An op-ed is typically a 600- to 700-word piece submitted for publication in your local newspaper, offering perspective or commentary on a topic. Traditionally, newspapers printed these opinion pieces opposite from the newspaper’s own editorials, hence the name “op-ed.” Publishing an op-ed in your newspaper highlights the need for climate action to your wider community and will help get the attention of your member of Congress.
Below, you’ll find a selection of adaptable op-ed templates. A local volunteer can add their name to an op-ed and submit it to local and regional (not national) newspapers in your state. Our templates include sections to add unique local perspectives about your city, state, and chapter. If you are co-authoring an op-ed with CCL Interim Executive Director Mark Reynolds, you can download a headshot below to submit along with the op-ed.
Where to submit:
- Submit to one local newspaper at a time (we want to avoid similar pieces appearing in nearby local newspapers).
- Check in with your chapter and those nearby to make sure multiple people don’t submit the same piece in your area.
- Some bigger regional newspapers ask for exclusive content for opinion pieces which they specify in submission instructions. When this is the case, you should submit an op-ed written from scratch, not a template.
- If an editor asks if the template op-ed you have submitted is original or exclusive, it's best to be candid. You could say that the op-ed contains unique local perspectives and (if true) hasn't been offered to any other newspapers in their circulation area. However, let them know that other adapted versions of the op-ed may be submitted elsewhere in the country by other CCL volunteers - although it won't conflict with their readership.