Op-Ed Writing & Submission TipsWriting Successful Op-Eds and Letters To The Editor are A great way to highlight your scholarly background and expertise is through the publication of opinion-editorial (op-ed) columns and letters to the editor in newspapers and magazines.
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Op-Ed Writing & Submission Tips
Writing Successful Op-Eds and Letters To The Editor are A great way to highlight your scholarly background and expertise is through the publication of opinion-editorial (op-ed) columns and letters to the editor in newspapers and magazines.
- Keep it current: Be sure your topic is relevant to current news.
- Be straightforward: There's no room for subtlety in an op-ed piece.
- Keep it short: 600-750 words is the limit; also, use short sentences and short paragraphs, each offering evidence to support your point.
- Make your point: Preferably in the first paragraph.
- Advocate your view: Don't feel the need to summarize other views.
- Provide answers: Consider the questions readers are likely to have and answer them.
- Offer anecdotes: Personal stories can help make your point.
- Present solutions: Wrap up by recommending fixes for the problems you identify.
- Get it done while the news is fresh: Give yourself one day only to complete your piece.
- You know best: Use your own area of expertise to hook into the current news topic.
- Different is good: Humorous asides, unexpected perspectives, quirky approaches are welcome.
Placements to consider: Typically the following news outlets run three to four outsider op-eds a day. Read the opinion pieces regularly to learn what gets published.
- Spokane Journal of Business
- Cheney Free Press
- Seattle Times
- Seattle P-I
- The New York Times
- Washington Post
- Los Angeles Times
- Boston Globe
- Other Internet outlets
Once you’ve written a piece — or even considered writing a piece — public affairs is here to help you with:
- Editing your final draft.
- Submitting your piece to the appropriate paper.
- Following up on your submission.
Once you’ve submitted your piece, if a publication shows interest, you MUST:
- Be accessible: Provide contact info — and be available for editing, etc. — for up to 48 hours.