How to Write an Open Letter

Dear Public Figure Who Recently Did Something or Said Something I Find Offensive,

I’m going to start by providing some background information. I’m going to explain how a certain belief (or policy) is One Of The Most Important Things, because reasons. I’m going to tell a tragic (or sentimental, or inspiring) story to help illustrate my point.

Now I’m going to write something funny, to gain the appreciation and sympathy of my audience. I’m going to quote Mark Twain, because everyone loves Mark Twain. My tone is still lighthearted, right now.

But now my tone isn’t lighthearted any longer. I’m about to get very passive-aggressive. It turns out that you, Public Figure, have done something (or said something) that threatens the aforementioned belief (or policy). You have either forgotten or rejected the importance of this belief (or policy), and I have taken it upon myself to scold you.

I’m going to pretend that my intention in this paragraph is to persuade you to change your ways. Of course, I know that you aren’t actually reading this letter. My real intention is to whip my audience into a frenzy of righteous indignation. You have done something despicable, Public Figure, and all of us are here to hold you accountable.

Now I will use the internet to dig up some of your previous statements and actions regarding This Issue. I will establish an Ongoing Pattern. I will casually question your motives and suggest that your empathy is clouded by some form of social or economic privilege. {My readers nod their heads in grim disapproval.} It also turns out that I found an inconsistency in your private life. This means that you, dear sir (or ma’am), are a hypocrite! You should be ashamed of yourself.

In this final paragraph, I’ll return to a more lighthearted tone. This sentence, right here, is designed to make my readers chuckle. For the sake of symmetry, I’m going to once again explain how my beloved belief (or policy) is One Of The Most Important Things, because more reasons. I’ll then close by cleverly making a reference to the story I told in the first paragraph.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

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6 thoughts on “How to Write an Open Letter

  1. LOL! This is, unfortunately, accurate in many cases. There are some exceptions – the guys at Pyromaniacs generally do an excellent job with such letters – but then there are those who just use it as an excuse to vent.

  2. ummm . . . is it wrong if I actually save this and use this as my template?

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