On Letters: 350 words or fewer, but keep them coming

In every issue of the Hood River News, the “Our Readers Write” column is a vital part of the community forum.

We celebrate letters, and the people who write them, each year with an alphabetical listing of every author from the past year, with notations on the total number, and who were our “leading” letter writers, in terms of frequency of submissions.

If you have not yet written in 2016 and want to get your name into the year-end list, we will finish compiling it Dec. 21, for publication in either the Dec. 24 or Dec. 28 editions.

“Our Readers Write” is indeed a year-round forum, and here are several things to remember about submitting letters:

• Our letter length limit is 350 words, and it’s generally true that shorter letters are better read. Virtually all points of opinion can be made in 350 words or fewer.

• We reserve the right to place restrictions on election related letters.

• If they appear to be boilerplate issued by this candidate or that cause, they don’t go in the paper.

• On the other hand, we faithfully publish original letters written by individuals.

• We reserve the right to limit letters on a subject when we feel it has been thoroughly aired, to the point of letters becoming repetitive.

• Priority is given residents of the Gorge.

• Also rejected are letters that are libelous, in bad taste or personal attacks on individuals or private businesses.

• And again, no, we do not publish anonymous or “name withheld” letters. This is not the online comments section.

Any inquiry about “Our Readers Write” policy comes down to “how do you decide which letters to print?”

In short, we don’t “decide.”

Nothing is eliminated based on topic or point of view.

Three categories must be met, however: Did you attach your name and a phone number so we can call you to confirm you are the writer? Does the letter avoid willfully incorrect or malicious content? Is the letter 350 words or fewer?

Do all those things and you’re pretty much assured of getting it printed.

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