Last week I started a Letter to the Editor section for the BFD. I invite readers to submit their thoughts on issues that they feel strongly about.
You can take a position for or against an issue, simply inform, or do both. Around 300-400 words is ideal but I will consider up to 600 words. If you do not want your full name to be published please make that clear in your e-mail.
Good Letters to the Editor will generate plenty of community discussion. You can also keep an issue going by preventing it from disappearing from the public eye. You can also send a “good news” letter to bring recognition to people who deserve it.
Why should you write a letter to BFD’s Editor?
A letter to BFD’s editor allows you to reach a large audience:
- If you are upset about something and want others to know about it
- If you think that an issue is really important
- If part of your group’s strategy is to persuade others to take some kind of action
It allows you to:
- Suggest an idea to others
- Influence public opinion
- Educate the general public on a specific matter
- Influence policy-makers or elected officials directly or indirectly
- Publicise the work of your group and attract volunteers or program participants
Your letter will need to stand out in order to get published.
- Send your ‘letter’ to the BFD via e-mail to sb at thebfd.co.nz
- Grab the reader’s attention.
- Your opening sentence is very important. It should tell readers what you’re writing about, and make them want to read more.
- Make your key point at the beginning.
- Explain why the issue is important
If you are motivated enough to write a letter to a newspaper or magazine, the importance of your topic may seem clear to you. Remember, though, that the general public probably doesn’t share your background or the interest. Explain the issue and its importance simply. Use plain language that most people will understand
- Provide evidence.
- State your opinion about what should be done
- Keep it brief. Long-winded ranting letters are unlikely to be published.
You can write a letter just to ”vent,” or to support or criticize a certain action or policy, but you may also have suggestions about what could be done to improve the situation. If so, be sure to add these as well. Be specific. And the more good reasons you can give to back up your suggestions, the better.
[…] go back over your letter and see if anything can be cut or condensed. If you have a lot to say and it can’t be easily made short, you may want to check with the editor to see if you could write a longer guest post.ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/advocacy/direct-action/letters-to-editor
Send your ‘letter’ to the BFD via e-mail to sb at thebfd.co.nz
I look forward to reading them.