What is Typebar Magazine?

What is Typebar Magazine?

By Matt Wolfbridge

Typebar Magazine launches on March 25th, a mere 59 days from now.

What is Typebar Magazine?

My brief answer would be Typebar Magazine is a digital publication offering literary criticism, cultural analysis, and discussion of the finest writing machine ever devised: the typewriter.

I could stop there, having answered the basics. But that answer feels unsatisfying. Yes, Typebar Magazine is all of those things. But it’s something more, or at least I hope it will be.

The user experience of browsing the internet has degraded to such a degree it’s now a banality to point it out. There’s takes from The New York Times, Business Insider, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York, and The Verge all saying the same fundamental thing: the modern internet fucking sucks.

Worthwhile places to spend your time online have become sinking islands beset by a sea of attention-sapping algorithmic sludge, AI-generated articles penned by AI-generated writers, and politically-motivated outrage bait.

It didn’t used to be like this. It’s nearly impossible to imagine now, but browsing the internet all day (or late into the night and early morning, as was often the case) used to be fun. It used to feel good.

But as time went on, there were fewer and fewer places to hang out. Forums all disappeared, replaced with massive subreddits or unwieldy Discord servers. Social media, while fun for years, began it’s slow-but-inevitable death spiral that hit its nadir with Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s launch of the instantly-moribund platform Threads.

Even worse, there were fewer and fewer places to read interesting, thoughtful, and funny articles. Remember The Awl? The Toast? The Outline? Countless other brilliant independent websites not starting with “The”? One by one, they all disappeared until all that remained were TikTok dances, YouTube faces, and deepfakes of the living and the dead.

One day after work, I logged onto my computer, glass of soda in-hand, ready to relax on the internet. A deep melancholy struck me as I realized there was nowhere online to go anymore.

What is Typebar Magazine, you ask?

Typebar Magazine is the old internet, but new.

Typebar Magazine is a place that pays writers for their effort and expertise.

Typebar Magazine is literary criticism operating independently of publisher marketing campaigns.

Typebar Magazine is cultural analysis unshackled from trending news cycles and traffic quotas.

Typebar Magazine is intellectual but informal, irreverently reverent toward art, the human imagination, and the creative process (especially if a typewriter was somehow involved).

And Typebar Magazine is not alone.

As digital media disintegrates, passionate writers and editors across the world have started launching their own independent endeavors. Outlets like Aftermath, 404 Media, Defector, Flaming Hydra, Blood Knife, and Seize the Press are all fighting to preserve the written word.

It’s my hope that Typebar Magazine will make enough of an impression on readers that they’ll consider us kin to those publications.

It’s a lofty goal, but many talented writers have agreed to help me. You’ll have a chance to read their work on March 25th when Typebar Magazine makes its debut.

I’ll see you then.

Matt Wolfbridge is the founder and editor of Typebar Magazine. He is a news industry expat and has spent 13 years in digital media at outlets like Salon, NowThis, and Bleacher Report. He is also a fiction writer whose fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Apocalypse Confidential, and The South Shore Review. He runs the newsletter Abridged Thoughts and has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s “Stonecoast” MFA program.


Photo by Matt Wolfbridge.