2013 Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction
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Results for the 2013 Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction

Arborell.com is proud to announce that the winner of the 2013 Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction is Philip Armstrong for his excellent paranormal adventure, 'Normal Club. Merit awards have also been awarded to Ramsay Duff for his outstanding steampunk adventure, The Scarlet Thief, and to Paul Struth for his remarkable sci-fi adventure, Out of Time.

This year sees the introduction of a series of Commendation Awards and Arborell.com is pleased to announce that these awards have been won by Marty Runyon for his crime story, The Independence Job, to Andy Moonowl for his fantasy adventure, Tipping Point, and to Nicholas Stillman for his pre-apocalyptic Western, Gunlaw. Well done to all participants and congratulations to this year's winners.

Fourteen entries were accepted for this year's competition and the interest generated by them has been overwhelming. In the six weeks of the voting period the number of visitors attending the competition webpage more than doubled over last year, with a commensurate increase in downloads and voting numbers. I would very much like to thank all the readers who voted in the Windhammer Prize and to all those who provided feedback to the authors. Without your consideration this competition would be short-lived indeed.

I have said in past competitions that it is no small thing to ask entrants to write original gamebooks for the Windhammer Prize. To write a gamebook (even one that must be limited to 100 sections) requires considerable time and creative effort. It is the type of writing project that can take months to accomplish and I appreciate greatly the work done by all the authors who entered this year's competition.

As has been the case in past years all entries have now been placed into the Windhammer Prize gamebook archive and can be accessed from that page along with all other gamebooks submitted to the competition since 2008.

May Glory and Renown follow all who entered.

2013 Prize Winners

'Normal Club by Philip Armstrong The Scarlet Thief by Ramsay Duff Out of Time by Paul Struth

The Independence Job by Marty Runyon Tipping Point by Andy Moonowl Gunlaw by Nicholas Stillman

For anyone wishing to obtain this year's entries, or read the contest guidelines and
content criteria for 2013 they have been retained below.

Competition Entries for 2013

Please note that these entries have been presented in a standard competition PDF format and have been listed in no particular order regarding merit or subject matter.

Paul Struth Out of Time
Andy Moonowl Tipping Point
Zachary Carango Moreau
Matthew Webber The Thing That Crawls
Ramsay Duff The Scarlet Thief
Marty Runyon The Independence Job
Stuart Lloyd The Lindenbaum Memory Palace
Chan Sing Goh Merchants of the Spice Islands
Alessandro Viola Redundant!
Robert Douglas Any Port in a Storm
Philip Armstrong 'Normal Club
S. A. Dirty Instruments
Nicholas Stillman Gunlaw
Kieran Coghlan The Experiment

Entry Requirements and Content Guidelines for the 2013 competition

All entries submitted this year met the following criteria.

  • All entries must be in English.
  • All entries must be original works incorporating unique characters and world settings.
  • 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 provided in rich text format (rtf) and sent as an email attachment to entry@arborell.com.
  • 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.
  • As this is a competition for short gamebook fiction it is required that the total length of the entry does not exceed 100 sections and a word count of 23,000 words (roughly equivalent to 40 A4 pages if printed).
  • 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.
  • As this is a gamebook competition the entry must possess at the least a rudimentary character generation system and/or inventory management process to be eligible for the Windhammer Prize.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • All rights remain with the author and the author may withdraw their entry at any time during the course of the competition.
  • An entrant can submit only one entry.
  • All participants must have a valid PayPal account at the time of submission. For reasons given below you must have a valid PayPal account if you wish to receive a cash prize. 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 PayPal details.

Competition Deadlines for 2013

The following competition calendar applied for the 2013 competition.

1 March Competition guidelines released
1 August Entry submissions begin
7 September Entry submissions close
14 September Voting begins
30 October Voting closes*
7 November Winners announced*

As in previous years additional time was given in this year's competition for both the submission and voting phases to account for the growing number of entries, and the time required to properly evaluate them by readers. As requested by a number of entrants the date for providing competition rules and guidelines was also maintained as the 1st of March to provide a longer development period for entries.

* This year it was decided that if the entries for this year's competition exceeded 14 the close of voting and winner announcement dates would be extended 2 weeks to the 14th and 21st of November respectively. This extension of the voting period was not required as the entries received did not exceed that number.

The Entry List

Due to the large number of entries received in the 2012 competition it was decided that the entry list could not remain static. To ensure that all entrants received a similar amount of exposure the list was "cycled" so that all entries spent equal time within the top four listings. This provided an equal level of exposure for all participants no matter where they were placed on the initial list.


The Windhammer prize is awarded to the entrant who receives the greatest number of reader votes. This prize relies on votes provided by readers who have read enough of the entries to make a considered choice as to the relative merits of the gamebooks submitted. It is expected by the sponsor of this competition that votes will be provided on this basis. The voting system applied as follows:

  • A valid vote must be forwarded by email to vote@arborell.com. 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 feedback@arborell.com. All feedback given will be provided to authors at the end of competition as a part of the email notification of results.

Prizes - Winning Entrant

The winner of the 2013 Windhammer Prize will receive the following:

  • Publication of their winning entry in the 2013 Windhammer Prize gamebook app by Tin Man Games, developers of the renowned idevice Gamebook Adventures series. More information regarding this publisher can be found at tinmangames.com.au.
  • a cash prize of $250 AUD (Australian Dollars) to be paid within 48 hours into a PayPal account of the winner's choosing. As this is an international competition it has been decided that PayPal is the best mechanism for distributing the prize. If you do not have access to a valid PayPal account the cash prize cannot be paid.
  • A winners certificate memorialising their success in the competition.
  • Featured hosting of their story on arborell.com and inclusion of their entry in the competition gamebook archive. This is optional and is at the discretion of the winning entrant.

Prizes - Merit Awards

Two entries shall also be chosen for Merit awards. These entrants shall receive:

  • Publication of their Merit Award entry in the 2013 Windhammer Prize idevice gamebook app by Tin Man Games.
  • a Merit Award certificate memorialising their success in the competition,
  • a cash prize of $50AUD (Australian Dollars) to be paid within 48 hours into a PayPal account of the Merit Award winner's choosing.
  • Featured hosting of their entries on arborell.com and inclusion of their entry in the competition gamebook archive. As with the hosting of the winning entry this is optional and is at the discretion of the entrant.

Prizes - Commendation Awards

In 2013 three additional awards are to be given in a third tier of Commendation Awards. These awards will be given to the next three authors listed in the voting results. These entrants shall receive:

  • a Commendation Certificate memorialising their success in the competition,
  • Featured hosting of their entries on arborell.com and inclusion of their entry in the competition gamebook archive. As with the hosting of the winning entry this is optional and is at the discretion of the entrant.

An important note on publication of winning entries:

  • The publication of winning entries is a commercial opportunity being offered by Tin Man Games that is available to First Prize and Merit Award winners. Publication will be offered as an idevice app that includes these three winners within the one 2013 compilation title.
  • It is an optional offering to the authors of these winning entries that can be refused at the time of notification or withdrawn from during the app development process.
  • This publication offer is made to winning entrants by Tin Man Games and all negotiation and agreements will be made with Tin Man Games directly.
  • It should be noted that Tin Man Games does expect that some changes may be needed to winning entries to make them compatible with their gamebook development technologies, but this should relate mostly to adjusting rule systems or other unique design mechanics. Story narrative should not be impacted, however an author has the right to withdraw if they believe their gamebook is being altered too greatly by the development process.
  • Arborell.com has included this prize opportunity with the understanding that the Windhammer Prize has no financial interest in the development or sale of any applications that may be produced. Arborell.com receives no royalties or other financial incentives and remains focused only on the fair application of the competition guidelines provided above.

A Note to all Prospective Entrants for 2014

It is the intention of the Windhammer Prize to promote the gamebook genre, and in doing so deliver to readers new and original adventures that express the innovation and creativity that can be found in authors of interactive gamebook fiction today. In pursuit of this objective the Windhammer Prize values most those gamebook entries that expand the boundaries of the genre. If you believe you have an idea for a work of interactive fiction that is both original and innovative then this competition is definitely for you.

To underline this objective of promoting creative and original works of interactive fiction the Windhammer Prize cannot accept entries that use characters or settings identifiable as belonging to already established commercial gamebook series. The focus for this prize is the original and the unique, and because of this the entry criteria have been revised accordingly. One exception is the use of game systems or rule sets that may be similar to existing gamebook series. On this point the competition guidelines allow the use of combat rules, inventory management systems or general gamebook structures that may have similarities with already established gamebook series. It is the intention of the Windhammer Prize to generate unique gamebook experiences and therefore fan-fiction based entries can no longer be accepted.


Any questions regarding information contained here can be forwarded through feedback@arborell.com and will be answered promptly.

Copyright (c) 2016 Wayne Densley. All rights reserved.