Monday, December 12, 2016


Twin Cities Runoff is looking for your stories about Twin Cities culture.

Not only are we looking to publish pieces on arts, music, food, literature, politics, and the like, but we’re also seeking to expand our definitions of what we expect to see in a magazine. So, any in-depth story about any local issue is welcome: the Twin Cities Runoff wants its readers to broaden their views of the Twin Cities.

More specifically, we’re looking for stories that encompass broad themes of local concern and incorporate several sources, that read a bit deeper than a profile or a review. Since we will only publish one or two pieces weekly, we’re interested in submissions that reflect a nuanced, innovative approach to our local culture. We want to know the stories of how our cities became the way they are and why every bit of culture is important.

So, for example, if there’s a new lollipop store opening in your neighborhood and you’d like to write about it, think of it in larger terms: What is the story of the lollipop store? How does it fit into the rest of the Twin Cities’ lollipop scene? Are there other stores like it—and if they’re not similar in what they’re selling, are they similar in the type of ownership, marketing tactics, or decorating style? How does the lollipop shop fit into its neighborhood? Why is writing about the lollipop shop important to you? Why is it important to someone you don’t know who lives on the other side of town?

When you put all of these pieces together, think of the following: how will knowing about the lollipop shop and its attributes connect Twin Cities residents to their neighborhoods? How will it inspire them?

We’re looking for longer articles than a typical online blurb—our average piece will be about 2,000-3,000 words—that cover topics that aren’t overly familiar to local readers. We focus on long-form nonfiction but we also accept fiction, art, poetry, videos, podcasts; we accept contributions in any medium that can shared online.

Accepted submissions go through what we like to think of as slow food–style editing. Writers work collaboratively with editors, adding missing ingredients and expanding on your original ideas until it’s marinated and stewed and well-seasoned and ready for others to taste. The process can be intense at times; we advise writers that they will probably spend as much time rewriting as they did with their first draft, especially if the piece is nonfiction. However, this results in a much more nuanced and complex feature than originally conceived, and we ensure that writers and editors are satisfied with their final story.

Queries for nonfiction features—the bulk of our publication—may be sent to We will also accept queries for multimedia features and completed first drafts of personal essays.

If this is your first time submitting to the Twin Cities Runoff, please include two or three relevant samples of your work with your query or attach a completed manuscript.

We also accept completed manuscripts of fiction and poetry from local writers. Fiction and poetry submissions may be submitted to

About your submissions

Submissions must be previously unpublished and the sole, original property of the contributor.

All work will remain the sole property of the contributor. Writers and artists are responsible for the content of their works.

Twin Cities Runoff will preserve a copy of every published contribution in its archives.