Announcing The Rosebush IF Magazine

We’re very happy to announce the preliminary launch of The Rosebush, a new online magazine for interactive fiction theory and criticism. The purpose of this preliminary launch is to let the interactive fiction community know that we exist, and to invite submissions. We hope to begin publishing early this summer, perhaps in June.

What is The Rosebush?

The Rosebush will be a free online magazine dedicated to publishing longer form articles about interactive fiction. The interactive fiction community already has well-established channels for reviews of individual games, and several people have well-read blogs, but we’ve been lacking a good platform for in-depth analyses, theory articles, discussions of craft, interviews, historical pieces, and so on. The Rosebush aims to be this platform. It will publish substantial articles that increase our understanding of interactive fiction, from individual works to design patterns, community structures and historical trends. The intended audience consists of both players and authors of IF.

What is the scope of the magazine?

Interactive fiction is a term with many uses. The focus of The Rosebush lies on digital works in which a player interacts with a pre-written story where text is the main medium. In particular, The Rosebush will publish about both parser-based and choice-based interactive fiction. While tabletop role playing games, computer role playing games, visual novels, and choose-your-own-adventure books are also interactive fictions in a sense of that term, they are not our primary topic.

Most of the organisers of The Rosebush come from the communities around the Interactive Fiction Competition, the Spring Thing, the IFDB, and so on; but we explicitly also intend to publish about the works of adjacent communities, such as the ChoiceScript community and the retro text adventure community.

What is the magazine looking for?

Articles! See the submissions page for the detailed call for articles. It is possible to either submit a pitch, which we will check to see whether the topic is suitable for The Rosebush, or an article. Links to submission forms can also be found on the submissions page.

At the moment we are not actively looking for editors, but of course this may change.

What does The Rosebush offer authors?

Most importantly, a place for disseminating your articles. The Rosebush will maintain its website and ensure that all articles are also stored on the IF Archive, the best guarantee for perpetual availability in the current world of interactive fiction. In addition, the editorial team will work with you on your article, which can range from simple spelling/grammar editing to more substantial ideas and feedback on improving your piece.

The Rosebush is an entirely volunteer effort. There are no plans to offer a monetary compensation to authors of articles.

Who are we?

The editorial team currently consists of:

  • Aster Fialla (se/er)
  • Benjamin Slade (he/they)
  • Daniel Stelzer (they/them)
  • Drew Cook (he/him)
  • Josh Grams (he/him)
  • Kiana Lee (she/her)
  • Lisa Fox (she/her)
  • Mike Preston (he/him)
  • Mike Russo (he/him)
  • Victor Gijsbers (he/him)
  • Zee (they/them)



Very cool initiative! I look forward to reading the first batch of articles.

There are a few thoughts about the evolution of IF on the gameification-simulation axis, and about the nature of complicity with the PC in IF that I’m trying to work out. The Rosebud may well give me the needed impetus to put these in writing.

I hope all goes well with the launch of this magazine. An interesting addition to IF sources.


Impetus is exactly what I would like it to give people. :slight_smile: I’ve been writing an article too, finally having the needed impetus.


Aside from submitting articles and reading them, how can this community support the magazine?


Fantastic! This is the most exciting development in IF circles that I’ve heard of for quite a while. Congratulations on getting the magazine up and running.

I’m sure I’m missing an obvious allusion, but where does the title come from?


I think the vision was to have something that was very manageable to keep alive, both in terms of money and time: I think we’re in pretty good shape? Victor’s original post said “I’d be already happy if there were ten articles every year. […] It’s just a permanent home for articles.” So we’re not aiming super high.

I think the biggest thing is maybe if you see people having interesting ideas about IF, ask if they’d be interested in writing it up as a longer-form article and publishing it?

Hehehehe. This was Victor’s joking off-the-cuff “we could name it something that has nothing to do with anything.” We didn’t want to suggest that it should favor parser or choice, or sound too highbrow academic and unapproachable, etc. and we weren’t coming up with anything that we loved and were just bikeshedding for too long and everybody was like, “you know, The Rosebush actually isn’t a terrible name.”


At the moment, no additional support is needed. We’re operating on a very small budget, so I don’t think we need financial contributions for now. Writing, reading, talking about the magazine – that will help. :slight_smile:


I like it. Sounds rather Aesthetic. Just need to make it yellow and add some Beardsley-style illustrations and it’ll be perfect.


Huh. I had assumed it was something clever to do with branching narrative, thorny decisions about whether/when to prune, etc.


Of course, of course. I said to the other editors that I just came up with a random name, but there was a lot of very deep thought involved.


Well, just for starters, there’s thorns&flowers, bright red&dark green, sleepiness&passion,…


Oh, I guess we should link announcement posts on social media for anyone who wants to boost them:


Nice! Hopefully this reaches a bit more people on this scene of IF :stuck_out_tongue:

[Edit: it’s queued in the big IF directory blog]


It might be nice if, once it gets going, there was a section of this forum dedicated to discussing the articles. With links going both ways, it would raise the profile of both.


Yeah, I assume we’ll start a tag (which most users can create, I think?). Dunno if it’ll have enough traffic to need a sub-category. IF Reviews and Essays isn’t so busy that they’ll get buried too quickly…

Hmm. Actually, maybe as a “Regular” user I can edit the category of this post? Yeah, there you go, articles tagged as “rosebush”.


Is the plan to publish one off articles as they’re ready, or to queue them up and release a whole bunch at a time as an “issue” of the magazine?


We’ll publish articles one at a time, when they’re ready. So there will be no issues – or, one could say, every issue is a single article. :slight_smile:


After all, launching with no issues seems like every magazine’s dream!


I was going to suggest adding a page to IFWiki, but fortunately checked first and saw that you’ve already done it! The Rosebush - IFWiki


Bikeshed isn’t too bad as a title either. :grin: