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To-Do List magazine uses the idea of a to-do list as a jumping-off point for explorations into the details of modern living.

The following guidelines offer more details about our general style and vision:

To-Do List is about the universal unavoidable feelings that we all have. The writing should be surprising but accessible. From flossing to homelands, from the politics of hiring housecleaners to the minutiae of writing your daily list, no topic is too great or too small for our magazine. We want your original outlook on life, to make us think, and to make us laugh. In general, we ask you to choose topics that are not merely idiosyncratic, but also exemplify a process or experience that is shared by a larger group and will make your piece more significant. In brief list form, we are looking for personal essays and interviews with the following:

A personal perspective
Brevity without sacrificing detail

We place a high premium on good writing. The magazine tries to combine intelligence with fun; if appropriate, maintain some levity while exploring the topic. Let us as readers get to know you. We want to hear about the issues that obsess you, the lint that you can't get out of your brain.

Please send fully developed, polished pieces (generally, 500 to 3,000 words). You're welcome to send queries to run an idea by us or to see if someone else is already covering it, but we can only evaluate the piece when it's done.

We encourage you to send your essays/pieces for review to your friends and colleagues before passing them on to us; it is helpful to also send your reviewers our guidelines so that they understand the specific vision of our magazine.

To-Do List Features
In addition to essays and the occasional stellar, personally revealing fiction piece, we have regular sections; the following are types of pieces we have found to fit really well with our style:
Profiles: conversations/Q&As with interesting people who are able to be brutally and wittily honest about their experiences
List-making: original interpretations of list-making in your life
Fixations: as our magazine is all about "meaningful minutiae" and "common compulsions," we are seeking short (200 to 400 words) pieces about your fixations (e.g., eyebrow waxing, proper grammar).

A piece can be fabulous but just not in line with our mission. We generally do not publish poetry. We are not looking for journalistic reporting. We are not an academic publication or a rhetorically political magazine, although we do love theoretical and political topics that are treated in a personal way.

Our response time
We will try to respond as quickly as we can. Keep in mind that we are just a few people wearing many hats. We will try to respond quickly if we know that we are not going to be able to run your piece, but if you haven't heard from us within twelve weeks, assume, for your own sanity, that we are not.

You don't have to labor over your writing, because we want to publish your lists: the scrubby, genuine articles, especially to-do lists. Send these lists from your daily adventures via the post; lists have so much more impact in your own handwriting, on the real piece of paper, etc. Were particularly interested in lists that inadvertently tell a story, occupation-related lists, lists that reveal who you are, lists from a different period in your life, lists with emotional content, found lists and lists from people of different ages and backgrounds. So rumble around in your trash and send us your goodies. Thanks, were looking forward to reading all about you.

As a startup magazine consciously avoiding corporate advertising, we are not able to pay you—or our ourselves! But there is non-monetary compensation, like the freedom to explore topics in a way that might not fly in mainstream periodicals, exposure in a magazine with growing readership and distribution, and two copies of the issue in which your piece appears.

Please include a brief biography of yourself that could be published along with your piece: not a memoir but two or three lines that capture your personality.

How to send pieces
Email the first seven hundred words of your piece pasted-in to the email with the document attached to todolistmagazine. If you must, send submissions by the post, but we prefer electronic for obvious reasons.
But again, send all handwritten lists to To-Do List, P.O. Box 40128, San Francisco, CA 94140.