What if you could travel back into the heyday of typewriters?
The stories in this anthology will explore that question. The time traveler(s) may be one or more people; they may travel by any means you can imagine, intentional or accidental; they may come from any time after the heyday of typewriters, which we are defining as 1870-1990, and they must travel back into that period. A typewriter, or typewriters, must play some role in the story.
At this stage, texts may be either digital or typewritten.
Submissions may be dark, comic, romantic, or whatever you like in the way of genre and style; they may be intended for adults, but should not be pornographic or sadistic.
Poetry, art, and photography are welcome, as long as they fit the theme of the book.
Submissions of artwork and photos may include color cover images and grayscale interior images. Illustrations should fit appropriately within the dimensions of the book’s pages, 6x9 inches. Resolution of digital images should be 300 dpi or better.
To give your work the best chance of being accepted, we recommend that you read the first two volumes in the Cold Hard Type series, Paradigm Shifts and Escapements, and reflect on what you like about your favorite pieces. As a rule of thumb, an effective story has interesting characters, a dramatic plot, and vivid sensory details. Avoid telling the reader about generalities; instead, show the reader concrete things and events. Good spelling, grammar, and punctuation also matter.
Decision date: May 15, 2020
The editors will either accept your work or reject it by May 15. There will be no “revise and resubmit” judgments, although if your work is accepted, we may require some corrections or suggest some optional revisions.
Deadline for finished, typewritten work: July 1, 2020
All texts in the published book will be typewritten on real typewriters. This will require care and attention. Guidelines for typing will be sent to authors whose work is accepted. The finished typescript may be submitted on paper or as a scan.
Provisional publication date: September 1, 2020
Around this time, the book will be available for purchase on Amazon as a print-on-demand volume. The book will contain no digital text, only images of typewriting. It will not be available as an e-book, only in print. The price will be as affordable as possible (approximately $7), and neither editors nor contributors will make any money from the project. However, every contributor will receive one free copy of the published volume.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you give me advice on a rough draft of my work? — No. We expect many submissions, so we will not be able to review anything but polished work that you consider ready for publication.
Can it be a typewriter that goes back in time, instead of a person? — Yes.
May authors collaborate? — Yes.
May I submit more than one piece? — Yes, but it is unlikely that we will be able to publish more than one.
May I use a pseudonym or remain anonymous? — Yes.
What about foreign-language or bilingual material? — The language for the collection is English, so submissions must be in good English, and any bits in other languages must also come with a translation, so that readers who do not know those languages can understand.
Can work have been published previously? — Yes, but we do prefer contributions that are new or not well known. Any previously published material must follow any copyright conditions attached to the previous publication.
May I republish my work later? — Yes. You will retain copyright on your work, and after the book is published, you may publish your work in other formats, noting that it first appeared in Backspaces.
Will I be paid? — No. No contributors or editors will make any money whatsoever from this project. We will profit in the form of joy, fun, and the satisfaction of contributing to the typewriter insurgency—and contributors will get a free copy of the book.
Send all questions and submissions to Richard Polt
Hello everyone -- back when Google redid the layout system and backgrounds, the old format I'd set up here got transferred over by some kind of Blogger voodoo. If you're reading this on a phone or other narrow screen, you may not notice any difference, but all the parts that used to be over there 👉 can now be found way down there 👇
Figuring that we're nearly into a new decade of the 21st century, we could stand for a mild makeover every five years or so. Also: I've have finally, begrudgingly embraced emojis. So as far as this blog goes, I'm not even ten years behind the times.
Join the Phoenix typewriter community and Changing Hands to celebrate National Typewriter Day!
Celebrate all things typewriter, with a display of different typewriters, demos, a discussion of the history of typewriters, and coffee drink specials at the bar. Family friendly and a great place to be typing-in.
11:00am to 3:00pm
Bring a typewriter!
PARKING / LIGHT RAIL Don't want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.
The second volume of COLD HARD TYPE is now available! I am glad to present Escapements: Typewritten Tales from Post-Digital Worlds.
With no digital technology, the world can be a harsh place—and a surprising one. Whatever happens, our typewriters will be there to document it. Imagine the possibilities in this collection of stories, poems, and art.
This volume includes contributions by Wendell Berry, Jenny Bristol, Rory Bristol, Ariana Davenport, Shelley K. Davenport, Jamie Davies, Frederic S. Durbin, Mathilda-Anne Florence, N. E. Glenn, Martyn V. Halm, Lori Hedges, John Howell, Scott Kernaghan, Shane L. Larson, Timothy Ley, LA Marler, Todd Mauldin, C. M. Mayo, Andrew V. McFeaters, Bill Meissner, Klaus Mielke, Eliezane Moon, Duane Morrison, John Munroe, Christopher Ochs, David W. Pedersen, Jim Pennington, Monica Quinn, Kim e. Revay, Charly Roland, Andre Gene Samson, Philip L. Simpson, Maria Tolentino, Armando Warner, and Donald Winzer.
I'm delighted to announce the publication of Paradigm Shifts: Typewritten Tales of Digital Collapse.
This first volume of the COLD HARD TYPE project includes contributions by Linda M. Au, Wendell Berry, David G. Brechbiel, Valentine J. Brkich, Catalina Cariaga, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Frederic S. Durbin, Trinity Grau, Kristofferson Harris, Arkadiusz Hubczuk, Michael Kitchen, Steve Kuterescz, Jos Legrand, Bill Meissner, R. J. Montgomery, Vinny Negron, Robert Neuwirth, Erich J. Noack, Reine Nust, Carol Ochs, Christopher Ochs, Joey Patrickt, Cornelia Penner, Mark Petersen, Richard Polt, Aaron Schmidt, Nutthawut Siridejchai, Charles Sterrow, Istvan Takacs, Joe Van Cleave, Armando Warner, Matthew Weaver, and Brian Zimmerman.
The second volume, Escapements, should be ready in a few days.