Anyone's Game Writing Contest

The Ringling College of Art and Design Creative Writing Program was created to support, empower, and honor young writers. To that end, all high school students are invited to enter the College’s “Anyone’s Game” High School Game Writing Contest by submitting an original 600-word micro-roleplaying game (micro-rpg). The sole criterion for earning prizes in this contest is overall quality, meaning that well-edited, engaging, and evocative games have the best chance of winning over the judge.  

2022 Winners Announced

“Time to Remodel” by Riona Duncan
A wonderful micro game about trying to deal with a less than totally helpful home AI. The premise is strong and instantly recognizable, and the elegant playing card mechanic for determining how the house does or (more likely) does not do what’s asked of it is great. The decision to limit the number of words used in the requests is very clever, and the player creation noun/adjective passing player creation systems adds another fun layer of interaction that resonates with the central theme of feeling out of control.

“Road Into Dawns” by Hunter Cornell
This tightly designed microgame of supernatural punk bands trying to make it big on the road does an excellent job squeezing theme and mechanics into every sentence of the rules. The core character attributes are perfectly thematic, and the way the system then pairs them with modifiers from the Instruments and Supernatural gives a wonderful variety of combinations. The three-part GM tables of Setting, Need, and Problem are all spot-on prompts for creating an immediately fun role-playing session that’s simple to play. Rock on!

“Reminisce: A Game of Leaving the Nest” by David Fadem
A family-dynamic spin on the social deduction game, the core concept of parents trying to figure out what is really going on with their children is immediately relatable. The “children” working together to create a set of unique memories that the “parents” must then match by only asking questions about the future is brilliant. The playing of the game itself is the reward, making for a structured but potentially moving cooperative storytelling experience.

In alphabetical order by game title

  • “Backstabbing Besties” by Kallena Burroughs

  • “Between the Trees” by Mya Tacey

  • “One More Step: The Paranormal Doctor” by Richard Vu

  • “One Step” by Viola Torres-Cardoso – Xochitl Torres-Cardoso

  • “Sleepless Tomorrow” by David Andino

  • “Tomorrow Con” by Dalton Meador

  • “Win Your Future” by Kimberly Duarte

2022 Game Writing Contest

The 2022 theme is “Tomorrow.” These micro-games are about what comes next, be it literally tomorrow or sometime in the distant future. 

Game Specifications

  • What to send: Micro-roleplaying games based on the 2022 theme.
  • Word Count: 600 words maximum (for game samples of this length, check the bottom of this page)
  • Contest Submission Period: October 15, 2022–January 15, 2023
  • Submission Quantity: One entry per person per contest year
  • Questions? Check the FAQ above. If you don’t find the answers you need, email


To receive reminders about this contest each year, sign up here.


Creative Writing Program
Dr. Ryan G. Van Cleave
2700 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234

Samples from a Recent Ringling College Press Book of Micro-Games

Prizes in Each Category

1st prize


1:1 consultation with a professional game writer

Ringling College Creative Writing T-shirt


2nd prize


Ringling College Creative Writing T-shirt


3rd prize


Ringling College Creative Writing T-shirt


How do I submit work?
Follow the instructions above and you’ll be all set.

Do I need to use special formatting for my contest entry?
No. Single- or double-spaced plain-text documents in 12-point fonts are fine. Though please include your name both in the doc and in the file title, as well. (See the above instructions for examples of how to title your submission file.)

I’m not a visual artist. Can I still submit?
Your submission should be the text for an original tabletop roleplaying game. While you can be strategic in how you lay it out on the page to create clarity, please don’t send accompanying artwork. The game samples offered above are merely to show how a game fits the word count. The design aspects were added later when they appeared in book form.

Will the contest entries be published?
That’s not in the current plans. If that changes, we’ll alert you and you’ll have the option to decline.

Am I giving up any rights by submitting?
No. Your work is not being published, and you own it 100%.

Can I submit more than one time to this contest?
It’s one entry per contestant per contest year. 

What are you looking for with these games?
High-quality writing that engages the reader and a game that’s fun for players.

I’m not in high school. Can I still submit?
This contest is only for high school students.

I’m 10.  Can I still submit?
If you’re in a high school curriculum, yes.

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter?

Do any colleges teach game writing?
We do. We have courses such as Writing Tabletop Games and Writing for Video Games. Check us out at

Is Ringling College associated with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus?
John Ringling was involved with the launching of the institution in 1931, but beyond that, we have no relationship to the circus beyond the association of his name. So the circus’ closing in 2017 had zero effect on Ringling College.

I’ve got a question that doesn’t seem to be answered anywhere. What do I do?
Send your question via email to with the subject line “Contest Question.”