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How to Write an Op-ed

A good guide to getting it published.

Based on a rough count on my website, I’ve had 41 op-eds published over the years — many years. See them all on the Professional Writings page.

What made me think about writing op-eds today is that I was informed that another op-ed of mine about the surprises from the COVID-19 pandemic will be published soon. When I get the weblink that “is not behind a paywall,” I’ll post it here.

Then, today I also read this from the Washington Post, which I think is terrific guidance for someone looking to get their writing in the form of an opinion piece published: “The Washington Post guide to writing an opinion article.”

And, there is no paywall to get by to read this article. There are still some local papers in existence and they would be interested in hearing from their city or county emergency managers. If you have a topic in mind, write it up, using the guideline linked above, and give it a shot.

Get someone to review it for you to make sure your meaning comes through and you didn’t write “pubic” when you meant “public.” A not too uncommon error that spell check will not catch!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.