Commentaries are contributed or staff-written articles on a wide variety of topics in local and state government. From administration and public works management to technology tips, the commentaries are a forum for expert perspectives.
Commentary submissions to American City & County should be educational and non-commercial pieces written for our county and city readership across the country. They should not promote a company or its products, and they also should not be written as case studies.
If you cite statistics, data or other specific numbers, you should cite the source of those numbers within the body of your commentary, even if the source is your own organization.
Because our audience is spread across the United States, your commentary should be able to be applied by local and state governments across the country. For example, a commentary covering a specific state law would not suit our readers who live outside that state.
An ideal commentary covers an educational topic that is directly relevant to municipal and county leaders across the country. If specific examples are given in a commentary, those examples ideally highlight the experience of more than just one government or agency.
How to Pitch Commentaries to American City & County
If you’d like to write a commentary, email American City & County Editor Derek Prall at firstname.lastname@example.org with one idea for a commentary and a one-paragraph bio.
General Commentary Submission Guidelines
Please save your commentary as a Microsoft Word document (.doc). Do not include any images within the document itself — send them separately in an email. Also, please do not include watermarks or any special formatting beyond bold, italic and underlined text, as this complicates our ability to transfer the article onto our site.
Links within commentaries are welcome, and we encourage their inclusion when they connect to sources cited in the article. Please use links within the article body in lieu of footnotes or endnotes.
Underneath your headline, please include a short author bio. Your bio should be about 50 words long and include your current job title and company. You should also include your contact information such as your e-mail address, phone number and website URL. Please also briefly describe any relevant experience in state or local government.
Underneath your author bio, please include your byline. For example: By Joe Smith, president of Smith Co.
Please email a high-resolution (300 dpi) head-and-shoulders photo of yourself to email@example.com. Please save it in a JPEG format. Rather than copying and pasting your photo in your article, please send it as a separate e-mail attachment.
The article should be between 600 and 1,000 words long.
The readers of American City & County are elected officials and department heads in city, county and state governments in the United States. The commentaries should address local and state government managers in a variety of disciplines.
We have flexible deadlines and publish commentaries on a rolling basis. In your story pitch, please indicate when you would be able to contribute your article.
Rules on promotion
The articles may mention companies, organizations and products, but should not read as promotions of these entities.
To be published, your commentary must be original and not published elsewhere. Before publishing your article, we will send you a copyright agreement to sign.
We do not compensate our commentary writers for their online columns. Writing a column, however, is a way to increase awareness of your expertise in local and state government.