How to Write a Letter or Guest Viewpoint

EW welcomes opinion pieces from the community

Letters to the editor

(Scroll down for viewpoints and columns.)

Letters should be should be less than 250 words and sent to letters@eugeneweekly.com along with your address and phone number for our files (not for publication). We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues and responses to articles, letters, columns and viewpoints in the paper. Letters received before Friday at 5 pm are more likely to get in. We add letters Monday mornings as space and time allow.

Letters can address articles or opinion pieces in EW or bring up topics EW readers need to know about that have not been addressed in the paper. The focus should be on topics and ideas, not personal attacks. It’s also helpful to write positive letters to encourage a group, agency or business.

Please send your letter in the body of your email, not in an attachment. For those who prefer not to use email, fax to 541-484-4044 or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401. Though we recognize that many people EW and the community need to hear from do not have access to a computer, if we have to type your letter for you, it may delay publication.

Letters must include a full, real name and address. If you do not have an address, please supply a means to confirm your identity. We do not print anonymous letters unless the person writing has a genuine fear of reprisal, which the letter writer must explain. In limited circumstances we will print a pseudonym if the person is known and operates by that name in the community at large.

We do not accept letters that have been submitted or published elsewhere. Writers are notified of the policy on the auto response they receive when sending a letter. We will stop accepting letters from writer who repeatedly dual submit letters to us and other publications.

Please do not send mass-produced emails through a service, even if it’s a well-intended nonprofit. They get caught in our spam filter and we don’t run multiple, nearly identical, letters.

When you submit a letter, you will get an automated response acknowledging receipt of the letter. This does not ensure publication.

Local and Vocal Viewpoints

Viewpoints and columns for the Eugene Weekly run based on timeliness, concern to the community and as space allows and focus on local issues, local angles on national or international issues, or issues that are of clear concern to the Eugene-Springfield community.

Opinion pieces should come in at 500-750 words and be sent to editor@eugeneweekly.com marked viewpoint in the subject line. Send in the body of an email or via an editable document. Do not send PDFs.

We give priority to locally focused pieces that have not been submitted elsewhere, and we do not run viewpoints that have already run in or been submitted to other publications. We prioritize voices of people who are not heard and particularly welcome submissions from people of color and female-identifying and gender nonbinary writers.

Opinion pieces should be accompanied by a short one- to two-line bio. Viewpoint writers should submit a headshot and or a photograph or image to possible accompany the piece. We only run opinions from named people, not businesses or organizations. We do not print anonymous viewpoints unless the person writing has a genuine fear of reprisal, which the writer must explain.

If you are writing a piece about an event, concentrate on the issues, not what you are promoting. Viewpoints should focus on issues, not attacks.

When writing a viewpoint or column, consider how to make your main point clear to an audience who may either be reading quickly on a bus or sitting down with the paper for an in-depth perusal.

Once you establish what point you are making or what you want your reader to take away from what you write, think about how best to accomplish that goal and how to get to it quickly and concisely. Know what you want to say and have a clear position.

Your opinion is your own, your facts must be well-researched, sourced and real. If you point out a problem, readers like it if you propose a solution.

Strategies include drawing your reader in by setting a scene, telling a short narrative or giving key facts or numbers. Then follow with a clear thesis statement as the goal of a viewpoint is to persuade and the goal of a column is either to persuade or to tell a story with a relevant point.

We recommend showing your piece to a friend or writer before submitting and asking them what they see as the main point to ensure the point of your opinion piece is clear to readers.

Having your viewpoint or column accepted for publication does not assure immediate publication. Your viewpoint will be edited for style and grammar via Google doc.

Please note that EW, like most newspapers, does not pay freelance fees for opinion pieces. One we have run the piece in print and for one week exclusively on the website, writers are free to submit or republish their work elsewhere.