Ends on October 31, 2017

Inaugurated in 2015 with the publication of Owen Vince's outstanding THE ADRIFT OF SAMUS ARAN, the SYSTEM \ CIRCULATORY SERIES seeks avant-garde games-writing after one of these ten video games:


Connor Sherlock's Last Visit to the Shard
HAL Laboratory's Kirby Super Star
Psygnosis' wipE'out"
Square's Final Fantasy V
Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus
Mark J Hadley's Slender: The Eight Pages
Capcom's Resident Evil 4
Konami's Salamander: Life Force
Annunziata + Novotrade's Ecco the Dolphin

The winner of the SYSTEM \ CIRCULATORY SERIES will receive a $250 honorarium; a sharply-designed paperbook publication by Fathom Books in 2018; 10 author copies; and will act as judge for the 2019 competition. The editors will choose 3-5 finalists to forward to our final judge, Owen VinceAll finalists will be considered for publication.

Any genre is permitted, but please take care not to send memoir with game as accessory to limp personal narrative. The seriousness of your approach should be a direct challenge to fanfic-style, soft video game ekphrasis. You need not cast Kirby as Goethe's Werther, of course—but keep in mind Fathom has no interest in light verse, common diaries, or fiction published in popular magazines. 

Other details:

/ Submission is free, but please do not send more than one manuscript without querying the editor first.

/ Manuscripts should be between 16-22 pages, excluding front- and backmatter.

Do not put your name anywhere on the manuscript. We will track authorship through Submittable. Manuscripts with names will be immediately disqualified. Avoid this; do not put your name anywhere on the manuscript

/ Please paginate your manuscript, beginning with the first page of the text proper.

/ Please include a table of contents if you believe it appropriate for your work.

/ Please check your work carefully for formatting and spelling errors—these issues denote a lack of care to a reader, and we cannot help but be affected by them. 

/ A sample of a simple manuscript setup would be: title page; table of contents; opening page to last page of manuscript proper; acknowledgments page (if applicable).

/ Any form will do for submission: 1 long poem, 16 short poems, 8 short stories, 3 cross-genre pieces, &c &c.

/ Please do not include any illustrations.

/ All entries must be majorly (90%+) in English.

/ Some parts of your manuscript may be previously published, but the volume as a whole must live first with Fathom to be eligible for the prize. 

/ Again: all finalist manuscripts will be considered for publication.

/ Please e-mail the editor at spece@fathombooks.org if you cannot submit electronically but would like us to consider your work for the prize. 

/ In the unlikely instance that the final judge fails to find a manuscript worthy of the prize, monies will roll over into our 2019 competition.

Review Fathom Books' first year of volumes here.

Review past issues of SHARKPACK Annual here

Much love. We're looking forward to reading your provocative writing. 

Sign up form

Please enter a valid email address.

Your password must be at least 6 characters.