Write a list of common dictionaries to CSV with common key values in the same column

I have a list of dictionaries constructed so that each dictionary would represent data for a particular event. the data is:

events = [{'date': '7:30 PM ET, October 29, 2014',
      'guests': ['Cleopatra', 'Ghandi'], 
      'location': 'Cairo, Egypt',
      'random_nums': [1, 2, 3, 4]},
     {'date': '8:00 PM ET, November 1, 2014', 
      'guests': ['JFK', 'Abe Lincoln'], 
      'location': 'Dallas, TX', 
      'random_nums': [5, 6, 7, 8]},
     {'date': '8:30 PM ET, November 3, 2014', 
      'guests': ['Joan of Arc', 'Genghis Khan'], 
      'location': 'the Moon',
      'random_nums': [9, 10, 11, 12]}]

I am trying to write to a CSV so that each even is represented as its own row, with the common keys as headers.

date                    random_nums    guests                    location
7:30 PM ET, October 29  1, 2, 3, 4     Cleopatra, Ghandi         Cairo, Egypt
8:00 PM ET, November 1  5, 6, 7, 8     JFK, Abe Lincoln          Dallas, TX
8:30 PM ET, November 3  9, 10, 11, 12  Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan the Moon

I've looked at a lot of similar posts on this topic but none solve this particular issue. I realize that there is some delimiter problem since there are commas in the strings.

So, I need help:

  1. making each event a row (lists should be contained in a single element)
  2. solving my delimiter issue without changing the commas in the strings or some workaround

Here's as close as I've gotten:

with open("output.csv", "wb") as f:
    writer = csv.writer(f, delimiter = ';')
    for event in events:
        print event.values()
        for row in event.values():


Since you have a bunch of dictionaries, it might be a little simpler to use csv.DictWriter, which will automatically align the keys. Something like

with open("output.csv", "wb") as f:
    writer = csv.DictWriter(f, fieldnames=list(events[0]), delimiter = ';')
    for event in events:
        outevent = event.copy()
        outevent["random_nums"] = ", ".join(map(str, outevent["random_nums"]))
        outevent["guests"] = ", ".join(outevent["guests"])

will produce

7:30 PM ET, October 29, 2014;1, 2, 3, 4;Cleopatra, Ghandi;Cairo, Egypt
8:00 PM ET, November 1, 2014;5, 6, 7, 8;JFK, Abe Lincoln;Dallas, TX
8:30 PM ET, November 3, 2014;9, 10, 11, 12;Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan;the Moon

Note though that you could use tabs or even commas as the delimiters as well-- if the delimiter exists in an element it'll be appropriately quoted.

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