Quick tips on Pioneer letter to the editor submissions
Each week, the Pioneer receives submissions from letter-writers. Most are published -- both in print and online -- and some are not. In hopes of easing the process and helping writers get their work published, here is a refresher on the rules regarding submissions to the Pioneer's opinion page.
Letters to the editor: Readers are welcome to submit letters to the editor. Letters must be submitted with the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification purposes, however, only the writer’s name and city are published.
Submission: Letters can be submitted by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing them to the Pioneer at P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56619.
Length: Letters to the editor must be 400 words or less.
Frequency: Letter-writers are limited to one every 30 days, occasionally rebuttal letters are allowed before that time.
Language: Letters with swearing or foul language will not be published, writers are also asked to refrain from name-calling.
Avoid hearsay: Stick to verifiable facts, preferably ones that can be corroborated through news coverage or public information. If a letter contains false information and slanderous facts, letters may not be published or the letter writer will be asked to resubmit with more accurate information.
No business: Letters that can be construed as advertising will not be accepted. Likewise, letters likely will be rejected if they disparage a private business, unless that business is involved in a news event.
Letter writing campaigns: Letters produced as part of an organized letter-writing campaign will not be published, especially when it's clear the letter writers aren't crafting their own thoughts and words.
Editing: All letters submitted to the Pioneer are subject to editing for style, length, accuracy, grammar, clarity and conformation to the rules stated above. Headlines will be edited to conform to space requirements and standards. Authors who refuse these terms will be rejected.
Politics: Political and election-related letters to the editor advocating for or against a candidate, ballot measure or political party will be treated as paid political content and are subject to a charge of $26.26 for the first 7 inches and $10.50 for each additional inch. A 7-inch letter generally contains about 150 words.
The paid letters will be published in the Wednesday and Saturday print editions in the Pioneer, and will be clearly marked as “Community Engagement Letters.” They will usually appear on Page A5, which is adjacent to the Opinion page.
The deadline each week will be noon Monday for the Wednesday edition and noon Wednesday for the Saturday edition.
As with other letters, they must be submitted with the writer’s name, address and phone number (only the writer’s name and city are published).
To place a paid letter:
- Go to
- Under the Community Engagement Letter category, click Create.
- First, enter in a title for the listing (ex. Re-elect Jane Smith). The category will be selected for you. Click Next Step.
- From here, you can select which newspaper the listing should be printed in. You can type in the name of the city or publication. Once you have found it, click select.
- Follow the remaining prompts to submit your letter.
- This applies only to political endorsements or non-endorsements.