New Rules: Small commission on play for a new publication

New Rules will be a small booklet of writing about play during the current pandemic.

This writing can be in any form: essays, poems, game rulesets, dialogues, cheerful lists, morose lists, diagrams, whatever.

And the play can be in any form as well: online, on your phone, on a table, on a balcony, even entirely imagined. (They’re specifically interested in the play itself, rather than in the design process of making a game, but of course that’s not always a clear line.)

For example: maybe you’d like to write a list of twenty differently awkward ways that professional sports have adapted to socially distanced play. Or maybe you’d like to write about that time when suddenly everyone was doing jigsaw puzzles. Or maybe you’d like to write about trying to play board games over video chat. Or about tiny made-up games you played by yourself while you were in hotel quarantine for a fortnight. Or the coronavirus-themed chase game you heard your children invent. Or the week you lost to replaying videogames from a decade ago, when your work closed down and you needed something to do to distract you from panicking. Maybe you want to write up a set of rules for having “mild” coronavirus. Or document the comings and goings on the football field behind your house that you see people sneaking out onto even though it’s meant to be closed. Or, probably, something else entirely.

They’re interested in anything that is in some way about specific details or experiences of play during the pandemic.

(No Animal Crossing though, sry.)


Short works (under 500 words): £75.

Longer works (around 1000 to 2500 words): £150.

Really long (longer than 2500 or so): £200, but they’re only after one or two of these at most.

Reprints (any length): £50.



Please fill in this form by 14 September at the latest, telling them more about your idea. (Earlier than the 14th is better if possible, as they’ll be looking at proposals as they come in and expect to select a few before submissions close).

If you’ve written something that’s already been published in some way, and you think it might work in the booklet, please fill in this different form (again, by 14 September at the latest; earlier is better if you can).

Please don’t spend ages on this! For new work, we just want a couple of sentences to give us an idea of what you’re interested in, and a link to some previous writing!

Pieces 27 September.

Published on:
28 Aug 2020


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