I've read (or think I've read) about new writers using letters to the editor as published clips. What's your take on this? Is this a legitimate practice, or one of those new writer pipe dreams?
Noooooo!!! Don't do this.
Letters to the editor are in no way true clips. True clips are articles that you've researched and written and for which someone has contracted you (and should be paying you as well, but I know that some writers will write for free - a practice I really disagree with - but won't argue here). LTTE are not. If anything, sending your published letter to the editor only sends a clear signal that you haven't been published elsewhere or don't have anything better to offer. If LTTE counted as published clips, then everyone from my grandmother to a second-grader could be considered a published author, and sorry, they're not.
Please. Do. Not. Do. This.