Monthly Archives: April 2023

Tea’s Weird Week: Please Help Us Fund QWERTYFEST MKE, a Celebration of Milwaukee History and the Arts

Friends, soliciting money is not something I’m great at. However, I am part of a talented local group that is putting together an event that I believe strongly should be funded. QWERTYFEST MKE is happening June 23-25 this year. It’s a celebration of the typewriter as well as local writers, artists, musicians, and businesses. It includes a party, tours, “Type Talks,” workshops, and a Typewriter Brunch Open Jam. We are also creating a publication called QWERTY Quarterly, a zine that will showcase work by people involved in the event.

The idea for QWERTYFEST came to me when I walked by a historical marker downtown that notes that nearby was the workshop of Christopher Latham Sholes, who invented the QWERTY keyboard. I had seen this historical marker before, and always thought it was great that Milwaukee has this connection to the typewriter. This time when I walked by I thought– this is something that should be celebrated. Fast forward a few months and it’s a thing. My co-organizer for this event is Molly Snyder, a senior editor at Many other people are participating, and it’s a great thrill for me to have this opportunity to work with this assembled talent.

Here’s what’s going on at the first QWERTYFEST MKE.

Our logo, designed by Alicia Krupsky.

Friday, June 23: National Typewriter Day Party @ The Dandy. June 23 is the date that Sholes got his patent for the QWERTY keyboard, which he invented 150 years ago. It’s the perfect day to kick off the fest with a party that features a performance by Nineteen Thirteen. This cello-and-percussion duo’s music is the perfect fit for QWERTYFEST. Janet Schiff’s beautiful cello is not as old as the typewriter, but it is a 110-year-old, crafted in the year 1913. And Victor DeLorenzo’s innovative drumming is what helped give Violent Femmes their signature sound. Listen to them here:

The party also features the Clackathon, hosted by Anja Notanja Sieger. This is a unique event that is staged as a typing competition where local writers are challenged, game show style. It’s going to be a lot of fun! The evening will also feature a couple of vendors, QWERTYFEST merch, a crossword puzzle challenge, raffle for cool stuff (including a typewriter), and drinks at The Dandy’s bars. Tickets are $25 or part of the ALL CAPS Weekend Pass ($75).

Saturday, June 24: Various Locations

Workshops @ The Bindery (ticket info soon)

11am: “Typewriter 101” with teacher Lisa Floading
Noon: Writing Workshop with Kro, the Traveling Typist

2pm: Special tour @ Forest Home Cemetery (ticket info soon)

4pm: Type Talks @ Forest Home Cemetery’s chapel
“150 Years of the QWERTY Keyboard,” UWM Professor Jason Puskar
Presentation on women and typewriters by Senior Editor Molly Snyder
“Clack Bait: Drawing Stories and Exceptional Encounters,” 2022-23 Pfister Hotel Artist-in-Resident Christopher T. Woods

Admission for all three Type Talks is just $5, or by showing your ALL CAPS Pass.

After party TBA

Sunday, June 25: Typewriter Brunch Open Jam @ Company Brewing

This is open to anyone who wants to bring a typewriter, hang out and have brunch, and write! It’s free, but if you want to go, get one of our free tickets so we can get an idea of how many people to expect. Also, please do order Company Brewing’s great food and drink.

Wait, there’s more! We’re also starting a publication that ties into the event, titled QWERTY Quarterly. It’ll feature profiles on people involved with the event as well as articles on history, poetry, short fiction, a fun page, and more. It’ll be available in stores and at the fest, but you can get a free copy with the ALL CAPS Pass and/or it will be mailed to anyone who donates at levels of $75 or higher.

Pretty great stuff, right? We’re looking forward to celebrating with you and our hope is that the festival continues to grow and expand in the future.


Thanks to those that attended my storytelling session at Lion’s Tooth. I audio recorded the event, which you can listen on Podbean//Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

My eBook Chicago Mothman: A History and Cultural Study of a Monster Case is available on Kindle now:

Tea’s Weird Week: My Chicago Mothman eBook is Live!

Years in the making, I’m glad to say that an eBook project of mine is finally done and out. Chicago Mothman: A History and Cultural Study of a Monster Case contains three pieces. “Chicago Mothman: The Story of Red-eyed Creatures and Green-eyed Monsters” is a repackaging of my two-part article for Fortean Times magazine (a British publication). It ran in their February and March issues. “A Strange Door Opens” is an oral history style writing, in which the investigators in the Chicago Mothman case explain how they got interested in paranormal investigation to begin with. “Mothman: A Cultural Study” is an essay looking at all the ways Mothman has become a pop icon. Plus an Introduction to all this by Yours Truly.

The eBook is 86 pages and is $3.99 (or free on Kindle Unlimited). All monies raised go to the Krulos Lunch Fund so I can get something to eat. Just click here:

This wonderful cover art was illustrated by Stinky Goblin Emporium (who also designs the Milwaukee Krampusnacht art every year).

I’ll be talking about this project and other adventures from my writing career on Sunday, April 16, 4-6pm at Lion’s Tooth.

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram
My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, VA Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)