Commentary submission guidelines

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation on how politics and public policy affect the lives of people across the commonwealth.

The Capital-Star is committed to elevating the voices of the underrepresented, neurodiverse, BIPOC, and LGBTQ communities across the commonwealth, recognizing that those voices deserve a full place in our public dialogue.

Preference goes to timely topics of interest to Pennsylvania. We reserve the right to reject any submission, and to edit accepted submissions for accuracy, clarity, style and length.

Guidelines for writing commentary

  • Maximum length is 850 words.
  • Must be signed by at least one person. Pennsylvania Capital-Star does not accept anonymous submissions or pieces signed only by an organization.
  •  Pennsylvania Capital-Star does not publish candidate endorsements. Nor do we endorse ballot measures. Commentaries are not accepted from anyone who currently holds or is campaigning for public office.
  • Name-calling and personal attacks are not acceptable.
  • Facts or assertions that some readers might be expected to dispute should be accompanied by a source citation, such as by a link or by stating the source in plain language as part of the text.
  • Avoid telling readers or elected officials to take a specific action or vote a certain way on a proposed law, policy, political race or ballot question. Instead, focus on explaining your own position.
  • Examples of published commentary are available on our Commentary page.

Guidelines for submitting commentary

  • Name, full address and phone number are required (address and phone number are for confirmation, not for publication).
  • Provide a brief (two or three sentences) biographical description of the author, including the author’s city of residence and any title, experience or expertise related to the topic.
  • Include a clear, high-resolution headshot of the author for publication.
  • Submissions must be sent by email to [email protected] with “commentary” in the subject line.
  • Submissions in may be sent in Microsoft Word and Google Docs formats or pasted directly into the body of an email. No PDFs, please.

For example: John Smith is a community organizer for People for a Better Pittsburgh, with 30 years’ experience on his particular issue. He writes from Mount Lebanon, Pa. Readers may email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JohnSmith.