If you’re wondering if THE OS PRESS is right for you, consider this: our previous and forthcoming authors have ranged in age from 20 to 80. For many, this is their first book.
We are interested in supporting those who are interested in supporting each other and the community — we care less about your pedigree and more about your energy. And most of all we care about your voice: that it is uniquely yours.
We will never publish derivative, standard issue work — we’d rather take a risk on an unknown than publish more of the same from a star.
We understand the creative impulse as a political and social action, and publishing as a tool in a larger fight to directly circumvent the top-down writing of history. Ideally, you are already engaged in your work in a way that understands this — or you’d like to be.
We believe it is a privilege and a joy to enter into this process with you – and you will always retain rights to your material. However, we are committed to releasing the fear of a scarcity economy, and publish under a creative commons license that encourages educational and other non commercial sharing. We support the establishment of new protocol that work for the creative community, and support our growth – not those that stifle and teach fear, under the apparent flag of “protection.”
As part of our commitment to transparency, we provide detailed Author Resources outlining our standard project terms and the answers to many FAQ's on our website. If you're considering whether publishing with the OS is right for you, it's a great idea to read this over before submitting.
All of our print volumes to date are available here, directly via The Operating System. Most are printed by an independent, family owned and operated printer, Spencer Printing, in Honesdale, PA., as well as at bookstores and online via a hybrid distribution model using both Small Press Distribution and Ingram.
The Operating System is always in the process of resilient reinvention. This platform was designed as a hub for forwardthinking, proactive creators — individuals and groups who wish to become more than the sum of our parts, together.
Current webcontent streams of production derive from all corners of The OS’s geographic and virtual community landscape – here, collaborators, partners and contributors have an always available opportunity for online publication and dialogue, whether in a sustained fashion or in a single post.
You will find here ongoing web series to which unsolicited submissions are accepted, but if you have an idea for cross-pollination or would like to have The OS host an ongoing new series in text or other media, please email us.
The Operating System invites you to be part of a very special series curated by OS founder/creative director Lynne DeSilva-Johnson (@thetroublewithbartleby) celebrating the life and work of Marthe Reed, as we eagerly anticipate the release of her masterwork, 'Ark Hive,' from the OS in February. Friends, colleagues, and others touched by this magnificent, generous woman/poet/human are invited to select an excerpt either from the manuscript (which can be provided to you via pdf) or from other work of Marthe's, to share on the OS website alongside a personal anecdote, story, or other memory of Marthe. The series will run as long as there are pieces received and memories shared. Submissions may be included in a special section within Ark Hive meant to honor her life and work, which we feel must become as much a part of the archive as the text itself.
Ephemera, photos, video, audio, and other archival documentation welcomed / encouraged.
**Please email email@example.com if you would like access to the PDF to select an excerpt from it.
The Operating System is actively soliciting manuscripts to be published as part of our "Unsilenced Texts" series. We have announced our 2019 Catalog and are currently reading for 2020 but titles of imminent critical importance for this series in particular will be considered for earlier adoption in rare cases.
GLOSSARIUM: UNSILENCED TEXTS AND MODERN TRANSLATIONS was established in early 2016 in an effort to recover silenced voices outside and beyond the familiar poetic canon, seeking out and publishing both contemporary translations and little known (and unknown) out of print texts, in particular those under siege by restrictive regimes and silencing practices in their home (or adoptive) countries.
The term “Glossarium” derives from latin/greek and is defined as “a collection of glosses or explanations of words, especially of words not in general use, as those of a dialect, locality or an art or science, or of particular words used by an old or a foreign author.” The series is curated by Managing Editor Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, assisted by Stephen Ross and Ariel Resnikoff, as well as with the help of a wide range of global allies and friends.
We are specifically seeking dual-language translation or translingual projects, as well as archival / found / unknown / out of print projects in English.
Our interest here is consistent with the rest of our catalog: we are open to any genre, as well as hybrid genre and scholarly work. Long fiction submissions are least in keeping with our interests, but if you feel a work of fiction in translation is strongly aligned with our mission, you are welcome to submit that as well.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work in our catalog, in particular the work in translation. If you don't have any of our volumes, we ask that in good faith you consider purchasing a book to help offset our quickly growing costs! We are all volunteer run and have never charged for submissions in our history, but your help and support means a lot. Presses like ours our a community affair.
FYI: we are a queer run, actively feminist, radical organization committed to social justice, as well as to bringing to print projects that may struggle to find a niche elsewhere. We reserve the right to roundly reject any and all submissions that contain misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist, or other hateful content. If your work contains any potentially offensive or triggering content, but you believe it is still appropriate for the OS, please include a trigger warning in your cover letter.
Check out our catalog here, where you can order any book at 20% off with a special code for submitters, "SUBMITTABLE," which you can enter at check out. There are also options below for you to order one of our books here at a discount directly via this submission -- please specify what book you choose in your cover letter if you select this option. Thank you!
TERMS and CONTRACTS: as part of our commitment to transparency, we keep public the basic terms of our contracts, and help you see behind the curtain into how our agile, shoestring model operates. Because we don't charge fees and don't have institutional or major philanthropic support, a publishing agreement with the OS is a collaborative venture with fellow artists / poets focused on making a beautiful object, getting it into the archive, and into hands -- not a ticket to remunerative success, most likely. Please be familiar and comfortable with our terms!
Most importantly, we look forward to reading your work!
With our best,
The Operating System
Stemming from a latin phrase from the second century AD, a reductive ideal of orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano has for years been visible in public health, miltary, and sporting contexts. It's time to trouble this paradigm. What (and who) determines the terms of a healthy mind in a healthy body? What practices, for those whose bodies challenge a visible norm of expectation or performative "health" are part of a deeply complex, creative and rich practice of engagement with the self, the body, and community, troubling the very idea of "health" for all involved?
The Operating System invites you to contribute to an ongoing project across web and print platforms, critically considering the role of the challenged* body in creative life and practice—and inviting both product and process inquiry work from the diverse practices of human bodies troubling these lines across disciplines.
[More detailed info on this below but just to clarify: your participation in this series is invited in layered forms of engagement with your practice, and will include 1) creative material / production (in any discipline; including multimedia formats for web extensions); 2) expository writing / process notes / artists or mission statement; as well as optional prompts / resources / ephemera.]
This project is emergent: both populated by and facilitated by humans living and working at the intersection of chronic illness/disability/queerness, it necessarily has evolved over several years on its own timeframe -- a project moving in Crip Time. First envisioned as a single edited volume it became clear that this could never be adequate for our purposes, and also that the constrictions and bandwidth limitations of a unique volume were too delimiting for many potential contributors, many already living at some of the most challenging, precarious intersections of disability, gender, sexuality, race, socio-economic status, and so on.
We are re-opening this call on a rolling basis for our online series as well as for future print volumes -- the first of which will appear this spring, and the next of which may be a year from now, or (as previously explained) may define its own necessary calendar.
Both print and web extensions of this series exist to both document and trouble the lived experience and process of creative practice within these often invisible spaces. Individuals across disciplines and organizations are invited not only to submit work engaging with these challenges, but explicitly also to contribute writing on their process / mission—as well as prompts, exercises, and/or other resources. This is seen as an exercise in community building, a collective intelligence gathering, perhaps even more than it is a repository for the outward-facing end result of creative practice.
Not all of this material needs to already exist -- feel free to submit as much as you have that fits this call and/or your artists statement / mission statement and documentation *of* your practice; provided you are willing to produce this process materials we are happy to bring you into the project and work with you towards these ends if necessary. We've created framing questions / prompts to help you produce the process writing.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Below you'll find some further thoughts and framing questions to help you on your way, as well as recommendations for materials to submit:
Our entire lives are lived in bodies, and yet in many ways we are forced to live and behave as though our bodies are secondary to an invented idea of a distinct and isolated, thought-driven “self”, performing the illusion of that pernicious dialectic of mind-body separation so central to much of western philosophy, modern Judeo-Christian religion, and the sustenance of institutional norms and expectations.
Behind the curtain of creative practice, and behind the public face and story, the myth of the “artist,” often deeply hidden for a variety of reasons, the body remains: the broken body, the body in pain, the body at the hospital again, the depressed body in the bed for weeks, the body that doesn’t feel like it belongs to you, the shamed body, the dangerous body, the traumatized body. Sometimes, part of this body’s story becomes our story, but as in Borges and I, the story often becomes unfamiliar, the version of your body one that becomes falsified and magnified, out of our control.
So: we ask you. What is your body’s story, and how have challenges to that body, and to that story, been central to the story of your creative practice? We want to see the work that came out of that consideration, and so, too, do we want to talk to you about your experience, so we can share our stories, and learn from each other — and invite a casting off of stigma and shame.
- Does your body have a presence in/relationship to your creative practice, specifically your creative processes?
- Has the relationship of your body to your practice altered over a period of time (even a short period, or a sudden alteration) through the actions of age, illness, injury, childbearing, gender transition, or other bodily changes?
- Has caretaking activity in relation to another’s bodily changes become important to your own creative practice, whether as subject or as frame?
- Does your work reflect your somatic realities, whether overtly or subtly? Does the body inform the structure of your work, over or in addition to its content?
A deeply, deeply ableist culture is the source of so much of our fear and shame, so much of the self-erasure and silencing around these stories. For many of us who are already bioprecarious, deeply fearful about the job market, financial instability, with a lack of adequate healthcare, and lack of adequate interpersonal resources, to come forward with our body’s story is often to risk destabilizing ourselves even further. We risk alienation, isolation, job loss, spiraling depression, and more, fears that may be very familiar to you. We may avoid treatment or lifestyle changes out of fear of stigma or isolation.
We, too, are unsure and somewhat ill-at-ease with the word "challenged" in the title, but it remains in part as a response to that. We have struggled to find another word that encompasses, specifically, the umbrella under which we seek to engage with this discourse. For the "challenged" body with which this project interfaces is not necessarily disabled or ill, physically or mentally. The “challenged” body in the title could be read as the challenge of having a body, being challenged by the body, or ongoing challenge to the body. The body’s relationship to disability, disease, mental or physical illness, injury, trauma, addiction, pregnancy, medical complications, caretaking, aging, dysmorphia, gender transition, obesity, eating disorders, physical abuse, racial or gender bias around physical attributes or lack thereof — these and more fall under this umbrella.
Before submitting note that participation in this project for all participants will eventually include:
- Submission of original creative material / production (in any discipline; including multimedia formats for web extensions) **However, some of this work CAN have been previously published, shown, or performed, provided you have the rights to the work or we can get them. Attribution will be given.
- Completion and submission of expository writing / essay ON your experience of bodily challenge (either writing you’ve already done and/or in response to interview prompts we will provide that you can do in a Q&A format or free-write a response to)
- Not strictly required but ideal: process notes and ephemera, links & resources you have used in your healing, research, or creative process
If you are not interested in submitting any writing you’ve already done about your experience or writing about your experience, then this is not the project for you.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
You can use our submittable form to submit texts, visual work, composition, still images (or notations) of performance, dance, or other media that engage directly with the body and its challenges. We welcome prose, poetry, hybrid texts, film, comics, interviews, performance texts and documentation, etc. We are especially interested in work that avoids, complicates or transcends traditional narrative forms/modes.
Please accompany your submission with a cover letter including a brief bio and a “practice statement” that helps situate your work within the somatic conversation. If submitting non-text work, please include notes about your medium.
NOTE: ordering a discounted book with no shipping fee from The Operating System is given as an option below to help us defray our costs as an all volunteer run organization with no institutional funding. It is not required for submission!
*Proceeds from future full price sales of ICS Print Documents will go to organizations supporting the intersection of disability and the arts.
Beginning 2018 at the Operating System, there will be several online features and series run by our new Contributing Editors. The Experimental Speculative Poetics series, spearheaded by Kenyatta JP García, will be focused on new approaches to speculative poetry as speculative poetry is arguably one of the oldest forms of poetry. I mean, you telling me, Gilgamesh isn’t spec po?
So, what are we looking for? Ex-Spec Po. We're interested in seeing speculative poetry but with a more experimental twist. We want sci-fi, fantasy, Afro-futurism, magical realism, retro-futures, weird westerns, paranormal, supernatural, superhero, fairy tales, Southern and Ethnic Gothic imaginings but with a fresher take. We'd like postmodernist and meta-modernists approaches to the weird. Dada and surrealism, oulipo, uncreative writing, erasures, really push the boundaries of innovation while wandering through many realms and dimensions of the often unexplainable. Let’s see how can a poet apply hyperrealism to the speculative? Is there a post-conceptual way to take on such imaginary narratives? Is there a way to bring speculative poetry and the post-avant-garde worlds together? We sure hope so.
"Poetics" is understood broadly here. Prose form? Sure. Research driven? Sure. Hybrid? Fantastic. We are open to multimedia, as well. If you have any questions about your work, let us know.
Submit 1-3 pages of work as a PDF or .doc file, .jpg or .png for images. got questions? Email us.
We'd also like you to tell us about your work in this area and what it means to you -- the OS is always interested in the back-end of the code.
FYI: We are a queer run, actively feminist, radical organization committed to social justice, as well as to bringing to print projects that may struggle to find a niche elsewhere. We reserve the right to roundly reject any and all submissions that contain misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist, or other hateful content. If your work contains any potentially offensive or triggering content, but you believe it is still appropriate for the OS, please include a trigger warning in your cover letter.
[RE:CON]VERSATIONS, as its name might suggests, seeks to create value in doing “recon” in conversation form around the production of otherwise ephemeral creative production. How can we, in our role as auto-archivist-ontologist-documentarians, leave a trail for ourselves and for others that exceeds and extends the value of a performance, exhibit, lecture, reading, or other event?
This is a space for solo or collaborative interview, conversation, annotation, reflection, or other expository exploration of the research, development, production, (etc) aspects of the creative process. It is our belief that to “open source” conversations of this type is to create a rich resource of histories within which we may locate our own practice / intentions / ideas and plans, get inspired and gain insights into our craft and community.