What is a letter to the editor (LTE)?

A Letter to the Editor is a very short response piece that you can submit to a newspaper, commenting on something they’ve recently published. Anyone can do it - you don’t have to be an “expert!” Editors of the newspaper select a handful of submissions to publish each week

Why do we want to publish letters to the editor?

  • To build people power by getting the word about the #ClimateDebate to people who aren’t on social media and demonstrate the public support

  • To build political power by influencing politicians (their staff read LTEs to keep up with community concerns & priorities)

How to contribute a letter to the editor:

  1. Write your letter to the editor! Some basic tips:

    • Keep it under 200 words

    • Include your full name, phone #, and address when submitting -- they may call you to verify that you’re real person!

    • Make sure to personalize your letter as much as possible— write about the impacts of climate change in your own life or community to show why we need a #ClimateDebate!

    • If you choose to use our template guide, make sure to edit and complete all fields—otherwise we can’t submit your letter!

  2. Submit your LTE asap!

  3. Celebrate and share the LTE if they do publish, try again later if they don’t -- don’t take it personally, it takes a combination of persistence and luck to get an LTE published. 

Tips to increase your chance of publication:

  1. Act fast. Aim to submit within 1-2 days after the original piece is published. Submitting something simple quickly is better than being a perfectionist with your writing!

  2. Show your personality. If you have a personal perspective on why you care about this issue, they want to hear it. For example: “As a teacher…”; “As a parent…”; “I’ve lived in this community my whole life and I’m concerned that…”; “My health has been affected…”

  3. Don’t submit the same piece to multiple papers. If they find out, they’ll ban you!