Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor (LTE) is a way to start a public conversation about an issue, show support or opposition on an issue, and to keep an issue in the news and in the minds of decision makers. If you’re concerned or passionate about an issue, a LTE is a great way to express yourself and help further a mission.

Unlike op-eds, which are around 800 words and can be fairly in-depth, LTE’s are short, usually only 200 words, concise, and issue-driven. They can be in response to a specific article an outlet has run or on a current issue in your community that your outlet hasn’t covered yet.

The basic outline for any LTE is simple:

  • Start by stating your topic or reason for writing
  • Then, explain why you agree or disagree (support or oppose) the issue, and include supporting facts or information (keep the supporting facts to only 2-3 points)
  • End by saying what you want to see happen or provide your suggestions for what should come next (a call to action, a specific ask from someone, etc.)

Check out these published LTEs to help guide yours:

Finally, keep these do’s and don’ts of LTEs in mind:



  • Have a wishy-washy or unclear stance on the issue
  • Be wonky or too technical
  • Overload the LTE with facts and forget to have an opinion on them
  • Leave the reader asking “So what?”