Submit a Column

This page was last updated on November 2, 2023.

Email to submit a guest column. The Opinion department aims to respond to every submission directly, but if you have not received a response within two business days, feel free to submit your column elsewhere. 

Please see below for guest column submission guidelines, best practices, and the editing process:

Guest Column Submission Guidelines

  1. Submissions must include a title, subhead, and abstract (a sentence of the format “Guest Columnist [name] [verb] [one sentence summary of the column]) in their column.
  2. Submissions should be 650 to 800 words. We automatically consider submissions over 400 words or up to 1200 words, but if the submission is not within those limits, please include in the body of your email justification for this length.
  3. Submissions cannot be substantially altered from their original state in the editing process. An example of this would be if a guest columnist adds a new paragraph or line of argument in between first and second edits without communicating this to the Opinion Editor.
  4. Submissions must be in Google Docs format or similar (Microsoft Word, PDF).
  5. The author of the submission must be a member of the Penn community, including but not limited to: student, alumni, staff, or faculty. Please delineate this relationship in your submission. 
  6. No anonymous submissions are allowed.
  7. No promotional pieces.
  8. The Daily Pennsylvanian is entitled to reject any guest column submission according to its editorial discretion.

Guest Column Best Practices

  1. Include reputable sources using hyperlinks in your document for every factual claim that is being made. Read published columns in the Opinion section to get a better understanding of where hyperlinks are necessary.
  2. Write content that is relevant to the Penn community — the purpose of the Opinion page is to generate and/or continue discussion within it.
  3. Write concisely.

Guest Column Editing Process

  1. If a guest column is advanced to receiving first edits, the guest columnist will receive an email confirming this. First edits are completed by one of the Deputy Opinion Editors on Google Docs, and are typically completed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  2. Guest columnists must respond to first edits before second edits can be made. Guest columnists may dispute edits that are being made, but should not reject these comments outright on the Google Doc.
  3. Second edits are completed by the Opinion Editor within two business days of first edits being resolved.
  4. Guest columnists must respond to second edits, after which the column will be sent to the Copy department for a final round of fact-checking and grammatical edits. Guest columnists may request to see the final version of the column after it has gone through the Copy department, which will be published.
  5. If a Deputy Opinion Editor or the Opinion Editor flag a guest column for sensitive review, it will also be read and edited by a combination of the Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editor, and/or the Diversity and Inclusion Director.
  6. If a guest column is flagged for sensitive review, it may go through additional rounds of edits.
  7. The Opinion department reserves the right to withdraw the column from consideration at any point in this process. The guest columnist may do the same.
  8. Guest columns may follow an expedited version of this process if they are considered timely, but every guest column at minimum goes through first edits, second edits, and copy edits. The duration of time between receipt of a guest column and publication online is also dependent on how quickly the guest columnist responds to each round of edits.