It seems the pandemic is at least good for letter writers.
We’ve seen an uptick in the number of letters we’re getting and the number of people writing them. Pre-pandemic, we’d get a couple letters now and then. And they were usually from folks who have the habit.
Now we’re getting a couple per day, most days, and many of them are from people we haven’t heard from before. Maybe people now have more time to reflect and write.
We like printing letters. We’re fine with the short remarks posted on our Facebook page – the more people we can get to participate in the community discussions, the better. But letters … they take a little longer, they can be more critical, more detailed, and they carry the credibility of being signed.
A couple things to remember, if you're thinking of sitting down and writing a piece:
– The limit is 490 words (but we let 500 go).
– We only print letters with the name and community of the writer. No anonymous letters.
– One letter per month per person. That makes running feuds difficult to navigate ... maybe a good thing.
– You need to have a phone number with your letter. We won't print it, but we'll call it to verify you actually wrote the letter we received. This is the number one reason some letters get held up … no phone number. And if they came by mail and have no phone number, they probably won’t get verified and used.
By the way, letters don’t have to be political. And they don’t have to be argumentative. You could take a little time to tell us what’s happening in your neighborhood; say something nice about someone; propose a solution. Up to you.