Writing an op-ed
Getting an op-ed published is a big deal. Op-eds are typically considered the second most influential items in a newspaper (after the official editorials). Each newspaper generally has its own policy for submission and publication. Be sure to examine the individual website before you get started.
A few general guidelines:
- 700 words is the most common length.
- Make your piece timely so you can "hook" the interest of both editors and the general public.
- Write well and double check for grammatical errors.
- Explore getting an influential person to co-sign with you.
- Submit with one or two weeks lead--Editors are very busy with huge volumes of submissions.
- Make follow-up call(s) to check if the editor has seen your piece and to pitch it a second or third time.
If you are published, be sure to send one or more thank you notes!