Letter writers, time to sharpen your pencils! We need you to be a little more economical with your words.

After Labor Day, we will again impose a tighter length limit on political endorsement letters, as we have done during the campaign season in recent years. Letters urging other readers to vote for (or against) a person or issue on the November ballot will be limited to no more than 150 words. Don’t spend too much time condensing your message; we will stop taking election-related letters Oct. 29.

What’s different this year is that we are also reducing the word count for all other letters, moving the maximum from 300 words to 250.

This is not because we want to reduce readers’ opportunity to have their voices heard. Just the opposite.

Demand for space in our “Voice of the People” forum exceeds the space we have in print. We get more publishable letters every day than we can publish, and while we can publish some letters online, many still don’t make it to the public’s eye.

Setting the length at 250 words means getting another five or more letters a week into the newspaper. Over the course of a year, that’s at least 250 more individual opinions that are aired in the public square.

So don’t be surprised this week if we send back your beautifully constructed 299-word letter and ask you to trim it. It’s not that we don’t want to hear from you, but that we do want everybody to hear from as many other readers as possible.

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