The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


SPSSI's 2019 Policy Workshop 

Make Your Voice Heard, Increase the Impact of Your Research: Learn the Craft of Op-ed Writing

Thursday, June 20, 2019  |  9 am - 4 pm
Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel  |  San Diego, California
Registration fee: $25 for students  |  $50 for non-students

About the Policy Workshop

Each year, SPSSI's Policy Committee convenes a Policy Workshop that takes place one day before the start of the SPSSI Summer Conference. The goal of the workshop is to introduce policy-relevant perspectives and skills to SPSSI members at various career stages and to build capacity in areas typically overlooked in traditional academic settings. The 2019 Policy Workshop will focus on the increasingly important craft of writing op-eds (opinion editorials). 

Dr. Linda Silka, SPSSI Policy Committee Co-Chair and SPSSI Council Member, and Sarah Mancoll, SPSSI Policy Director, have spearheaded the design efforts for the 2019 Policy Workshop in collaboration with other members of SPSSI's Policy Committee, SPSSI's Communications Director, and members of SPSSI's Communications and Graduate Student Committees. 

Policy Workshop Details

SPSSI is bringing in experts from outside of the organization to facilitate the "skill-building" portion of the workshop. In this hands-on deep-dive into op-ed writing, participants will learn the following skills:

  • How to structure an op-ed from start to finish

  • How to write a good lede (i.e., opening sentence or paragraph)

  • How to identify one's key message

  • How to "hook" an op-ed to timely news

  • How to identify appropriate media outlets for one's op-ed

  • How to pitch an op-ed to a media outlet

Outside of the skill-building portion of the workshop, SPSSI members and staff will lead activities that challenge participants to think about what they—through experience, knowledge, and/or expertise—bring to the "opinion pages" that is unique to them. Participants will hear from SPSSI members who have successfully written, pitched, and placed op-eds. Participants will also engage in conversations on why it is so important for scholars, researchers, and students—including especially people from underrepresented backgrounds—to contribute to the opinion pages. 

Policy Workshop participants will have time during the workshop to begin outlining and drafting an op-ed of their own. SPSSI staff will also be available in the weeks and months after the workshop to provide requested feedback and/or guidance.

How to Register

You may register for the Policy Workshop through SPSSI's Summer Conference webpage and registration portal. At checkout, select "student" or "non-student" and add the item to your cart. 

Registration is open to anyone who also plans to attend the 2019 SPSSI Summer Conference in San Diego. The registration fee for the Policy Workshop is $25 for students and $50 for non-students. Breakfast and lunch, as well as materials, are covered by the registration fee.

Please note that because of the nature of op-ed training, registration for this event is capped. Registration is first come, first served. 

Questions? Have a great idea for next year's Policy Workshop?

Please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll

Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin