Op-ed editors are inundated with submissions. Your chances of being published depend on how relevant, concise and opinionated you are.
To increase your odds of having your op-ed printed:
- Be relevant. Connect your piece to a topical issue in the news, a new government report, an issue of current public debate, new research findings etc.
- Capture the reader from the outset.
- Take a stand at the beginning. Outline the issues but come down strongly on one side.
- Back up your position with factual, statistical information or direct personal experience.
- By the second paragraph the reader should know where you stand.
- Be personal and conversational rather than academic, distant, or philosophical.
- Plain language. Lose the jargon and insider, technical vocabulary.
- End your piece by restating your argument in the strongest terms, and make suggestions for how to improve matters.
- Be concise – no more than 800 words.
- Include your full name, credentials and contact information.
- Send the op-ed within the body of an e-mail, not as an attachment.
- Put “Op-ed Submission” in the email subject line.
- Submissions need to be exclusive to one media outlet. Don’t send it to a second newspaper until you’ve been declined by the first one.
- The media reserve the right to edit, condense or reject your contribution.
Source: Queen's University, 2016