Have a Strong Opinion About a Cause or Issue? Consider Writing an Op Ed!

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When it comes to sharing your passionate point of view about your cause, there are endless ways to reach potential partners and advocates. One of these ways is to write an Op Ed piece, which is basically an “opinion piece” or an article where you strongly state your perspective. The name “Op Ed” literally means “opposite to the editorial.”

You’ll often find Op Ed pieces from high-profile people in national and regional newspapers, but there is room for the everyday person to share her POV as well, as long as the subject is relevant to the paper or magazine and the opinion piece is well written.

Getting an Op Ed published isn’t the easiest thing to do, but if you are successful in going to print, you have the potential to reach a whole new and diverse audience, and potentially foster some fresh support and momentum.

Want to get writing? Here are some tips for opining the perfect Op Ed:

1. Start with your strongest statement: State your conclusion up front and then spend the rest of the piece providing context and background to support it

2. Back up your opinion with statistics and facts: They will make your case stronger and be more likely to sway readers to see your point

3. Stick with one issue: The more honed in your Op Ed is, the more easily people will be able to understand where you’re coming from

4. Be passionate: If you feel strong enough about an issue or cause to write an Op Ed piece, let that passion come through in the words you use and the tone of your writing

5. Call for action: Near the end of your piece, make a clear call for action on the part of the reader so they know how to get involved if they feel moved

5. Keep it short: Under 700 words is great, shorter is even better

Once your Op Ed piece is ready to go, research the ideal newspaper(s) or magazine(s) to submit to. If it’s a local issue, go to your local paper or magazine…for a bigger issue, think national (but be aware that the bigger the publication, the harder it will be to have your piece be accepted). Visit the newspapers or magazine’s website and look up their submission policy – most only accept Op Eds via email.  Good luck!

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QUESTION: Have you ever written or submitted an opinion piece to a newspaper or magazine? We’d love to hear your story…leave a comment below!


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