Introduction to letter writing
Letters to the editor (LTEs) are a great way to get the attention of your neighbors, your lawmakers, and influential people in your community and direct it toward anti-corruption campaigns.
Writing an LTE is easier than you think! On this page, you’ll find a step-by-step breakdown of how to get started, a recording of the latest training, and examples of letters RepresentUs members have published.
Have questions or need support drafting your letter to the editor? Shoot an email to National Organizer Ben Levinsohn at [email protected] – we’re here to help!
Here are a few of the most pressing issues that RepresentUs is working on where your letter to the editor can make a difference.
- Gutting House ethics office is wrong – The new House majority approved a rules package that included gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics. Help spread the word that this is unacceptable.
- Banning congressional stock trading – Several bipartisan bills have been proposed and we need your help building support to get them passed.
- Stop the attacks on election workers – America’s nonpartisan election officials are facing a barrage of attacks. We all have a duty to stand up for them.
Ready to get started? Fill out the form below and follow the prompts to easily select local and regional papers to submit to, and get sample letters addressing these issues that you can customize.
Watch the Latest Training
How to write a great letter, step by step
Step 1: Choose your angle. Choose an angle for your letter so it has a specific point of view.
Think about who you are in relation to your community and write as a representative of that identity.
- If you are a nurse you can write about the need for affordable health care and how a functioning democracy can make that happen.
- If you are a teacher you can write about how our dysfunctional democracy is hurting our children’s ability to receive the best education possible.
Step 2: Write your hook. Your hook is the opening 1-2 sentences of your letter.
The goal is to introduce your angle and entice the reader to keep going. You can respond to a recent news article, ask a question, tell a joke, etc. Don’t be afraid to get creative! The best hooks are ones that the reader doesn’t expect.
- “Our world has been completely upended in the last year and a half”
- “American democracy is under attack. The year started with anti-democratic vigilantes trying to overturn an election and has continued with states passing anti-voting and election subversion laws.”
Step 3: Write the body of your letter. In 4-5 sentences, your body should give supporting details to enhance your argument. Make sure to write your body with your target audience and angle in mind.
- “The Freedom to Vote Act would make partisan gerrymandering illegal, shine a light on the dark money that is corrupting our political system, protect election workers and voters from partisan intimidation, make election day a holiday, and create national standards for voter registration, voter ID, voting by mail and early voting. With these protections in place, the right to vote will be preserved across the country, special interests will have less influence in Congress, and voters will be able to choose their politicians instead of politicians choosing their voters.”
Step 4: End with a clear ask. This is your call to action, whether it’s asking elected officials to support a bill or asking your community members to call their representatives.
- “Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act to save our democracy.”
Step 5: Submit. We recommend selecting one small and one large paper in your local area. Search online to find how your target publications accept letter submissions, or use our LTE submission tool which will do the work for you.