We want CBT to be a place where people can exchange ideas to make our community better. With that in mind, we’re going to start publishing more voices in the Opinion section of the magazine.

 

We want to hear ideas from everybody about everything that would interest the business community of Columbia — and if you have something important to write about, we want to give you a place to publish it and an audience to read it. Send us your pitches.

 

Now, we do have some ground rules:

 

  • It has to be local.

We’re a Columbia magazine, so we’re interested in Columbia’s stories. CBT’s not the place to publish opinions about national politics or general business theory. We want ideas about the things happening in our own backyard.

 

  • It has to be specific.

Specific ideas create conversations. If you want to write a piece about how small businesses are the backbone of the community, that’s great. But you can write about it a lot more powerfully if you explain specific ways to support small businesses.

 

  • You have to know your stuff.

It’ll be hard for people to engage with you if you don’t give them anything to engage with. Do your background research; email a few friends to find out what they think. Include as much information as you can.

 

  • No antagonizing.

Fostering a healthy exchange of ideas starts by respecting people who disagree with you. It’s perfectly fine to respond to someone’s argument with a rebuttal, but always write with kindness and respect. Keep the snark to a minimum.

 

  • Anyone can write!

Alright, so this one isn’t really a “rule,” but it is important. If you don’t consider yourself a writer, that’s OK: our editors can work with you to get your ideas across in a clear and effective way. As long as you’re passionate about what you’re saying — and you follow the first four rules — your writing will shine.

 

So send us your pitches! Email editor Breck Dumas at Breck@BusinessTimesCompany.com with the subject line “CBT Opinion” followed by your idea. We’re excited to hear from you!

 

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