Monthly resources from FISA Foundation
Issue 5, March 2018
Write to Change the World!
Be Heard on the Opinion Pages

Given the current climate, it is critical that diverse voices shape public discourse on the policies that most impact our communities. Today, the voices and opinions we hear come from an extremely narrow slice of society: mostly white, privileged, Western, and overwhelmingly male. What could we accomplish if we invested in all our brain power?

FISA Foundation is proud to sponsor a day long workshop called Write to Change the World on May 7, 2018 . ( Apply by April 16 to be considered!) The highly-interactive workshop will challenge you to own your authority and expertise and learn how to get your point across in a compelling and persuasive way. All participants will be paired with a professional journalist mentor who will assist with editing, pitching to news sources, and advise you on the best strategy for getting published. 
The OpEd Project
Write to Change the World will be led by The OpEd Project, a think tank and leadership organization that accelerates the ideas and impact of underrepresented voices, including women, and believes the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, should have a chance to be heard and change the world.
Grantees and partners of FISA including: board members, senior leadership, volunteers and active constituents. The program is designed to specifically elevate the voices of women, people of color, and people with disabilities.
Limited slots available.  Apply by April 16 to be considered! 

And if you can't attend the workshop, these are some quick tips for getting published :

Tips for Writing an Op-Ed ( from The OpEd Project )
1.       Research first.  Each news outlet has their own guidelines for submitting. Do your homework, follow their word counts and submit per their instructions. Follow up a couple of days later to make sure your piece was received. Most news outlets request exclusivity, meaning that you can’t submit the same piece to multiple outlets at the same time.  
2.      Plan your argument. The OpEd Project offers this guide to getting started and structuring your piece. 
3.      Start Strong. Capture your reader’s attention in the first sentence or two. Editors often look for a connection to current news. Stories or anecdotes are often effective ways to begin. 
Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor
1.       Be timely. Respond quickly to current events/articles.
2.       Research first.  Each news outlet has their own guidelines for submitting. Letters to The Editor are usually much shorter than opinion pieces, and are almost always in response to an article previously published by that outlet. Letters can also be about current community issues.
3.       Name the article you are responding to in the first sentence.
4.       Use clear, straightforward language to make your point. And close with your name, credentials, professional affiliation.
Sources and Other Resources:
Berkeley Media Studies Group. Tips for Writing Effective Letters to the Editor .
American Civil Liberties Union. Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor .
The OpEd Project. Op-Ed Writing: Tips and Tricks .