Letter to the Editor Writing Guide

Ready to write your LTE? Find our step-by-step guide below:

  1. Know Your Topic:

LTEs are typically written as a timely response to a recently published article. They can also be written in response to a community event to highlight the importance of the event and express your support or opposition. Familiarize yourself with the conservation issue you’re going to address and gather relevant facts, statistics, and personal stories that emphasize the importance of the cause. The more informed you are, the stronger your letter will be.

  1. Understand the Guidelines:

Different newspapers have varying guidelines for LTE submissions. Check the specific newspaper’s website or editorial page for guidelines on word limit, submission format, and preferred method of contact. It’s important to follow these instructions meticulously.

  1. Write a Compelling Introduction:

Start your letter with a strong and concise opening. Clearly state the issue you are addressing and why it matters. Grab the reader’s attention with a compelling fact, anecdote, or thought-provoking question related to the conservation topic.

  1. Make Your Point Clearly:

In the body of the letter, elaborate on your stance. Explain why you support the conservation issue or event and how it impacts your community, environment, or future generations. Use logical arguments, backed by evidence, to strengthen your points. Be concise and focused to maintain the reader’s interest.

  1. Personalize Your Message:

Share your personal connection to the issue. Explain how the conservation problem affects you, your family, or your community directly. Personal stories create emotional resonance and make your letter more relatable to readers!

  1. Be Respectful and Constructive:

Address opposing views respectfully. Acknowledge counterarguments and debunk them with well-founded facts. Avoid personal attacks or disrespectful language, as it weakens your message.

  1. Call to Action:

End your letter with a powerful call to action. Encourage readers to get involved, support relevant organizations, or contact their representatives. Provide specific steps, making it easy for readers to engage with the cause.

  1. Edit and Proofread:

Before submission, carefully proofread your letter for grammar, spelling, and clarity. A well-edited letter reflects professionalism and increases the likelihood of publication.

  1. Include Your Contact Information:

Provide your full name, address, email, and phone number at the end of the letter. Most newspapers will contact you to verify your submission before publication. Ensure your contact details are accurate.

  1. Submit and Follow-Up:

Submit your letter following the newspaper’s guidelines. After submission, be patient! If your letter doesn’t get published within 2 weeks, consider revising and submitting it to other relevant publications or online platforms that support community voices and conservation causes.

  1. Need Help or Have Questions?

If you have questions about this process or would like to connect with a staff member for support in writing your LTE or op-ed, please reach out to New Mexico Wild’s Communications Coordinator by emailing sara@nmwild.org.