Advocacy Writing Workshop

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The written word remains one of the most effective ways to express one’s opinion in public. This workshop examines writing as an advocacy tool. Participants will explore the practical details of writing an effective, issue-based opinion piece, letter to the editor, or blog post. We will discuss motivation, planning, content and delivery, with tips on how to appeal to selective editors and how to time publication for maximum impact. Led by Rev. Josh and Jerry Lusa.

Thursday, February 28, 7-9 p.m.

Please contact the church office at 860-646-5151 or  uuse153@sbcglobal.net to sign up.

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Update (3/1/2013)

Here are some notes from yesterday’s session plus some resources that were presented…

Writing techniques…

– make it about the issue, not the people involved in the issue
– have a clear purpose and stick to it
– give a positive message; avoid snarkiness, rants, put downs
– keep it entertaining to an appropriate degree (metaphors, allusions,…)
– avoid cliches
– don’t use vulgar language
– speak from your heart; ‘heartfelt’ is stronger than ‘loud’ or ‘literate’
– have someone else read your text carefully

Some ideas about UU principles and discourse, from UUA…

http://www.uua.org/communications/199425.shtml

Where and how to get published…

– writing to get selected by picky letters’ editors: reference what the paper has said
– write the idea, choose the best time and place to publish
– know the requirements of your local media outlets ahead of time: word limits, frequency of publication
– local paper, favorite blog: mix it up!  Write a reflective piece once in a while.  Let the public get to know you besides just your opinionated side
– letter to the editor: 300 words or less (but often there’s some wiggle room)
– email vs. posting directly on the paper’s website (copy / paste)
– make your point, then leave – only engage in discussion if the tone of the others is ascending
– what kind of identification does the media require?  Papers won’t print your address.
– how frequently does the media outlet accept posts?  A fall foliage piece might preclude an election letter

Resources…

The (former) Hartford Courant Letters Editor, on writing letters…

http://articles.courant.com/2005-03-27/news/0503270170_1_letters-column-preference-courant

The (former) Hartford Courant Letters Editor, giving some examples, with a little humor…

http://articles.courant.com/2007-04-08/news/0704080090_1_editorial-page-dear-letters-answer-guy

http://articles.courant.com/2003-03-09/news/0303090529_1_dear-editor-love-cookies-courant

A website with good info on writing letters…

http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1239.aspx

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