From August 22nd to August 24th, 2023, the Truman Center for National Policy hosted its first virtual opinion writing workshop for a diverse collection of graduate students researching topics relevant to nuclear nonproliferation and policy. The workshop allowed students to learn from and work directly with editors from major foreign policy publications, and is part of Truman’s broader commitment to advancing diversity in national security.
The workshop opened with a discussion on writing opinion pieces led by Stuart Reid, an executive editor at Foreign Affairs, who examined what distinguishes op-eds from other forms of writing. Participants were then split into groups of four and paired with a professional editor. The participants brought a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences to the workshops, and students joined sessions from seven different time zones, including from the U.S., Indonesia, France, and the UK, to work with the editors.
Participants submitted a draft opinion article before the workshop and received feedback from the editors and their peers at an initial feedback session. Topics covered by students ranged from dissecting the effects of Iranian nuclear proliferation on geopolitics to making the case for the U.S. exporting nuclear power. The students then worked alongside their peers in a writing session where they could experiment with new ideas and experience writing under a publication deadline. Students then resubmitted their drafts, and editors once again provided detailed feedback at a second session. Participants left the workshop with a finished op-ed to submit for publication.