COLD HARD TYPE update, with deadlines

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Cold Hard Type | 9 comments

Typewriter Tales from
Post-Digital Worlds
A Collaborative Project
Initial deadline for
submissions: February 1, 2019
Deadline for revised work:
April 2, 2019
Provisional publication
date: June 1, 2019
E-mail all submissions to
Richard Polt
at polt@xavier.edu, or mail by post to:
of Philosophy
Victory Pky.
OH 45207-4443
book will be an anthology of futuristic typewriter fiction—a subgenre that has
been explored occasionally in the typosphere. (Examples: https://filthyplaten.com/?s=apocalypse,
Stories, poems, illustrations and photos are welcome.
that digital civilization collapses, and that some people adopt typewriters as
their tools of choice. What will their adventures be? These are the tales of
their struggles, defeats, and triumphs as they try to bring back typewriters from
the grave of “obsolete” technology and restore them to their rightful place in
the sun. All contributions to COLD HARD TYPE will be set in the future, when
digital civilization is collapsing or has collapsed, and will involve
typewriters as an essential part of their content. The final versions of the
texts will also actually be typed on typewriters.
basic premise allows for many possibilities: there are different scenarios for
the partial or complete breakdown of digital technology and culture, various
reasons for the collapse in different parts of the world, different stages of
the process, and many possible results. The theme could be called “dystopian,”
but maybe the new Age of Typewriters would be a utopia. It could be called
“post-apocalyptic,” but the end of digital civilization does not have to come
in a single, apocalyptic event. Stories can be set early in the process or
centuries later. They may be funny, dark, violent, light, ironic, or profound.
They can be suitable for an adult audience, but should not be out-and-out
pornographic or sadistic. They can range from short-shorts (1 page) to a
maximum of 5000 words.
should be sent to Richard Polt by e-mail or post (see above). They will be
reviewed by Polt (author of The
Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century
, http://typewriterrevolution.com),
novelist Fred Durbin (http://www.fredericsdurbin.com),
and Broward College English professor Andrew McFeaters (https://theuntimelytypewriter.com).
drafts of fiction and poetry may be either digital or typewritten, but the
final version must be typewritten.
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, 6×9 inches. Resolution of digital images should be 300 dpi or better.
Initial deadline for submissions: February 1, 2019. Submit a draft
of your work by this date, at the latest. The editorial panel will consider it
and may suggest corrections or revisions. In some cases, we may decide that the
work does not fit this volume. However, we hope for wide participation and want
this to be a fun, inclusive, and diverse project. If we suggest revisions to
your first draft and do not immediately accept it for the book, send us a
revision by March 15.
Deadline for final work: April 2, 2019. This is the date by which
we must receive final contributions, including correctly formatted typescripts.
Provisional publication date: June 1, 2019. Around this time, the
book will be available for purchase as a print-on-demand volume. It will not be
available in digital form. The price will be as affordable as possible; no one
involved in the project expects to make any profit from it. The book will
contain no digital text, only images of typewriting.
A few questions and suggestions
Fred Durbin has
come up with the following questions and tips that may be useful. Take them as
suggestions, not directives. Not all of the questions need to be answered in
your stories and poems, but they may help you imagine the setting and events
for your work.
1. What happened to the digital world? Why can human beings no longer use
computers and the Internet?
2. How widespread and/or uniform is this digital collapse? How far along
is it? Has the problem just occurred, or does it lie fifty years in the
background of your story?
3. How does the lack of digital technology affect society? How does it
impact the world and the nation on a large scale, and how does it affect the
individual family or person?
4. What is the scope of the story you want to tell? A story can focus on
major events over many years, or it can be the story of one or two people in a
single day or a few hours.
5. Does the society you’re writing about resemble any real era of a place
in history? Remember that you’re writing about the future, but is your setting
like the East Coast of the 1970s? Like the 1930s in London? Like the Stone Age?
Why? Think carefully of where & when your story is set and explore the
6. Why are typewriters a useful tool in the context of your story? Why
would people return to them?
7. How do the typewriters keep running? Remember that they need
maintenance and ribbons. They need paper or something very similar to type on.
And how is their output used? Think carefully here. How does information pass
from place to place in your story?
8. Remember that effective stories are always about people—people facing challenges, people with feelings and thoughts—people
going through experiences. Who is your story about? What does that character
Some recommendations:
1. Be careful not to write too much in the abstract. In your story,
remember to do more than simply describe the world and how it has changed.
Remember the characters!
2. Remember that stories should have some kind of arc—a beginning,
middle, and end.
3. Don’t just show us how great typewriters are—we know that! Instead,
tell us a story involving
Formatting instructions for final texts
formatting is not necessary for drafts. Authors may propose different
formatting if there is justification for it and if the text remains easily
readable. I can e-mail you a Word document formatted according to these
guidelines; it may be useful for planning.
The printed
book will be 6×9 inches, and there will be 0.75-inch margins on the pages, so all
typing must fit within a 4.5 x 7.5 inch
rectangle (11.4 x 19.1 cm). On most typewriters, this is 45 lines of typing, 45
characters per line in pica type or 54 characters in elite type. You may want
to draw a rectangle of these dimensions on a backing sheet that can be seen
through your typing sheet (not on your typing sheet itself).
If you wish,
you may add or subtract one line in order to avoid widows and orphans (first or
last lines of paragraphs that are left on a page by themselves). Going one or
two characters over the line width is also OK if you need to for some reason.
You may use
any common size of paper; what matters is the dimensions of the typing, not the
dimensions of the paper.
Do not use a
typeface smaller than elite (12 characters per inch) or larger than pica (10
cpi). Sizes in between the two are OK. Elite is preferred, so that we can save
some space.
Use an easily
legible typeface (no script typefaces, please) and a fresh ribbon.
On the first
page, type the title of your text, centered, leaving two blank lines above it.
After another blank line, type your name, centered and without the word “by”;
after two more blank lines, start the text.
paragraph should be indented by 3 spaces. Do not put blank lines between
paragraphs. (These paragraph rules apply to stories. Poems may require their own formatting, which the author can choose.)
At the end of
your text, after two blank lines, type the make and model of the typewriter
that you used (and year if you wish), starting at the left margin, without
Please be very
careful with grammar, spelling, and typing. This book will use American
spelling and punctuation. (Use “double quotation marks,” and put commas and
periods inside them.) The editorial team will not be able to correct most
typographical errors. Some mistakes will undoubtedly get into the book and add
a little character; perfection isn’t necessary. However, text should be as neat
and correct as you can reasonably make it. Cover up typos; do not just type
xxxx over mistakes (we recommend using correction tape or plastic film
correction tabs, but any method of hiding your mistake will work).
Page numbers
and (possibly) headers and footers will be added in the final production
process. Do not add them yourself. You may number your pages if you want to,
for your convenience and ours, as long as the numbers are well outside the 6×9 rectangle of the printed
On a separate
page, type a brief biographical statement (maximum 3 lines), beginning with
your first and last name in ALL CAPITALS. The bios will be collected at the end
of the book. You may use a pseudonym or remain anonymous if you like.
may be sent by postal mail to the following address. Avoid folding the pages
(preferably, put them in a large envelope with some cardboard and mark DO NOT
BEND). This is the preferred way to submit your work. It would be wise to keep
a copy.
      Richard Polt
      Dept. of Philosophy
      Xavier University
      3800 Victory Pky.
      Cincinnati, OH 45207-4443
you can scan your typescript and e-mail it to polt@xavier.edu. Scans must follow
these guidelines:
      • Grayscale
      • Resolution 300dpi
      • PDF or JPEG
      • Scan your biographical statement
separately from your contribution
Photos will
not have the same quality as scans, but they may work if there is no better
alternative. Light the piece evenly, keep the camera steady and parallel to the
page, and do not get too close or too far from the page.
For technical questions
about scanning, e-mail Linda M. Au, who will be laying out the book, at linda@lindaau.com.
poetry allowed?
— Yes, but it must fit the theme of the book, and we expect
that most contributions will be stories.
authors collaborate?
— Yes.
I submit more than one piece?
— Yes. However, be advised that we may not have
space to publish more than one.
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.
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.
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 Cold
Hard Type.
I be paid?
— No. No one will make any money from this project. We will
profit in the form of joy, fun, and the satisfaction of contributing to the
typewriter insurgency.
I at least get a free copy of the book?
— No, but we will ensure that
it is as affordable as possible.
I have sent you this document, you are on my list of interested people and will
receive all updates.
January 15, 2019


  1. Bill M

    I'll make some two-sided sheets to pass out to the local typing community. Cold Hard Type on the front and the guidelines on the back.

  2. Richard P

    Great! I hope to get some submissions from the Typochondriacs.

  3. Richard P

    Excellent, just send me an e-mail.

  4. Gazpacho


    I find this a very exciting endeavor and wish to participate.

    Will it be possible and acceptable to submit more than one work to the project?

    Thanks in advance

    T. A.

  5. Richard P

    Thanks! Yes, you're welcome to submit more than one piece.

  6. AmsterdamAssassin

    And how can the contribution be submitted? Hand-typed copy or .doc attached to email?

  7. Richard P

    As stated above, "Drafts of fiction and poetry may be digital or typewritten, but the final version must be typewritten." The final version can be sent to me on paper or as a JPG or PDF. I am about to update the text for this blog post—but to make sure that you get all further updates, please e-mail me. Thanks for your interest!


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Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207