FoE Cymru LETTER-WRITING SCHEME

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Putting your published letters on the internet

If you have had success in getting letters published, you may like to put them on the internet so that other members of FoE, and other internet users, can see them.

There are two main options here:

  • If your local group has its own website, you may post your letters there, together with any comments you may want to make.
  • Otherwise, you may register with one of the websites that provide the facilities for you to create your own 'blog' (web log) and then you may post copies of your letters there, with comments as before. Examples of websites that provide free blogging services are blogger.com and myspace.com.

A word of caution: do keep copies of all your letters and comments on your computer (with backup copies). This is because the present arrangements for the FoE letter-writing scheme are likely to be temporary (while we learn what works best) and your letters and comments may need to be uploaded to an FoE website in the future.

Making copies of letters for posting on the internet

There are two main options for posting copies of your published letters on the internet:

  • Perhaps the simplest thing to do is to use the original text of your letter and make changes to it so that the text matches what was finally published. If the newspaper editor made substantial changes, you may like to post the original text of your letter as well as the published version.
  • If you want people to see the letter as it appeared in print, then you will need to create a scanned copy.

Here is a scanning method that works quite well:

  • Set the scanner to scan at 200 dpi. Any less than this and letters will be hard to read.
  • Set the colour depth to greyscale (8 bits) unless the original contains colour.
  • In your editing program (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro etc) adjust the brightness and contrast of each scanned letter manually for easy reading, or use automatic contrast enhancement.
  • Use the eraser in your editing program to clean up unwanted black marks or text on the same newspaper page that is not relevant to the given letter or letters.
  • Add the name of the newspaper, date of publication and, if you wish, the page number for the scanned letter or letters. Adding this information with the editor gives a neater result than writing on the original cutting.
  • Export the image to a JPG file with as much compression as possible without sacrificing too much quality. A compression factor of at least 20 is usually possible.

If you are posting scanned copies of letters on your website or blog, it is a good idea to add a note to explain how browsers will show images small at first but provide a button so that they can be displayed at full size. People who are not familiar with this feature may otherwise think that the letters are too small to be read. An example of this kind of note is at the top of www.mng.org.uk/green_house/media/letters_reports.htm.


Last updated: 2006-06-28