Op-Eds, Articles, and Blogs
Submitting to the UC Press Blog
We run a very active blog, which regularly receives over one thousand daily views. All authors are welcome to submit guest posts for consideration, whether that’s an op-ed that didn’t get picked up elsewhere, or an essay written to promote your new book. Publishing a guest post on our site can improve your online presence, and provides additional content for marketing your book.
We’re looking for brief (400-900 words) and informal posts that preview the content of your book. The writing style should be more conversational than the typical academic article, using clear and simple language. Some authors choose to frame the blog around a current event, a specific story or example in the book, or a more personal angle, such as what motivated them to write the book. You can find examples from our authors here.
Please reach out to our Author Marketing Communications Manager if you’re interested in submitting.
Pitching Op-Eds and Articles
Writing op-eds and public-facing articles is a great way to grow your platform as an author and subject-matter expert. While your publicist is happy to brainstorm ideas with you and provide feedback on pieces you have written, we encourage you to approach editors directly via the general submission guidelines provided on the outlets’ websites. Editors know what they want and will be in touch when they see it. Submitting pieces directly will also allow you to develop relationships with editors. Even if your pitch or article is not picked up, editors may return to you with alternative suggestions, questions about your research, or requests for comment on future news items. Additionally, once an editor works with you on a piece, you will have direct access to that editor for future pitches.
How to craft your piece
Three main questions should guide your thinking about op-ed/article placement:
- Why should we care about what you have to say? What is unique about your argument or perspective?
- Why should you be the one to say it? How does your experience/scholarship support your authority in writing the piece?
- Why is our publication the right place to publish this op-ed article? Why will our readers be interested?
Although each outlet will have its own guidelines, it’s always best to:
- Start off with a strong lede. You want the reader to be interested enough to keep going.
- Write with a perspective. Take a stand and use your research to back it up.
- Use a news item, new research, or topical events as the hook for your argument or perspective.
- Offer an opinion that counters what has been published in the outlet. Offer something unexpected.
- Write with the broadest audience in mind. Avoid a lot of academic jargon or references.
- State your argument clearly.
- Keep it interesting. If appropriate, include an anecdote or example to keep your reader invested.
- Convey why you are positioned to comment on this topic.
- Take a look at what others have written for the outlet. Ask yourself: Will your submission cover similar/related territory? Do you have something unique to say beyond what has already been written? What is the tone of the pieces that have run?
- Have others read your piece and provide feedback. Ask a trusted colleague, your editor, or your publicist.
Where to submit
Think about where your target readers go for information. Competition for placement can be fierce, especially at the national outlets, but there are many options beyond popular newspapers and magazines. Identify niche or subject-specific outlets that are important in your field. Where are you most likely to get picked up? Where are the relevant conversations taking place?
Many outlets engage with scholarly debates and publish excellent content from authors. Our authors often receive queries from other media outlets in direct response to well-timed articles in outlets such as:
All outlets that accept submissions will have updated guidelines on their affiliated websites. Pay particular attention to:
- Word count: Is there a suggested range or maximum word count?
- Outlet subject matter & scope: Is your pitch written with the outlet’s audience in mind? Have you crafted it to align with the section’s topical focus? Is the outlet regional, national, or international in scope and will your article appeal to this readership?
- Exclusivity: Editors generally want exclusive consideration, not a simultaneous submission, so plan to send your pitch to one publication and allow a few days for their response before withdrawing it or moving on.
Along with your crafted piece, your submission should include your credentials, a brief summary (just a few lines) of the argument that introduces the piece, and your contact information.
The OpEd Project offers workshops, office hours, one-on-one mentorship, fellowships, and more to scholars and thought leaders seeking to make an impact through their public writing. We recommend browsing their website if you are seeking tailored or ongoing support in your efforts.
Some of their public resources include:
Still have questions about op-eds? Check out our FAQs page.