Monday, November 25, 2019

Call for submissions: Cold Hard Type III


Typewritten Tales of Time Travel

edited by
Richard Polt, Frederic S. Durbin, and Andrew V. McFeaters

published by
            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. 

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2020

            Submit your work to Richard Polt by e-mail or post (see the end of this post). It will be reviewed by Polt (author of The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century novelist Fred Durbin (, and English professor Andrew McFeaters ( 
            The maximum length for texts is 5000 words.
            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 seriesParadigm 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
at, or

Richard Polt
Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pky.
Cincinnati, OH 45207-4443

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Typosphere... now for your pocket-typewriter

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.

Type on, good people, type on.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Phoenix Type-In June 23 at Changing Hands

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!

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.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

COLD HARD TYPE II: Escapements now available

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.

You can purchase Escapements on Amazon now.

And don't miss volume 1, Paradigm Shifts!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

COLD HARD TYPE I: Paradigm Shifts now available

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.

You can purchase Paradigm Shifts on Amazon now. As promised, we have kept the price to a bare minimum. This means no profits for anyone involved, but it will also help to broaden the audience for this unique collection.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project, promoted it, and submitted work to it. Enjoy!

Richard Polt

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

February type-ins in Virginia and Tennessee

Organized by Langley Shazor, The Casual Word (

"The Typewriter Tour is a series of type-in events. A type-in is an event where I bring antique typewriters from my collection to a public venue for anyone to use. They range in size from 6 to as many as 25 depending on the space of the venue. The goals of these events are for people to explore their creativity in general, try their hand at creative writing particularly, more importantly unplug from the digital world, and promote positive social interaction. The typewriters serve as unique tool and experience to promote these ideals. The Tri-City Typewriter Tour for Black History Month goal is to expand this experience to other communities and partner with new businesses/venues. I want to encourage more people, especially minorities to come share their words and engage with each other. Coming together is the first step in breaking down stereotypes and socioeconomic barriers."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Denton, Texas event on January 26

Join us for an afternoon of typewriters, letter writing, and community. We will provide plenty of typewriters and stationery for you to use. This event is FREE and open to the public- all ages welcome!
Contact if you would like any additional information. Otherwise- see you
JANUARY 26th from 11:00-2:00PM

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