Why submit letters to the editor? 

Despite the digital nature of the world today, letters to the editors in local newspapers still carry considerable weight in influencing local opinion.  People receive these newspapers in print, online, etc. and unlike comments on blogs, or online comments on articles in the paper, letters to the editor carry a particular gravitas.

While some newspapers may differ, the rule of thumb is keep your letter to 200 words.  If you hold particular expertise on a subject you may be able to submit an op-ed of up to 500-800 words.  It may be worth a call to the paper to see if they are interested before you write it.  Generally, newspapers will publish letters to the editor from you only once a month.  You have the most luck getting in if the letter refers to a recently published article.

Submit LTEs to local newspapers:

Tompkins County
  • Ithaca Times (weekly) (free) (also home to the Lansing Ledger, Groton Independent, Dryden Courier, Newfield News, Candor Chronicle, Spencer Random Harvest, Trumansburg Free Press, Interlaken Review and Ovid Free Press.)
  • Tompkins Weekly (free) (300 word limit)
  • Ithaca Journal (200 word LTE, 500 word op-ed)
Other Southern Tier
Northern Finger Lakes
  • Syracuse Post-Standard (Daily)
  • Syracuse New Times (Weekly) (free)
  • Eagle Newspapers – check the print versions of each local paper

National Newspapers

  • New York Times
    • Letters to the Editor
      • Letters should be exclusive to The New York Times or The International New York Times. They do not publish open letters or third-party letters.
      • Letters should preferably be 150 to 175 words, should refer to an article that has appeared within the last seven days, and must include the writer’s address and phone numbers. No attachments, please.  Tips for getting your letter published.
    • Op-Ed
      • 400-1200 words but any length considered. Must be exclusive to the Times.  If not published within 3 days, you can pitch it elsewhere.  Anything can be an Op-Ed. We’re not only interested in policy, politics or government.  “We’re interested in everything, if it’s opinionated and we believe our readers will find it worth reading.”
  • Washington Post
    • Letters to the Editor – 200 words, exclusive to WP, referencing a recent article.  Writers should disclose any personal or financial interest in the subject matter of their letters.
    • Op-Ed – no more than 800 words, exclusive.  They consider only completed articles and will not provide guidance on whether or not they will accept it.  If not used within a week, you can take your op-ed elsewhere.

Help me build this page for others to use by suggesting other newspapers to include:  


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