ALSadvocacy is dusting off an item from last October... in case it might be of help to anyone submitting a letter-to-the-editor as part of the ALSA campaign.
Personal notes from alsadvocacy.com --
The capwiz tools are great for locating the media; however, I encourage you to...
> Make your letters unique. Once a newspaper catches on that a letter to the editor is a form letter, it will not be likely to publish and it can permanently hurt the writer's chances for future consideration.
> Make some reference to the publication in your letter. Letters to the editor are normally distinguished from op-eds by making a specific reference to something that has been published in the paper. Even making reference to how supportive the paper or station has been of veterans in the past is better than nothing.
> Write something about half the length of the form letter. Many publications have word count restrictions of 150-200 words or less for letters to the editor. The boilerplate letter in capwiz is 266 words (down from 328 a year ago :-) ).
> Provide your phone number. The submission form in capwiz does not require a phone number. Major publications require phone numbers and they will call a writer before publication to verify the identity of the writer.
Here are the New York Times guidelines for letters, and they are not unusual. I encourage you to read them before submitting your letters in hopes that you may be successful in being published --http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/lettertoeditor.html