NYT Op-Ed Guidelines
A quick update: for my Sunday Satire subscribers, I’ll be adding a section called “Behind The Writing,” as an extra perk for helping keep this newsletter running. I’ll talk about how I developed each piece, what was on my mind while writing them, etc. These will be included at the end each of Sunday’s pieces, which are for paid subscribers only. Interested?
Without further ado… here’s today’s brand-new piece of Sunday Satire!
NYT Op-Ed Guidelines
Hello and welcome to the editorial section of The New York Times. We’re thrilled to have you on board as a regular contributor. You’re one of our “so-bad-you-gotta-wonder-if-it’s-bad-on-purpose” writers, so we’ve got some special rules for you to abide by. Below are a few simple (but strict!) guidelines we ask just over half our columnists to follow during their tenures here, until they eventually leave to publish even worse stuff on their own.
Please ignore your instincts and read this closely.
Bang On Your Keyboard for at Least One Paragraph
You may have previously written for publications where you were required to get every single sentence to *sing*. Well, welcome to the big leagues—here, you better spend at least one entire paragraph just mashing that keyboard until something really fucking weird pops out. To be clear: at least one paragraph per piece. Feel free to do more if you want to really impress us.
Read Your Piece Back to Yourself Out Loud in Your Own Voice, and then Read It Out Loud Again in the Charlie Brown Teacher Voice
Does it sound any different in the Charlie Brown teacher voice than when you read it out loud in your normal voice? If so… back to the drawing board! We want those readings to match.
No Research Allowed
This is an opinion section, not a news section. Therefore, please do not involve any news or “journalism” in your opinion. An opinion is what you FEEL is true—not what is actually true. If we discover that anything you’ve written is well-researched or fact-based, we will not run it until it is cleared of anything resembling healthy data interpretation.
Keep It Weirdly Short
You’ve got a giant, unwieldy, reactionary point to make. You should make it in as few words as possible. In fact, you should barely make your point at all. It should sound like a rough first draft someone wrote on an Amtrak ride in their notes app before falling asleep and waking up at the wrong stop.
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