Opinion Submissions

Updated on April 3, 2024

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Daily Pennsylvanian values responses to our published opinion columns and news content. Letters to the Editor must respond directly and explicitly to either an opinion column recently published on the Opinion page, or otherwise to The DP’s manner of coverage within any section of the newspaper. Letters that respond to the subject matter of a non-opinion DP article, rather than The DP’s coverage of that matter, will not be accepted. 

Letters to the Editor are evaluated at the discretion of the Opinion Editor. They should be submitted to letters@thedp.com and should run between 150 and 350 words. We require Letters to the Editor to be signed with a name. We do not accept Letters to the Editor from organizations or anonymous writers. 

Submit a Guest Column

Guest columns are individual opinion pieces authored by Penn affiliates. They do not reflect the views of The DP’s Editorial Board. The best guest columns contain strong and well-supported argumentative stances, unique angles on timely issues, and clear relevance to the Penn community. 

We welcome guest column submissions from the entire Penn community. With the rare exception of extenuating circumstances, guest column authors must be affiliated with Penn — including but not limited to: students, alumni, staff, or faculty. Guest columns are evaluated at the discretion of the Opinion Editor. They should be submitted via email to letters@thedp.com and should run between 650 and 800 words. 

Except in highly unusual cases, we require that guest columns be signed by a named individual. We will not accept articles that have been authored under a pseudonym or by an organization as a whole; even for pieces with named individual authors, we will not accept articles that do not advance an argument beyond the mission statement of a given organization. We also will not accept guest columns that are explicitly written in response to previously published content; please see “Submit a Letter to the Editor” for pieces in response to our content. 

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. If the submission is not within those limits, please include in the body of your email justification for this length.
  3. Submissions must be in Google Docs format.
  4. The Daily Pennsylvanian is entitled to reject any guest column submission according to its editorial discretion.

Guest Column Best Practices

  1. Please review the DP Opinion page to ensure your submission closely follows the tone and structure of past guest columns published.
  2. 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.

Guest Column Editing Process

Throughout the editing process, guest columnists are expected to communicate and respond to edits within 24 business hours, unless the Opinion Editor has been notified otherwise. This is to ensure the timeliness and efficiency of publication. If a guest columnist has a specific date or week they would like their piece to be published, that information must be communicated in advance to the Opinion Editor. 

  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, Inclusion and Standards Director.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

If letters to the editor and guest columns adhere to the above guidelines, The DP will do its best to publish every submission. However, submission does not guarantee publication. The Opinion Editor will select submissions that follow the criteria and advance our coverage with a diverse viewpoint on a given issue.