How to Write an Opinion Piece on Substack (Without Being a Jerk) Workshop

Part of the How to Write on Substack series

How to Write an Opinion Piece on Substack

On Substack, most people doing any form of personal writing use three modes:

  • rumination,

  • narrative, and/or

  • opinion.

Your posts may be a mix of all three, but to write Substacks that draw readers and create engagement, we need to know which mode we’re in and how each works.

Opinion writing may be one of the hardest:

  • How do we do it without being moralizing, reactionary, or trite?

  • How do we establish authority?

  • How do we write something important to readers, not just ourselves?

By the end of this workshop, you’ll know the four keys to opinion writing online: 

  • The difference between a hot take, a think piece, an opinion piece, and an op-ed

  • The ideal structure for an opinion piece that doesn’t come out dull, sloppy, or disjointed or harangue the reader—brought to us by the great

  • How publishing an opinion piece on Substack can perhaps take a different approach than writing an op-ed for a mainstream media outlet

  • The 10 keys to a successful op-ed

Substacks to read for examples of opinion writing:

You can purchase the workshop separately if you prefer not to subscribe. As Substack’s Farrah Storr says, we do these workshops in good faith that people won’t sign up for the link and then unsubscribe.

Purchase this workshop separately

The prompt—the opinion writing formula—is below for you to use to put this into practice.

I loved this from

, who shared her expertise writing op-eds during the workshop:

“I think the terrifying part about writing online, self-publishing, Substack, etc., although you do get some feedback, is you don’t have an editor and you don’t have all the infrastructure around publishing that creates a certain amount of discerning of what's newsworthy and what isn’t, and what’s a valuable or interesting or fascinating or insightful opinion to more readers than what we ourselves think.

And we don’t have that second set of ears and eyes and that other pressure to create something that’s reader-centric.

And opinions, I think, are particularly dangerous that way.

Just a warning to folks that not everything you think is something people want to read and this from a very opinionated person so I’m throwing the stones at myself as quickly as anyone.”

Watch the replay to learn more about how to write an opinion piece without being a jerk.

✨ Become a paid subscriber to get access to this workshop and all the guidance you need to be the writer you want to be. You get all the workshops in the How to Write on Subsatck series, including the other two forms: writing the personal essay and the narrative essay.

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