Spring Thing: still happening, but with a time-delayed way to participate

I just sent this message to everyone who submitted an intent to enter this year’s Spring Thing, and thought I’d cross-post here as well so people know the status of the festival.

Greetings, Spring Thingers!

In a normal year, sometime around now is when you’d be getting instructions on how to submit your entry. This is not a normal year, so a few notes before we get to that.

I’ve heard from a couple of you who have had to drop side hobbies like working on interactive fiction to handle real life issues, and are hoping the festival will be delayed. I’ve heard from others who are hoping the festival goes on, in the face of so many other things they were looking forward to having been cancelled.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do. The festival will go on as usual this year. (If you’ve never participated before, it’s an entirely online event, which makes this decision easier.) As always, there’s no penalty for dropping out or not submitting the game you intended to enter, and you’re always welcome to participate in a future year, or submit to IF Comp (https://ifcomp.org/) this fall. If you do still want to participate, the deadline is unchanged: your games will need to be submitted by the end of the day in your local timezone on March 29th. Full instructions for that process will be coming soon.

However, there’s going to be another way to participate this year: the Spring Thing Late Harvest. If you submitted an intent to enter this year’s festival, and aren’t able to make the deadline, you can still submit your game any time in 2020, up to December 31st. These entries won’t be part of the Main Festival (i.e. no ribbons or prizes), but will be showcased on the Spring Thing site in their own section, much like Back Garden games. Here’s what else I’ll do for Late Harvest entries:

  • I’ll announce them on the Spring Thing home page and Twitter account, whenever a new entry is posted.

  • Late Harvest authors will still get added to the Spring Thing alumni mailing list and be considered official Spring Thing entrants for all other intents and purposes.

  • I’ll delay submission of the Spring Thing 2020 entries to the IF Archive until January 2021, so Late Harvest games can be archived for posterity alongside the other entries.

I hope this approach will help minimize stress for those with less time on their hands, and give those of you in social isolation with nothing but your writing tools something to do. :wink:

Keep an eye out for submission instructions soon. If you’re no longer planning to participate, let me know any time you like and I’ll take you off the mailing list for this year’s entrants. (Feel free to change your mind any time between now and December 31st, though.) For anyone wishing to participate in the Late Harvest after March 29th, email me then and I’ll let you know how to submit your game.

Whether you have the time and desire to participate in Spring Thing this year or not, stay safe, and enjoy the festival games when they launch in April!