Announcing the Keep Playing Games Contest

Hello Episode Authors,

In honor of the launch of Episode XOXO on AppleArcade, we’d like to celebrate all things gaming & YOU. We’re kicking off with a special contest to find our next Episode XOXO story.

The theme is Gaming!


Contest Intro

How can gaming and romance mix? You tell us! Is your MC an esports legend who falls for their team’s arch nemesis? Or maybe they fall into their favorite game and have to find their way out only to think maybe the main character is worth staying for?


Entry Requirements

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. You may not enter the contest if you are less than 18 years old when the submission window ends. This contest is open to the global Episode Creator community.


Prizes and Winners

There will be a single winning story for this contest instead of our usual winner’s shelf in the app. The winning story will be offered a contract for $15,000 USD to sell the story rights to Episode. They will also be given the opportunity to continue writing the winning story in the Episode Commissions Program.


Story Entry Requirements

  1. Your story must have “Gaming” in the title. Stories without “Gaming:” in the title will be disqualified. While not required for entry it is strongly recommended that you format your title like this - “Gaming: TITLE HERE.” This will help readers search for your story and identify it as a contest entry.

  2. Your story can be in any genre.

  3. The main character and any love interest(s) must be introduced in the first episode.

  4. You must write in the Cinematic (full-body, animated) Style.

  5. We love to see diverse characters in your stories! For example, characters who are people of color, non-heteronormative, or are of varying religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, just to name a few!

  6. You may NOT use or re-title a previously published story. This must be a new, original work not previously been published to Episode or other platforms. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, etc. are also not allowed.

  7. If you are an official Episode Director or Writer, you may enter the contest, but only with original work created outside the scope of your contract with us.

  8. This is for a special new project, so the content guidelines are going to be a little different. You can still use our usual content guidelines to help, but we are specifically looking for story content that is more Family Friendly or closer to a PG or G rating. As always, stories which do not follow or which violate our Content Guidelines may be disqualified and/or have their story removed from the app. If you have any doubts or questions about whether elements or themes of your story fit within the content guidelines for this contest please contact the Episode Review team here. Please be aware that our team will not answer any questions regarding specific plot points and whether they meet the requirements of the contest.

  9. There is a length requirement for this contest. You need to have 3 completed chapters published by the entry deadline. Your story must be a longer form story, 8-12 chapters in total. You CAN publish new chapters during the judging period; however, you may not substantially alter or change your (first) 3 published chapters after the deadline (other than to make minor corrections).

  10. Gem choices of ANY kind are NOT ALLOWED in stories for this contest. Please see the New Contest Prize section for more information. This includes Support the Author choices, topping up points, etc. NO GEM CHOICES.

  11. You are strongly encouraged to use mini games, points systems, etc.

Entering the Contest

  1. You must completely fill out this Google form to enter. In the event that you send the wrong link or make a mistake on your entry form, please send your story title, email address and the correct link in a support ticket, so we can update your entry.
  2. Submissions for this contest are different from our regular contests so please read carefully. Your story must be published no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023. To find out what time that is in your time zone, go here!
  3. Remember to allow at least 3 business days prior to the contest deadline for your backgrounds, overlays and story cards to be reviewed. This means you should plan on submitting them no later than Thursday, January 26th, 2023. You may not add, change or modify story cards, backgrounds, or overlays after the entry deadline until the winner is announced.

Editing During the Contest Period

Fixing typos and errors are allowed after the deadline for contest entries. This includes things like character or speech bubble placement, spelling / grammatical errors or typos. You may not: add options to your CC, change or update your cover art, change your story’s genre, add to, edit or change your story description, add additional scenes, choices, dialogue, backgrounds or overlays. When in doubt, ask Support before making any changes. Once the winner’s shelf has been made public you are free to make changes or updates to your story.

Determining Winners

Because this is a new kind of contest, the winners will be selected in a new way, so please read carefully.

This contest will have only one winning story.

Instead of our usual winner’s shelf in the app, this contest will go a bit differently. In the first half of February, qualifying entrants will be featured on a shelf within the app. While on the shelf stories will collect reads and Episode will look at the data for these stories.

The winner will be picked by a panel of Episode Story Staff. We will continue to use the rubric score, reader engagement, and fit to contest themes as factors in selecting winners. However it will be the panel themselves that makes the final call.

Contest Winner

The winning story from this contest will be featured exclusively in Episode XOXO on Apple Arcade in 2023 and get a shoutout on our social media account! The winner will be announced sometime in the Spring of 2023.

Our special prize winner will be contacted separately by the Episode team to discuss further details of their win!

32 Likes

Wow this is different.

8 Likes

No gem choices? Interesting.

7 Likes

It’s gonna be in there new app episode xoxo which I believe won’t contain in app purchases bc it’s gonna be in Apple Arcade which for that you have to have a subscription

3 Likes

Oh that’s cool! I’m a little behind on these things :joy:

3 Likes

It’s fine I understand

Kinda curious if anyone is gonna enter :thinking: ?

Are you going to enter the contest
  • Yes, I am
  • No I’m not
  • Not sure

0 voters

4 Likes

Are we getting a normal contest for the actual episode app then?

2 Likes

Most likely not till later

3 Likes

I already decided before they announced it that I wouldn’t join because I think it’d be too stressful and it doesn’t fit any of my current ideas.

Age restriction kinda prohibits me joining regardless lmao

4 Likes

I feel that tbh . The time limit would rlly stress me out and the topic for it kind of restricts how much you can do and it only allows one winner so the chances of winning is low .

I’m definitely not entering either I was just curious on who is and who isn’t .

For those who r gonna enter lmk when ur story is out I’d love to give it a read

Too many requirements and considering there will be only one winner, not worth entering. Let’s be fair… I don’t see a small author winning this one. :sweat_smile: I’ll wait for a normal contest.

15 Likes

ah im so excited for this!

i had the same idea stuck in the back of my mind since the DD contest was announced

wishing everyone luck and i cant wait to read your entries!

3 Likes

Yeah, the day I enter a contest is the day I already finished my story. I am excited to check out the entries for this contest though!

2 Likes

Honestly tho it would be hard for a small author to win especially if someone is just starting . And this defiantly has a lot of requirements and such a limited topic to write on .

Good luck to those who enter and once again plz feel free to tag me when ur story is published or if you need proofreading/betareading

4 Likes

Can you elaborate on this part, @Tory? How many stories will be featured on this kind of “shelf”? Will the team review each entry to ensure that it meets the criteria? Is this based solely on the number of reads and retention, followed by the level of advance directing or narration?

Like someone said, for small authors or those who want to join our community especially for this contest, it will be very hard to compete against bigger authors who have an audience already, but that doesn’t mean their story will be worse than theirs, right? It can be good, with a chance of winning (at least on this shelf) or even better than other stories. But without checking every entry, that kind of story can be easily missed. And gems won’t boost their rank or trending (to draw attention to this new author/story), as we’re not allowed to use them.

I’m very curious about that. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

9 Likes

I would love to enter but it’s the romance part for me but can’t wait to see who wins! Do y’all best. And please don’t get discouraged if you don’t. Happy writing and reading.

4 Likes

Will I win? No. Will it be stressful? Yes.

So why am I entering? Bc I am a broke college student who needs to pay for tuition :sob:

13 Likes

Good luck! :white_heart:

Do you have to have an apple device to enter?

1 Like

:confused: Will there ever be a contest for people who are under 18 as well again?

5 Likes