Ruth Graham was curious about those people who write letters to the editor ever since she had her own letter published in “New York” magazine in 2006. While some speculate that publications just make up the published letters, there are, in fact, some real people who regularly submit letters.
Graham found four writers to explain why they wrote recent responses to magazine articles they read.
One such letter writer, retired postal worker Joyce L. Hatch, wrote to Vanity Fair to express her gratitude for their August 2013 cover story on Kerry Washington.
Writing letters and having them published has been its own source of accomplishment. “I was so happy,” Hatch told Graham. “You might think it’s kind of silly because you don’t get anything for it, but I do feel good about it getting out there.”
What unites the people included in Graham’s piece, which was published by The Awl, is their emphasis on positivity; their passionate joy for the articles they read was the reason they decided to submit a letter to the editor.
That’s food for thought for all of us.
If you want your letter to the editor published, you might have a better shot if you stay positive and polite, even if your point is a critical one.