On the last day of each year, the Antelope Valley Press thanks the hundreds of readers who submitted letters, to be published on the Opinion pages.

In 2018, the number of letters submitted by readers amounted to 2,750. Some wrote only once, but felt strongly enough in their beliefs, that they opted to share their opinion with our readership.

Other letter writers shared their opinions more frequently and others participated weekly, in our “Have Your Say” opinion poll, before a system crash in June, took that option away.

Our letter writers come from nearly every community in the Antelope Valley. They also come from all walks of life, as well as from charitable organizations, social and political organizations and government agencies, to name a few.

Some letters writers have moved out of state, but still have an interest in the Antelope Valley, and therefore, continue to submit letters to the editor.

Regardless of whether our letter writers agree with each other — or with us – we are grateful for those who subscribe to our newspaper or who pick it up outside their favorite restaurants, at the grocery store or at the newsstand. Without your continued support, we would not be able to bring you local news on a daily basis — and on multiple platforms, to include the e-Edition, avpress.com or social media.

The staff at the Antelope Valley Press values your contributions, whether it’s a letter to the editor or a submission for a contest or drawing. This is your community newspaper and the staff here strives to bring you the news you want and need.

Reader participation is important in helping us educate ourselves about the type of news you want to see in the newspaper. Reader feedback is very important to us. We have undergone several changes in 2018, all in hopes of improving the newspaper and making it something the community values and relies on as a local news source.

Many readers enjoy the daily letters in the Valley Press. They are surprised, shocked, entertained and angered sometimes, which leads them to write their own letters, expressing their sentiment.

The content on the Opinion pages is intended to provoke conversation. However, sometimes the responses are not so kind or contain foul language and are not published. However, our goal is to publish every letter we receive, whether it’s via email, submitted on our website, hand-delivered or sent via the United States Post Office, which is why following the letter-writing policy of the AV Press is important.

Here are a few tips on getting your letter published:

• Please include your full name, address and telephone number on your letters. We use this information strictly for verification. Include this information even if you are submitting a letter via email. We must be able to reach you if something is unclear or if your letter has exceeded the 300-word limit.

• When submitting a letter via email, make sure you type the letter directly in the body of the email or paste it in the body of the email. Do not send your material as an attachment or type it in the subject line.

• Send us your original thoughts. We try not to publish chain emails that make their way around the internet.

• Please limit your letter to 300 words and check for spelling and grammatical errors.

• We reserve the right to edit for length, grammar, coherence and libel, among other factors. Please understand that no correspondent has an inherent “right” to space or content. The Valley Press is a private enterprise and letters may or may not be published at the sole discretion of the editor.

• Please argue your points with intelligence and diplomacy.

• We do not condone personal attacks on readers, reporters, the editor or other Valley Press staff. Debate the issues and keep it civil. Personal insults, racist comments and libels will not be published.

Thanks to all those letter writers and readers for their support and participation. The editor would like to see more letters in 2019 and wants to hear your opinions about the stories we run. Cheers to 2019!

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