle
541-296-2141
Letter to the Editor
400 word limit (250 for election letters)
 
TILLAMOOK
Headlight-Herald 
800-275-7799
Letter to the Editor
500 word limit

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