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Op-eds & letters to the editor

Write an op-ed or letter to the editor to a local paper to voice your own perspective.

Research media outlets
Templates and tips
Pitch your piece
Follow up
Share your work


What is an op-ed? What is a letter to the editor?

Op-eds and letters to the editor are both submitted and published in newspapers, but there are important differences. 

Click here to see which one is the right fit for you.


Before you begin...

Research your local media outlets. How you frame your op-ed or letter to the editor depends on the paper you want to submit it to — different papers have different requirements on topics, word counts, authorship and more. Do your research up front, to give yourself the best chance of getting it published.

This free resource has word counts and submission information for many papers throughout the United States.


Put your thoughts on paper

Use these tips and rubrics to learn about the basic structure of an op-ed or letter to the editor, and help organize your ideas.

Template op-ed

Tipsheet: Writing a letter to the editor


Pitch your piece

Send your finished piece to the editor at the outlet you chose, and be sure to them why they should highlight this issue — and your opinion about it!

Double check the instructions for submission (including the word count and format) at the outlet you chose. 


set a deadline and follow up

Since op-eds are timely, be sure to request a response from the editor by a particular date, and politely let them know if you do not hear back then you’ll be submitting your op-ed elsewhere.


Share your published work!

If your letter or op-ed gets into print, share it widely — the more people who see it, the bigger impact it could have!
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