The Anatomy of a good Letter to the Editor

Tips to take your LTE to the next level!

  • Keep the letter short (no longer than 200 words)
  • Pick one or two key points and expand on them using local information, local sources, and local angles and personal stories.
  • Letters must be timely to a “hot” issue (i.e. reference it to a recent article)
  • Write a strong lead sentence – the first sentence is the most important
  • Lay out your points a, b, c and explain
  • Sentences should not be longer than 10-15 words
  • End the letter with a short sentence that ties it to the beginning of the letter and has a punch
  • Key phrases first
  • Call ahead of time to let paper know you are submitting the letter
  • If you are having a hard time getting your letter published, call and ask why
  • Keep it simple and from the heart

You’re ready to submit your letter to the editor!

Key daily papers in Iowa:

  • Des Moines Register
    Address: Editor, Des Moines Register, 715 Locust Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • The Dubuque Telegraph Herald
    Online submission
    Address: Editor, Telegraph Herald, P.O. Box 688, Dubuque, Iowa 52004
  • Mason City Globe Gazette
    Online submission
    Address: Editor, Globe Gazette, 300 N Washington Ave, P.O. Box 271, Mason City, IA 50401
  • Marshalltown Times Republican
    Online submission
    Address: Editor, Times Republican, P.O. Box 1300, Marshalltown, IA 50158
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette
    Address: Editor, Cedar Rapids Gazette, P.O. Box 511, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406
  • Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier
    Address: Editor, Courier, P.O. Box 540, 100 E 4th St, Waterloo, Iowa 50704
  • Quad City Times
    Address: Editor, Quad City Times, 500 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA 52801