Letter to the Editor

To be published in a newspaper, a letter must be no more than the maximum words in length, and you must include your home address and phone number.

Name Email Phone # Words Location URL
The Durango Herald letters@durangoherald.com 970-247-3504 350 Durango http://www.durangoherald.com
The Durango Telegraph telegraph@durangotelegraph.com 970-259-0133 750 Durango http://www.durangotelegraph.com
Pine River Times prt@pinerivertimes.com 970-884-2331 350 Bayfield http://pinerivertimes.com
Cortez Journal editor@cortezjournal.com 970-565-8527 300 Cortez http://www.cortezjournal.com
Grand Junction Sentinal letters@gjds.com  970-242-5050 300 Grand Junction http://www.gjsentinel.com
The Denver Post openforum@denverpost.com 303-820-1331 200 Denver http://www.denverpost.com

The keys to writing letters to the editor of newspapers or magazines that won’t get edited are:

  1. Keep your letter short. 150 words is a good upper limit. Editors want to print as many letters as possible and frequently need to trim letters to fit the space. In fact, long letters are often not printed at all.
  2. Keep paragraphs short (2-3 short sentences). Otherwise, for readability, the layout editor will change your paragraphs (often making letters less intelligible).
  3. Keep the reading level low. Use short, simple words and short sentences. Complex sentences cause readers to lose interest – or to lose your train of thought.
  4. Focus your letter on one point. If everything in your letter drives at a single point, the loss of a paragraph to editorial license will injure your letter less. Furthermore, if you make one point in a short, concise letter, the chances of being edited at all drop substantially.
  5. Proofread, proofread, proofread. And then have someone else go over it. If your grammar or spelling are poor, readers (including the editor) automatically reduce their respect for your opinion. And, of course, the editor is more likely to make “innocent” changes.
  6. Sit on letters for at least a day. Then proofread again. Letters sent in the “heat of the moment” are usually much more poorly written. Plus you’ll catch more of your own mistakes and be able to take advantage of any insights you come up with while the topic is on your mind.