Writer's Handbook
Last updated April 2, 2007
 

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Letter-writing Thoughts & Tips

 

  • As prolific writer Don Hull likes to point out, your letter will always be read by someone. The editor of the letter page has to read it. That's one person influenced, with the potential of hundreds or thousands more when your letter gets printed.
  • If that one editor at a paper receives not only your letter but a dozen (or even a hundred) more, she'll be sure something is up, and you can expect to see more coverage of the issue in the near future.
  • A letter sent is a seed planted. It may bear a single flower or a rosebush or even an oak tree that will drop endless acorns come its season. Most causes are won one person at a time. It's a lot of work, but it's the way of freedom (the other option is putting a lot of work into passing legislation to force people to our point of view — the complete opposite of what we're all about).
  • The early Committees of Correspondence did what we're doing now — they articulated, in writing, their message, then spread it.
  • The Separation message is a positive one. We need to start by pointing out the negatives (otherwise, why separate?), but we need to end on a "pro-active" note — a "you can do it, here are some tools" approach.

 

Some Practical Tips

  • Keep letters as short as possible. They're more likely to get printed and read.
  • Send by e-mail, if possible. Papers prefer it (usually), and it safeguards against typos by the editor.
  • Be strong, but be nice. Try to win people over in ways you'd find winning.
  • Spell-check, proof. Make sure you're professional.
  • Follow the paper's guidelines. Keep within the word limit (some papers will just reject letters over the limit; some will go to the trouble of editing. Better for you to edit than the paper).
  • Avoid slang and derogatory terms ("educrat" is a big no-no at the Alliance).
  • Offer readers an option to dig deeper: web addresses, book titles, organizations.
  • Consider making a list of papers you'd like to write to and setting up a writing schedule.
  • Be encouraged! It's hard work and the rewards are not always immediate, but it's the way of liberty. You will make a difference! 





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Writer's Handbook

Some of the more
well-known signers of our proclamation:

Ed Crane
President, Cato Institute

John Taylor Gatto
1991 New York State Teacher of the Year

Fr. John A Hardon
SJ
RIP
The Catholic Catechism

Don Hodel
Former Secretary of Interior

D. James Kennedy
Coral Ridge Ministries

Rev. Tim LaHaye
Left Behind

Rabbi Daniel Lapin
President, Toward Tradition

Tom Monaghan
Founder, Domino’s Pizza

Ron Paul
US Congressman, Texas

John K Rosemond
Parenting Author, Columnist, Speaker


They and 29,000  others have signed Our Proclamation
:

"I favor ending government involvement in education."