How to Write a Family Newsletter


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Once the scourge of advice columnists, the family newsletter is making a come back. Gone are the days when people were afraid to write, and send, these treasure troves of family information. Now they are finding their way back into people's hearts.

Families today can find themselves living hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from loved ones. Keeping up with each other can be difficult, even with telephone and e-mail. A family newsletter can help keep your family and friends informed of the events in your life.

Before you sit down to write your newsletter, think a bit of how you want it to look. Do you want it friendly or more professional? Consider your family and how they are when you are planning the kind of newsletter you want to send out. There are many different formats you can choose from, these are only a few.

Newspaper format. With a title header and columns, this style is reminiscent of the daily paper. You can add pictures, use larger type for the “titles" and even have an advertising section with upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. You can either go with black and white, or color, depending on your preference.

Personal letter format. Just like any letter, this one starts with a salutation, has a body and a closing at the end. You can place photographs and graphics as you want, but usually they are one page total in length. Black and white copies is a good one for this kind, but if you use photographs you might want to spring for the color copies to make them stand out.

Scrapbook layout. Using pictures and writings, this format is a favorite of families, especially if you have children. This one looks best if copied with a color copier.

Handmade layout. Are you creative? Then use that creativity and come up with a format that speaks volumes about your and your family. Again, using a color copier will make this kind of newsletter stand out, and show off your creativity.

Remember, the first and most important rule of doing a family newsletter is being yourself. Write your newsletter from the heart and you will do fine.

Once you decide what format you are going to use, you will need to think about the content of your newsletter.

Achievements. Everyone likes to brag about their achievements. But you will want to keep your writing of them brief. Tell relatives who did what, but do not go on and on about it.

Failures. They happen to everyone; a job is lost or a business goes under. Even education set-backs can happen. As with achievements, keep the discussion of bad things to a minimum too. Do not dwell on the bad things. It can be depressing to those reading your newsletter.

Marriages and births. These are joyous events and ones you can discuss in more details. But remember to identify people who aren't well known by all of your readers so they can follow the story.

Illness and death. It is part of life's cycle. Family members will become ill or die. Handle these with respect and love. Keep details to a minimum, out of respect for the family and individual.

Be sure to keep your newsletter balanced. Use an equal amount of special news with everyday news. You want to keep your readers interested without boring them with too much “amazing" information.

A word about using photographs in your newsletters. Pictures of you, your spouse and children are ones you can use as you see fit. But if you want to use pictures of other family members, the polite thing would be to get their permission. Family squabbles and hard feelings can sometimes be the outcome when using a picture someone did not want used.

Family newsletters are wonderful ways to keep in contact with your extended and far-reaching loved ones. Writing your newsletter to be informative and entertaining will make them want more news from you.

Dawn Arkin is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers . Her portfolio can be found at http://darkin.Writing.Com/ so stop by and read for a while.


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