COLD HARD TYPE V
Typewritten Tales of Transgression
Richard Polt, Frederic S. Durbin, and Andrew V. McFeaters
Human beings have an innate tendency to stray. We eat forbidden fruit, violate trust, speak outrageous truths or untruths, and run with scissors. All too often, this waywardness leads us into a tangled web, into the self-inflicted pain that is unique to our species. Yet a typewriter is built with a margin release mechanism for a reason; there are times when the margins are oppressive, or when going out of bounds accomplishes a greater good.
Margin Releases: Typewritten Tales of Transgression seeks fiction, poems, photography, and visual art on the theme of crossing the line. Show us characters who, for whatever reasons, break the rules. As always, craft your fiction or poetry with any tools you’d like, and if your piece is accepted, you’ll get to dust off that typewriter for producing the final copy. Be original, be clear, be true, and remember there’s a 5,000-word maximum limit. Also, each submission must somehow involve a typewriter in a significant way, though it need not be central to the plot. The first rule is to tell a good story, in words or in images—don’t break that one.
Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2022
Submit your work to Richard Polt by e-mail or post (see below). It will be reviewed by Polt (author of The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century), novelist Frederic S. 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 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.
Submissions may vary in style, genre, and tone, as long as they fit the theme. They may be intended for adults, but should not be explicitly pornographic or sadistic.
To give your work the best chance of being accepted, we recommend that you read the first four volumes in the Cold Hard Type series—Paradigm Shifts, Escapements, Backspaces and Dead Keys—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 1, 2022
The editors will either accept your work or reject it by this date. 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: June 1, 2022
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.
Publication date: July 15, 2022
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, sorry. We expect many submissions, so we will not be able to review anything but polished work that you consider ready for publication.
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 this collection.
Do I have to type my own work on a typewriter?— Your initial submission does not have to be typewritten, but the final text does. If you are not confident enough in your typing abilities, let us know; we may be able to arrange a substitute typist for you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Dept. of Philosophy
3800 Victory Pky.
Cincinnati, OH 45207-4443