Tips on Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor
Want to make your voice heard? Writing an opinion editorial (Op-Ed) or letter to the editor (LTE) of your local newspaper is a perfect way to make sure that your opinion counts!
Not sure where to start? That is where WAND comes in. This page is full of information that can help you get published.
An opinion editorial (op-ed) is a short written piece sent to a newspaper that offers a clear and opinionated view of a current events issue. Writing an op-ed gives the writer a chance to voice concerns or thoughts regarding a recent event or political issue; however op-eds are not in direct response to something already published. By writing an op-ed, you can influence fellow citizens as well as your members of Congress.
When writing an op-ed, you have 10-12 short paragraphs to make your point and lay out your argument. Make sure to check out WAND’s toolkit and the additional resources listed at the bottom of this page: Op-Ed & Letter to the Editor Guide
- An op-ed should be 600-800 words, ideally under 750. If you don't have enough material to write an op-ed, consider writing a letter to the editor.
- Make sure to have one main point.
- Your op-ed is more likely to be placed in a local newspaper where you have roots (you grew up there, own property, went to school there, etc).
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor are usually written responses to something that has appeared on the op-ed page or in a news story. LTEs are a vehicle for public response to current news, not the place to demand a correction or complain about bias. As with writing an op-ed, you can impact the opinions of other citizens as well as your members of Congress by writing a letter to the editor. Make sure to check out WAND’s toolkit and the additional resources listed at the bottom of this page: Op-Ed & Letter to the Editor Guide
- Letters to the editor are generally much shorter than an op-ed and highlight one specific point.
- Letters should be 100-150 words.
- Keep your letter relevant and concise.
- Include your contact information: name, day and evening phone numbers, address, and e-mail.
- Make sure to specify any relevant qualifications you have that relate to your issue.
If you would like help drafting your Op-Ed or LTE, please contact WAND Field Coordinator Elaina Ramsey: firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 544-5055 ext. 2602.