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How to Write a Letter to the Editor That Will Get Published


  1. Keep it brief. Stick to the word count posted in the guidelines on the newspaper’s website. The  shorter, the better chance of getting published.


  1. Make it timely. Refer to a letter or opinion piece just published or an issue in your town.


  1. Write about only one topic. Stick to the point, present the facts. 


  1. Be bold, but be polite. 


  1. Submit your letter well ahead of the deadline!


Sample Letter to the Editor:


Rail Traffic Affects Everyone


Editor, The Beacon


Whether you live so close to the railroad tracks you can feel the rumble as it goes by, farther away so you just hear the whistles, or hardly notice the trains that pass along the Edmonds waterfront day and night, they affect you in some way.


Maybe you end up sitting behind the guardrail when you are heading to a waterfront restaurant, the senior center or trying  to catch a ferry. That guardrail is going to be down a lot more in the future.


As stated in the Mayor’s column in last week’s Beacon, there will be even more train traffic on our rails in the near future (“What’s the scoop? More trains, coal trains and oil trains,” page 4).


The fact that railcars carrying explosive oil and dirty coal will increase is bad news.


Please attend tonight’s townhall meeting at 6:30p.m. in the Plaza Room above the Edmonds library where Mayor Earling and other officials will present current information on train volume and safety in Edmonds. Bring your questions and concerns. See you there!


                                                                                    Sharon Sneddon