Letter to the Editor?

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to the editor? Felt really strongly about something? Well here are a few pointers as well as the details for each of the main newspapers

Writing letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor are one of the most widely read sections of a newspaper and reach a large audience. These letters often influence what topics the newspaper covers, and are widely read by politicians and their staff.

The newspaper only has limited space, so not all letters are published. The more letters received on a particular topic, the more likely they are to publish at least one of the letters

on the topic. So if you don’t get your letter published, but other letters on the same topic are published, don’t give up—your letter may have been the one that made the difference.

If you see an article in the paper that has an industry or government spokesperson who says something that is challengeable or does not mention an important point, this is your chance to write a great letter to the editor.

Here are some tips on how to go about writing the best letter you can.

A few simple rules

• Keep it short. Shorter letters (50-200 words) are more likely to be published. If your letter is too long

and it still gets printed, a sub-editor is likely to lop off paragraphs, which may

change the meaning of your letter. It’s better for you to do the lopping yourself

before you send it.

• Stick to one concise point. You can’t cover everything when you’re writing about

a complicated issue in 200 words. If you have more to say you can write another

letter tomorrow.

• Humour is good. Include a funny line if you can, but avoid sarcasm.

• Use short sentences. This makes it easier for the reader to understand your point.

• Keep your language plain and simple. Only use long words if you need to and can’t

think of a suitable alternative.

• Be factual and highlight aspects of the issue that haven’t been previously addressed.

• Statistics often impress some editors, so throw in some numbers or percentages

if you have them handy, but make sure they are accurate. If you get them wrong, it undermines your


• Be economical with your words. Go over the letter and take anything out that is repetitive

• Include your name and address and a daytime phone number. Many newspapers will only publish a

letter after verifying the author’s contact information. When printed, the letter will usually only include

your name and suburb.

• Send letters to smaller newspapers. Small newspapers are more likely to print your letter and the letter

can then spark local community action.

• If possible, get someone else to read the letter before you send it, preferably someone

with less knowledge of the subject than you. If they ask you to explain anything, you

need to make your letter a bit clearer.

• And of course, check the letter for typos, spelling and grammar before you send.

You can send your letter to the newspaper by email, fax or post. If you are emailing, put the

letter in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Good luck – get out there and start writing!

Produced by the Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. (03) 6224 1550 http://www.wilderness.org.au/tasmania

This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.



Postal: GPO Box 4245, Sydney  NSW  2001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 02 9288 2317    Fax: 02 9288 2250

New South Wales:


Postal: GPO Box 3771,  Sydney  2001

Email: [email protected]


Postal:  2 Holt Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Email: [email protected]

Ph 02 9288 3000 Fax 02 9288 2300


Postal: PO Box 4245, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Email: [email protected]

Phone:  02 9288 3000  Fax:  02 9288 2300

Western Australia:


Postal: Private Bag 54 GPO, Perth WA 6001

Email: [email protected]

Fax:  08 9482 3830


Postal: 34 Stirling Street  Perth WA  6000


[email protected]

Phone: 08 9326 8476  Fax: 08 9221 1121



Postal: 250 Spencer St, Melbourne Vic 3000

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 03 9600 4211 Fax: 03 9601 2414


Postal: PO Box 14999, Melbourne City Mail

Centre Vic 8001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 03 9292 2000  Fax: 03 9292 2112


Postal: PO Box 14634, Melbourne City Mail

Centre Vic 8001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 03 9292 2000  Fax:  03 9292 2080



Postal: 93 Macquarie Street, Hobart 7000


[email protected]

Phone: 03 6230 0732  Fax: 03 6230 0711


Postal: GPO Box 334D, Hobart 7001


[email protected]

Phone: 03 6230 0740  Fax: 03 6230 0711


Postal: PO Box 99A, Launceston Tas 7250

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 03 6331 5111  Fax: 03 6334 7328


Postal: PO Box 63, Burnie Tas 7320

Email: [email protected]



Postal: GPO BOX 130, Brisbane Qld 4001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07 3666 8000  Fax: 07 3666 6696


Postal: GPO BOX 130, Brisbane Qld 4001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07 3666 8000  Fax: 07 3666 6696

South Australia:


Postal: GPO Box 339, Adelaide SA 5001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 08 8206 2000 Fax: 08 8206 3669


Postal: GPO Box 339, Adelaide SA 5001

Email:  [email protected]

Phone: 08 8206 2000 Fax: 08 8206 3669

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