Sunday, November 5, 2023

2023/2024 Lindenbaum Prize announcement

 The Lindennbaum Prize is sponsored by Peter Agapovcontributor to Lloyd of Gamebooks and owner of  Augmented Reality Adventure Games who is very generously providing the first prize.

The Lindenbaum Prize is also sponsored by Crumbly Head Games who is providing free licenses to The Gamebook Authoring Tool as prizes and also has a free version of the Gamebook Authoring Tool that goes up to 100 sections.

Many thanks to Tammy Badowski for donating her time to the Lindenbaum Prize

Hi all! I am excited to announce the 3rd annual Lindenbaum competition!

The award is inspired by the Windhammer competition which ran from 2008-2015. I loved entering my books, seeing other books, voting and getting feedback. To be fair, I loved every aspect of it.

So, when it was discontinued, it left a hole. Between 2016 and now, I was very busy. However, I have a bit more time now and I was also shocked when I was on an online gamebook meetup to learn that almost no one there had heard of the Windhammer competition.

If you look at the list of Windhammer entrants, you will see a few familiar names. This is basically what kickstarted a lot of careers for the new gamebook writing crew.

I would love for that to continue with the new fans we have picked up along the way so that they can have a gateway into the gamebook community. I found the chance to meet new people and get lots of expert feedback invaluable.

So, without further ado, here are the details for the Lindenbaum competition:

Entry requirements for the 2023/2024 Lindenbaum competition

All entries must be in English.

All entries must be original works incorporating unique characters and world settings. This can include real world settings, people and events as long as they aren't the property of someone.

All entries must be previously unpublished works.

All entrants must state clearly on the first page of their entries that they are the authors of the work submitted.

All entries must be in any format that I can edit and turn into a pdf and sent as an attachment and link to

Formats I know I can do this with are: RTF, doc, docx, Google docs, pdf, - leave a comment if there is a format that you want to know about. I don't have access to Apple devices.

All character or status sheets provided with entries must be presented in a simple layout that does not include complex table formats.

All entries must be spell-checked and thoroughly tested prior to submission.

The total length of the entry does not exceed 100 sections and a word count of 25,000 words.

Illustrations will not be accepted as a part of an entry except in two specific circumstances. 

Exception 1: Maps that are integral to navigation within the gamebook.

Exception 2: Graphics necessary as a part of puzzles or clues integral to the entry's narrative.

Graphics provided for these purposes must be in a format that is compatible with pdfs.

Graphics purely of an illustrative nature will not be accepted.

The entry may either be a complete stand-alone story or a self-contained excerpt from a larger gamebook adventure of your own creation.

The entry can be of any genre except erotica.

There is no entry fee.

All rights remain with the author and the author can withdraw their entry at any time during the course of the competition.

An entrant can submit one entry only.

All participants must have some way of receiving the prize money. I can send Paypal or BACS or a cheque in the post. Any other method will need to be agreed. Account information is not required by the organisers of this competition unless you are one of the winning entrants. Only at the time of winning a prize will you be asked for your details.


I will not be doing any hyperlinking of any entries. It is up to the entrant to hyperlink their entries or not.

Competition deadlines for 2023/2024

5th November 2023: Competition guidelines released

6th December 2023: Entry submissions begin

20th February 2024: Entry submissions close.

1st March 2024: Voting begins.*

30th April 2024: Voting closes.*

10th May 2024: Winners announced.*

* If there are more than 10 entries, these dates will be extended. The length of the extension will depend on how many entries there are.

Winning entries

This year, the winning entries will be decided from a combination of judges' decisions and reader votes. The judges' votes and the readers' votes will have equal weighting when determining the winning entry.


We have 6 judges for this year's Lindenbaum competition. Here is who they are:

Andrew Greene (winner of the first Lindenbaum award and merit award winner of the 2nd)

Hieronymous J. Doom - presenter of the awesome Fantastic Fights podcast and writer of many gamebooks that you can get if you become his patreon.

Ashton MacSaylor - 3 time merit award winner of Windhammer, writer of The Good, The Bad and the Undead and other gamebooks (see his blog).

Keith P. Phillips - author of Siege of Sardath and currently writing A Moral Paradox with several young people. Keith is currently doing an Arts Council funded project to make a gamebook video game: Literature Alive - Digital Writes

Paul Gresty - Writer of The Frankenstein Wars, Fabled Lands 7 and Windhammer entrant.

Peter Agapov - writer of great gamebook analysis blog posts on his blog and mine. He also provides the winning prize money.

Things the judges are looking for

Literary ability
Good writing: i.e. vivid descriptions, believable dialogue, compelling characters and scenarios, etc.
How well the narrative flows
How good the spelling and grammar is
How engaging is the use of language is

The game system
How good the game system is at complementing the theme and setting
How intuitive the game system is
How much the game system encourages strategic thinking and offers hidden tactics that enrich the gameplay.
No blind choices (where you have no information whatsoever about which way to go)
Reasonable odds (no 1 in a 100 chance of survival rolls)

The story
Meaningful consequences of your actions (i.e. the results seem to actually follow from your choices)
How well does the story flow?
How much sense does the story make?

Technical ability
All the section links work
Every scenario, including draws or unexpected events, is adequately addressed.

How innovative is the gamebook?
How entertaining is the gamebook?
How experimental is the gamebook?
How well are these ideas executed?

A valid vote must be forwarded by email to A valid vote must nominate the three gamebooks most favoured by the voter from the competition entrants. A vote with less than three nominations cannot be accepted. A vote forwarded with more than three nominations will only have the first three accounted for in the voting tabulation.

Only one voter email is allowed per reader. All votes will be checked for duplication of email addresses.

Feedback to the authors may be forwarded to the competition sponsors at All feedback given will be provided to authors at the end of competition as a part of the email notification of results.


Winning entrant

A cash prize of £100 GBP (Great British Pounds) to be paid within 48 hours.

A desktop licence to the Gamebook Authoring Tool which lasts for 1 year.

A minifigure painted by Hieronymous J. Doom.

A First Prize certificate memorialising their success in the competition.

Merit awards

Two entries are chosen for Merit awards. These entrants receive:

A cash prize of £30 GBP (Great British Pounds) to be paid within 48 hours.

A Merit Award certificate memorialising their success in the competition,

Commendation awards

If there are 10 or more entries, there will be 3 commendation awards. The entrants receive:

A Commendation Certificate memorialising their success in the competition.

Gamebook writing help

If you haven't written a gamebook before, you might think that arranging and randomising the sections might be a problem. However, there are now good gamebook writing programs out there. One is The Gamebook Authoring Tool, which has a free version specifically designed to write a 100 section gamebook and export it to Rich Text Format. You can try it here: About The GameBook Authoring Tool – Crumbly Head Games

Also, for tips on writing gamebooks, take a look at the reading list I have compiled (found at Lloyd of Gamebooks: Want to write a gamebook? Then here's a reading list (2023 edition))

Ashton Saylor would like you to read this post in particular:

Friday, November 3, 2023

Gamebook Secret Santa (UK residents only)

 It's the 2023 gamebook secret santa!

*******This is for UK residents only******
To join in, simply click on the link below (you might also need to sign up to Elfster).
On the 30th November, Elfster will send you someone to be a secret santa for.
The budget is £20 and make sure you make a gamebook wishlist!
Have fun!