Write a Letter for Animals

By Andrew Puccetti

One great way for young people to make a difference for animals is to write a letter to a newspaper editor. Whether it’s your school newspaper, local newspaper, or even something bigger, newspaper editors are always looking for interesting content to put in their letters section. And writing a letter about an issue you are passionate about is easy.

Here are some pointers to get your letter printed and shared:

  • Before you even submit a letter, it is important to find out your newspaper’s rules on submission. These can usually be found under the opinion section on the paper’s web site; make sure you research them if you would like your letter to appear in the paper.
  • If you are writing in response to an article, editorial, or previous letter that appeared in the newspaper, respond as soon as possible so it’s still timely and relevant. Ideally, if you do this, you want to submit your letter the same day the article runs.
  • Make sure to draw people in by starting off with a strong opening sentence. Many readers only skim and thus the first line or so is the most important part of the letter.
  • A lot of newspapers also restrict the word count and going over will guarantee that it will not run. Even if they do run it, the editor may edit the letter down so that important points are missed. Aim for 250 words, which is both good for the editor and easy for readers to skim.
  • Try to be as accurate as possible. Make sure you do your research and double check your facts. It may be helpful to include numbers and statistics, as many people think that way.
  • Make sure you stay on point and do not stray off topic.
  • Just as the opening sentence is important, so too is the closing sentence—end your letter with a bang! When you feel as if your letter is done, get someone (or multiple people) to read your letter over for a second opinion. When you submit, make sure to include your personal information (name, address, phone number, and possibly age). Editors may call to verify that you wrote the letter.

Finally, do not give up! Not every letter you write will be published. If you really want to make your voice heard, keep trying. The satisfaction of seeing your letter in the paper will feel great, and better yet, it will educate many of the people who read it. Your persistence is worth it.

Though only fifteen years old, Andrew Puccetti has already shown immense dedication and passion for the well-being of animals. Every other week Andrew will be here talking about the relationship between young people and animal rights–how they can make a difference, how they are already making a difference, and how important it is for kids to continue the fight for our animal companions. Learn about Andrew’s non-profit organization Live Life Humane and check out his blog!


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