Every day, we publish several articles by guest writers. Some are commissioned by us; others we select from proposals that come to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Publishing external voices is a key part of our interaction with our readers.
We particularly relish pieces that highlight unexpected places, explore new ideas and illuminate diverse points of view. We also want our opinion pieces to be punchy, readable articles that make strong arguments; and we have a soft spot for writers who demolish conventional wisdom or dissent from opinions we have already published.
If you would like to be part of this conversation, please get in touch. We receive dozens of proposals every day, but here are five tips on how to make yours rise to the top of the pile:
Think about our readers. The FT gives you the chance to talk to a trader in Hong Kong, a professor in Paris and an engineer in Silicon Valley, all at the same time. That means your article needs to move beyond local issues to make a broader point and it cannot assume inside knowledge. If you are writing about farming in Minnesota, consider how it moves the price of corn in Milan. The best op-eds use vivid examples to tell a global audience something new — like this piece about how the South Korean women’s curling team is a prime example of that country’s successful development strategy.
Write what you know. Tell us something others cannot, be funny or trade on who you are, whether that’s a penniless architect, a former bank chief or a pioneer of political spin. Lots of people spin doomsday scenarios about robots; this technologist drew on her own experience working at software group Sage to argue that the more pressing problem is how human biases are warping artificial intelligence.
Write clearly and accessibly. Your piece should be an enjoyable read, not an academic treatise, even if it is a serious or technical subject. Avoid jargon and acronyms at all cost — they put off and confuse readers.
Use specific examples. Don’t just say output is increasing; describe the queues outside Tokyo pancake shops so readers actually see what you mean. A colourful quote or a telling anecdote is worth a thousand generalities. In one recent piece, a writer illustrated her piece about how the Rhodes scholarship is changing by describing how she was treated when she applied for the programme several decades ago.
Be pithy and sharp. Readers value the FT for its brevity. So you have at most 800 words, just enough to make a persuasive case for a focused point. Be a miniaturist, not a landscape painter.
If we accept your piece, you must certify that the work is yours and has not appeared elsewhere, even in another language. So please do not send us proposals that you are sending to others. We will ask you to sign a contract. Our readers like to know the source of our data, so we may ask you to provide links or other sources for your assertions. You must declare any relevant interests. Self-serving pieces are rarely worth reading unless they say something unexpected and we tell readers about such conflicts.
Your draft will often turn out to be a starting point. An editor might suggest ways of making the language zestier or the argument clearer. But rest assured that we will always show you a final version for approval and, if we cannot agree, you can always take your piece elsewhere.
It’s best to contact us by email at email@example.com. If you have a sharp take on news that is breaking now, send it right away, even if it’s rough. While we ordinarily aim to respond to all pitches, staffing issues during the coronavirus pandemic have made this impossible. If you have not heard from us within four days, please do feel free to move on.
We’re looking forward to reading your work.
Brooke Masters is the FT’s opinion and analysis editor
How to be published in the FT
How to submit an opinion piece
The Financial Times accepts guest submissions on any topic for the opinion section of our website and newspaper. Only send original work; we do not reprint material that has been printed elsewhere or published on the internet.
Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your message should include:
the text of your article in the body of the email (not as an attachment)
your contact details, including a telephone number
confirmation that you are the sole author of the work
confirmation that you are offering the FT exclusive publication rights
We have a firm rule against joint bylines on the opinion page. You must be able to take full credit for your piece.
How to submit a letter to the editor
We welcome letters to the editor so do share your opinions and experiences.
Here’s how to increase your chances of having your letter published in the newspaper and online.
Please keep it short — it should be at most 400 words long, and has a better chance of success if it is even shorter.
Tell us what you know. Avoid jargon, keep the wording clear and remember that most readers will not share your inside knowledge.
We like wit and civility, but not abuse or tirades.
We accept only exclusives.
To submit a letter to the editor for publication, email email@example.com Or post to: Letters Editor, Financial Times, Bracken House, 1 Friday Street, London EC4M 9BT, UK
Please include your address, daytime telephone number and email.
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