Tips for Writing Impactful Letters to the Editor

One of the core goals of Indivisible is to influence policy by shaping the way that representatives get media attention, and a simple and powerful way to do that is by writing an op-ed in local or regional newspapers.

Tips for Writing

  • Keep it short and focused
  • Refer to a specific article or letter, if possible
  • Put the topic in the headline (bonus points for mentioning Indivisible Yolo) 
  • Be accurate and specific
  • Make the letter as personal as possible
  • Write like you speak
  • Avoid using bold fonts or capitalization for empahsis
  • Follow submission instructions carefully 
  • Don’t worry if your letter isn’t published! If many people are writing letters about one thing, you’re increasing the chance that the news organization will publish something with a similar viewpoint

Submission Guidelines

Davis Enterprise:

  • Include name, address, and phone number for verification (personal details will not be published)
  • Email correspondents should expect a confirmation call from staff
  • Limit letters to 350 words
  • Anonymous letters will not be accepted
  • Letters may be edited for “brevity and clarity”

Submit to the Davis Enterprise here!

Sacramento Bee:

  • Include your real name, address, and phone number
  • Include the headline of the article you’re responding to, the date it appeared, and the page number (if applicable)
  • Limit letters to 150 words 
  • If more words are needed, email viewpoints@sacbee.com
  • The Bee does not respond to all inquires about letter status
  • Letters may be edited for “clarity, brevity, and content”
  • Letters may be rejected if the author has been published within the last 30 days

Submit to the Sacramento Bee here!

Woodland Daily Democrat:

  • No posted submission guidelines
  • Rarely published

Call for more information (530) 406-6230

Winters Express:

  • Deadline is noon on Mondays for publication that week
  • Limit letters to 500 words 
  • Do not use all capital letters
  • Letters must be signed by the writer, but the Express will withhold names from publication for legitimate reasons

Submit to the Winters Express by email here!

This guide was made with help from the Dean Johansson for DA “Letter to the Editor Packet.”