Straits Times Forum: want to get published? Here’s how…
You crafted your letter carefully, checked for grammatical, syntax and spelling errors and finally emailed it. Or licked a stamp for those who distrust computers and still believe in snail mail.
Then you waited breathlessly for it to be published. Days passed, and finally it dawned on you that the Straits times had rejected your letter.
From personal experience I know how you feel. Frustrated. The world is unfair to you, you wailed, particularly the Straits Times. Wasted effort you fumed.
So here’s a short guide to enhance your chances of getting your letter published in the Straits Times Forum.
1. Praise the triumvirate of PM, SM and MM. Say that without their leadership and wisdom, Singapore would not be where it is today. Your daughter would probably be a maid in Hong Kong. Compliment them on the choice of their white party uniform for white denotes purity. Declare your love for them but don’t go overboard and call them Dear Leader.
2. Say that that your morning coffee would not be the same without a copy of the Straits Times. With the ST the aroma from your coffee feels that much richer (even though it’s a cheap brand from Sheng Shiong, a 3- in-1).
3. If you’re an FT or foreign talent, gush about the cleanliness, the greenery, the excellent infrastructure, medical care and education system.
4. Avoid the use of slang words that only you, your pals and pet dog understand.
5. Don’t address the editor with Hi or, worse, Hi Uncle. Show him some respect. A Dear Sir salutation is standard. If you’ve forgotten the format of formal letter- writing, dust off your Sec 1 or 2 English textbook for a review.
6. Above all, write in correct, clear and good English. Avoid repetition and padding your letter. The less editing the editor has to do, the greater the chances of getting your letter published.
7. Subject matter that’s of wide public interest helps you to leapfrog the competition.