Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

FAQ about Letters to the Editor and Guest Columns

What is a letter to the editor?
Letters to the editor must be relevant to The Daily’s coverage. In other words, they must address issues that in some way affect the Northwestern and/or Evanston communities. They should be in response to an issue on campus or an action by the University or city, or in response to an article, column, editorial or other Daily content that has been recently published. Letters can be authored by more than one person.

What is a guest column?
Guest columns can be a topic of the author’s choosing. They are typically selected due to their proximity to a national or international issue, or their relevance to an issue on campus or in Evanston. They should be relevant to the The Daily’s audience. They are also usually subject to a more thorough editing process and the author must take or provide a headshot. Guest columns can be authored by more than one person and are limited to current students or faculty members.

How long can letters to the editor or guest columns be?
Letters to the editor are typically a maximum of 400 words. Letters that are longer than 400 words are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and published at the discretion of the Opinion editor, managing editors and editor in chief. Guest columns can be a maximum of 800 words.

Does The Daily edit letters to the editor or guest columns?
The Daily reserves the right to edit letters to the editor or guest columns for clarity, and for AP and Daily Style, as well as to fact-check them and cut them to fit available space in the print edition. Letters to the editor and guest columns will usually run in full length online.

How does The Daily choose letters to the editor to publish?
The Daily makes its best effort to publish every letter to the editor and guest column that follows this policy. However, the submission of a letter or column does not guarantee its publication. The Opinion editor notifies readers whose letters have been selected for publication. In cases where not every piece can be published, the Opinion editor prioritizes letters and columns that contribute to a diverse array of perspectives on an issue.

How do I submit a letter to the editor or guest column?
Email the letter to the editor or guest column to the Opinion editor at [email protected] by 5 p.m. if you would like it to appear in the next day’s issue.

How often does The Daily publish letters to the editor or guest columns from the same person?
The Daily generally does not publish letters to the editor or guest columns from the same person more than once a week. If you would like to apply to be a weekly or biweekly columnist for this or future quarters, email [email protected].