Saturday, October 16, 2021

Call for submissions! Margin Releases: Typewritten Tales of Transgression

 Call for submissions




Margin Releases:

Typewritten Tales of Transgression


edited by

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


published by

Loose Dog Press

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 seriesParadigm ShiftsEscapementsBackspaces 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, or


Richard Polt

Dept. of Philosophy

Xavier University

3800 Victory Pky.

Cincinnati, OH 45207-4443





Monday, October 11, 2021

Teaser #2: Handy Dandy

Here's a second teaser from Dead Keys.

And yes, we are about to announce the theme for the 2022 volume in the Cold Hard Type series!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

'Tis the Terror Season

 As Halloween approaches, it's time to post a few teasers for those who don't yet have a copy of Dead Keys. Here's the first.

And yes, we are about to announce the theme for the 2022 volume in the Cold Hard Type series!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

An East German in southern Indiana

This Kolibri makes grading papers enjoyable during a secluded weekend in Brown County, Indiana. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Mecanographic music in Cincinnati

This Lettera 22 is on its way ...

... to Cincinnati's grand Music Hall ...

... where it will serve as a musical instrument.

No, not in Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter" (which, honestly, I wouldn't mind if I never heard again) but in the more aesthetically challenging 2016-17 piece "Aello — ballet mécanomorphe" by Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth, which the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is performing on October 1. The score specifically calls for a typewriter "of type Olivetti Lettera 22 or similar." I was glad to be able to provide just the right machine.

Here is a performance of the piece in Paris, using an incorrect typewriter:

Sunday, September 19, 2021

WordPlay Cincy mural features writers and a typewriter

WordPlay Cincy, the nonprofit for which I've volunteered as Typewriter Guy since 2012, is moving into a much bigger building in the same Cincinnati neighborhood (Northside). This will allow the organization to evolve from offering after-school writing programs to becoming a more full-fledged community center. 

Their old location used to feature an impressive mural by Shepard Fairey, featuring the Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi (she later became State Counsellor of Myanmar, and was widely criticized for countenancing the genocidal persecution of the Rohingya minority).

So of course the new building deserves a mural, too. This one was designed by local artist Brandon Hawkins and painted by students. I was pleased to see that it features a typewriter.

 To the right are seven inspiring writers. Starting at the top and going clockwise, they are: 

Amanda Gorman, the 23-year old who was the first National Youth Poet Laureate and who recited a poem at Pres. Biden's inauguration:

Writer James Baldwin, shown here with his Olympia SM7:

Joy Harjo, current US Poet Laureate and member of the Muscogee Nation:

Nikki Giovanni (center), poet who grew up in Cincinnati (her tombstone awaits her a short walk away from my house, in Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery). Here she is with her electric Smith-Corona:

Paul Laurence Dunbar, pioneering African-American poet from nearby Dayton, Ohio, most famous for the line “I know why the caged bird sings”: 

Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Mary Oliver:

Mexican-American novelist Sandra Cisneros (shown here with her 1930s Underwood Universal):

According to a fundraiser, "For the second phase of the mural, WordPlay and local collaborators and artists will design and install accessible, tactile elements from the ground to approximately 5' high for the blind and visually impaired to interact with the subject matter expressed in the 2-D painting throughout. Those elements will include Braille plates with information about the individuals and student writing depicted in the mural, 3-D ceramic pieces and other unique, inclusive and interactive installments."

I have to ask: Will there be a typewriter? 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Bumper crop

 My car's bumper sports more and more stickers from outposts of the Typewriter Insurgency.

Here's a closer look.

These are from Bryan Mahoney, The Typin' Pint:

These are from Ian McAndrew, Iron Fox Typewriters:

These are from Kirk Jackson, Nashville Typewriter:

From Ted Munk, The Typewriter Database

From Scott Sprunger, Poetry On The Spot:
From Mitch Hamm, Trinity Typewriter (design by his daughter Trinity, website under construction):

From Antony Valoppi, Type Space:
And finally, there is my own little enterprise (currently on hiatus due to a new puppy):

There's still room for a few more stickers. Any recommendations?

Saturday, August 28, 2021


Of the books I’ve read on creative writing, this one is the most comprehensive. 

Burroway offers some advice that’s relevant to typewriter users, who may sometimes have wished that they had a more easily alterable, digital text.


 So don’t bewail the need to retype your work as you transfer it from typescript to computer. It may be a blessing.

(Scanning is also an option, but it may introduce errors that are tedious to correct. I retyped my novel, and don’t regret it.)

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Potto Factor

Not everything in this blog has to be about typewriters, does it? I recently rediscovered this ca. 1979 artifact, preserved by a friend, that shows just how sophisticated my sense of humor was at the time. I was fascinated by prosimians. (The more modern term is strepsirrhines.) I did have my Remington Noiseless no. 7, but didn't choose to use it on this dustjacket for a prosimian action novel. Maybe it will bring some chuckles.

Note the prescient inclusion of a cell phone with video screen, and the reference to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Little did I know that I would eventually own a typewriter that refers to Ulan Bator.

OK, so I did find a typewriter connection.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Athenian adventure

I was invited to a small typewriter collectors' get-together in Athens, Ohio this weekend. It's a lovely drive on US 50, passing through places such as McArthur.

We gathered in a park, where kind organizer Dave Brechbiel and his wife Sherry were ready with cookies, veggies, and cool water. Dave also organized Virtual Herman's last year. No wonder he was the worthy recipient of this year's QWERTY Award—which was presented to him at dinner.

Dave got us started on Show and Tell with a story about the provenance of his Corona Zephyr.

My fellow Cincinnati-area collector Mitch Hamm told us about his beautifully restored Remie Scout.

Brandon Bledsoe showed us his dealer-repainted mint-green Royal portable.

Kirk Jackson (Nashville Typewriter) showed us a Lettera 22 once owned by pioneering TV critic Dwight Newton, complete with a letter by Newton about all the good things that came from this typewriter.

Dave Cannon told us how he got the Remington that has written many books with him.

Mark Petersen (Totally Your Type) showed us a bargain Underwood with a filed-off serial number that has brought him much joy. 

Preston English told us about several typewriters, including a very rare Royal HE electric with a wide carriage and a half-backspace key (on the far left on this table).

I myself showed the group Heidegger's typewriter.

Plenty of other machines were on display or for sale. I brought my folding Hammond and took this shot of it next to a wonderful letter from a Parisian Hammond dealer, in Mitch Hamm's collection.

Herman Price brought these extras from his collection for sale. You can see a Western Union Underwood mill (caps-only telegrapher's typewriter), an Annell' (relabeled Woodstock), a Stearns, and peeking out at the right of this photo is an ivory-colored Student (Bing no. 2 name variant).

A typewriter was hurt in the following part of the afternoon's events.

This is a Royal Scrittore II, a ca. 2012 typewriter made in China.

I'm sure you're asking the question I posed in my 2013 review.

Most religions involve some type of sacrifice, and typewriterism is no exception. Brandon and I had been planning to throw this machine from the window of a moving car, à la Royal Road Test
(memorably recreated in "California Typewriter"). But instead ...

Mark demonstrates his skill with a slingshot:

Too bad, so sad.

At least the Scrittore, which can't type worth a damn, did do something very well in its final act: it provided catharsis after an absolutely wretched year.

Our other activities included a round of miniature golf.

The winner of the tournament was Viktorija Hamm, who got an appropriate prize.

I said goodbye to four typewriters from my collection, including this Siemag II T ...

... this Woodstock ...

... my maroon Norwegian Klein-Urania ...

... and this nearly immaculate Adler Favorit II. 

Here's Adam S. testing the machine (but the buyer was Kirk).

I love these typewriters, as I love every machine in my collection, but I am learning the art of letting go. At this rate, if I make it to my actuarial time of death, I may get the collection down to a reasonable size for my heirs.

I have to admit I was sorely tempted by the prettiest R. C. Allen I've seen:

But I resisted, even though Dave was giving it away for free and it spontaneously typed an appeal to me.

Happily, it did find another home.

And I have to admit that my trunk did leave Athens ...

... with a new addition to my collection.