How do I submit an op-ed?

Please use our op-ed submission form.

What's an op-ed?

Taking its name from its traditional position opposite the editorial page of a newspaper, an op-ed is an opinion essay written by a staff columnist or an outside contributor. It should have a clear point of view or argument supported by specific evidence. It does not represent the opinions of The Washington Post -- in fact, it may often contradict the opinion of the Post editorial board. 

What are the guidelines for op-ed submissions?

Submissions must be limited to 800 words. We consider only completed articles and cannot commit to, or provide guidance on, article proposals. Op-eds may not have been submitted to, posted to or published by any other media. They must include the writer's full name -- anonymous op-eds or op-eds written under pseudonyms will not be considered. They also must include the writer's home address, e-mail address and telephone numbers. Additionally, we ask that writers disclose any personal or financial interest in the subject at hand.

How are op-ed contributions selected?

The Post receives upwards of 100 unsolicited submissions a day and on most days can accommodate only one outside contribution on the op-ed page and sometimes an additional op-ed online. Submissions are read by editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl, assistant editorial page editor Autumn Brewington and opinions editor for digital Marisa Katz. Among the things we look for are timeliness (is it pegged to something in the news?), resonance (is it something that will interest Post readers?) and freshness of perspective (is it an argument we haven't heard many times before?). You don't need to have special expertise in a topic. But explaining how your background or experience informs your point of view can make for a more effective op-ed. You also don't need to have an important title -- and having an important title doesn't mean we'll publish your op-ed. In fact, because we realize that senators, business leaders, heads of state and the like have access to various platforms where they can express their views, we hold them to a particularly high standard when considering whether to publish them in The Post.

When will I hear back about my op-ed submission?

We do our best to read all submissions promptly. If you don't hear from us within a week, it's safe to assume we won't be able to use your op-ed.

Are op-eds edited?

Our editors are careful not to alter a writer's opinions or "voice," but all op-eds are edited for clarity and precision of language and for logic of argumentation and organization. They are also fact checked and copy edited for grammar and style and may be adjusted to fit the space available in the newspaper. We ask contributors to sign off on all changes before we publish a final version on the Web site or op-ed page.

Are op-eds solicited?

Although we carefully review all unsolicited pieces coming across the transom, we also reach out to people we think might have an interesting opinion on a topic in the news -- especially when the news is breaking and we'd like to get smart commentary onto the Web site and into the paper quickly.

You may also be interested in: How do I send a letter to the editor?

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 15067-108
  • Date Created: 2/19/2010
  • Last Modified Since: 6/14/2013
  • Viewed: 10891