How to submit a Guest Essay for Opinion
Opinion Guest Essays at The New York Times make an argument, based in fact, drawn from an author’s expertise or experience and delivered in the author’s own voice. (These essays were formerly known
as Op-Eds because they appeared in print opposite the editorial page.)
Times Opinion publishes about 2,000 Guest Essays every year. Our goal is to offer readers a robust range of ideas on newsworthy events or issues of broad public concern from people outside The New York Times.
Written essays typically run from 800 to 1,200 words, although we sometimes publish essays that are shorter or longer. We welcome ideas for submissions in all mediums, including audio, video, illustration and data visualization.
When submitting your work, please explain the professional or personal background that connects you to the argument or idea in your essay. All of our published essays are rigorously edited and fact-checked, so it’s important to include sources (in hyperlinks in the text or in parentheses) for key assertions made in your essay.
A member of our staff will read and review every submission, but because of the large number of messages we receive, we may not be able to respond to everyone individually. Unfortunately, we have to reject many excellent essays and ideas. If you do not hear from us within three business days, you should feel free to offer your work elsewhere.
What, exactly, is a Guest Essay?
Opinion essays are, at their core, an argument defined and substantiated with evidence. Convening rich discussion and debate is an important and unique way The Times helps readers better understand the world. Inviting “intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion” has been core to the work of The Times since 1896, when our publisher Adolph Ochs declared
it part of the newspaper’s mission.
We believe it’s valuable to create space for people who aren’t journalists, and who often have no institutional affiliation with The Times, to speak directly to readers instead of being mediated through a reporter. By design, these arguments and voices will often diverge or dissent from our own columnists and editorials
. These essays should provide Times readers the most robust, wide-ranging and distinctive collection of arguments and ideas available.
We discourage essays that are primarily responses to other Opinion articles, columns or editorials. The best forum for such responses is the Letters page. To send a letter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
. To reach the Times editorial board, e-mail email@example.com
. To reach Op-Docs, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
. To contact The Times about a factual error in an Opinion article or editorial, e-mail email@example.com.
This form is intended for Times Opinion; to reach The Times’s newsroom with tips, corrections or story ideas, please see Contact Us
What are the elements of a great Opinion Guest Essay?
Guest Essays can take many forms. They can be:
- First-person accounts, in which everyday people describe their experiences in their own words in a way that compels readers to see the world or reflect on their own experiences in a different light.
- A hub for experts to present findings, highlight problems and propose solutions to the public and to one another. We seek out essays from experts in which they make an original, robust argument based on their unusual or deep expertise. Economists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, psychologists, playwrights and many others may all have expertise on a given topic that may advance an important argument.
- The place where public officials make their case, explain their position or tell their stories. Because these individuals already have significant platforms, their essays are held to especially high standards, and offer readers newsworthy insight.
What are we looking for in a Guest Essay? That is always changing, depending on the news and the issues in public conversation at any given moment. But the best Opinion essays have a few things in common: They try to challenge and engage audiences who do not necessarily agree with the writer’s point of view. They give insight into complicated problems or anticipate big ideas. They start conversations, influence policy-makers and have an impact far beyond the pages of Times Opinion. They aspire to delight the reader with great writing and originality, and to open a window into a world we might not otherwise see.
Originality: Essays must be original and exclusive to The Times; they cannot have appeared elsewhere — in any form — in print or online.
Ethics and conflicts: Guest writers are expected to take care to avoid any conflict of interest, or the appearance of such conflict, and comply with The Times’s policies on Ethical Journalism
Fact-checking: Before we publish your article, it must be fact-checked. If an essay is accepted for publication, the guest writer will be asked to submit an annotated copy of the essay, listing the relevant sources for each factual assertion.
We focus our checking on verifiable facts (for example, the number of Americans without health insurance, the median household income, the date a law was enacted). And we also investigate broader factual assertions (“No one named to the court in the postwar period was as conservative as Justice Scalia or as liberal as Justice Brennan,” “Laos is one of the world’s most corrupt nations”) that may need to be qualified, explained or stated with greater precision or nuance.
We look at the empirical evidence cited to verify that the methodology is sound and that the data is presented with precision and balance. If we determine that a particular fact cannot be verified, we will not publish it. We prefer primary sources (an N.I.H. research paper) to secondary ones (a news article about the paper’s findings).
We will work to verify the facts in your article, but as the writer, you bear the ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of your work. We cannot fix anything after publication without appending a correction — and corrections are permanently archived. Past errors are a factor when we consider whether to accept future work from a writer.
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