Submit a Letter to the Editor


A letter to the editor is a short article that gives an opinion on a specific issue. They are quick to write, often relatively easy to have published and are the most widely read section in the paper. Newspapers tend to publish letter to the editor articles that respond to a current issue in the news, or an article that was just published in the paper.

How to Write a Letter to the Editor:

  • Find a Hook. Use an issue that you just heard about in the local or national news, that you just received an action alert about from the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, or that you read about in our Press Center.

  • Personalize your letter. Explain how the issue affects you and your community, or the wildlife and natural places you care about.

  • Keep the letter short. under 200 words. Make sure you end with a demand or strong conclusion. Use a few facts and figures to support your argument.

  • Adopt the proper tone. Be respectful and polite in getting your message across.

  • Use the "cut and paste" approach. If you have multiple local or regional papers, why not publish your "Letter to the Editor" ten times? If you email it, make sure you send it to each paper individually.

  • Display authorship. Include your name, address, and a daytime telephone number — papers need to confirm who wrote the article before they will print it.

  • Pick a great title. Give your letter a title that will draw attention.

  • Send it out. Get that type-written letter in the mail or email it as soon as you have it done and proofread for errors. Send it to more than one paper to increase your chances of getting published.

  • Be persistent. If your letter to the editor doesn't get published, after a few days, call the editor and ask them why not. Find out what it would take to get it published next time.

  • If your letter is published, please email us a link at info@nwa.org or mail a hard-copy version to National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, 901 E. St NW, Ste 400, Washington, DC 20004.

TIPS:

  • Most newspapers print their address and instructions for sending Letters to the Editor inside their front page or in the editorial section. You can also search for your paper online, and look for the link on their homepage that says "Contact." Here you can usually find an email address or an online submission form.

  • If you have trouble finding an email or postal address, please contact info@nwa.org with the name of your paper and we'll help you find it.

  • If you get a letter published, make sure to send a copy to the office of your public official. This is a great way to show them that your issue is important to the community they serve.

Now check out the Action Center for the latest issue that is important to wildlife and try out these tips by writing a Letter to the Editor.