The Forbidden Library – a 1000 words cosmic horror adventure writing competition.

To celebrate 10 years since we started the podcast and YouTube channel, we have designed a writing competition to highlight the best in RPG cosmic horror writing.

Competition goal: To write a 1000 words cosmic horror adventure.

What can you submit?

You can submit one adventure of up to 1000 words based on a cosmic horror environment. It can be any setting you wish as long as the flavour of cosmic horror is there. It can be in a fantasy world, present day, Victorian Era or the future, Lovecraftian or Ridley Scott… anything goes.

The adventure MUST be playable, so the stats must be applicable to a published RPG. Which one? Up to you, just remember to let us know which one it is.

More than one person can participate in the creation of the adventure, but ontestants may enter one adventure. That means, if you want to team up with an artist because you can’t draw, or a layout artist, or a writer because writing is your strongest point, that would be totally fine.

All authors/artists must be credited on submission.

Every adventure must include:

  • Up to 1000 words of written material.
  • A map of at least one location mentioned in the adventure or an illustration of one of the monsters/NPCs/locations (or more if you so wish).
  • Description of monsters and/or creatures and NPCs that appear in the adventure.

Monster stats and descriptions are separate from the 1000 words of the adventure. Description of creatures cannot exceed 200 words per creature.

How to enter

Submissions can be done by sending a word of PDF document to

Subject: Competition entry – [title of the adventure]

The message must contain:

  • Participant’s name
  • Participant’s pseudonym (this is what the judges will get)
  • Contact email
  • Adventure synopsis

Start date: 1st July 2021

Deadline: 31st August 2021

Entries arriving after the 31st august will be published in GMS Magazine but won’t enter the competition.

Winners will be announced November 1st 2021


Original unpublished work

Only original unpublished work is eligible for this competition. By entering this competition, you agree that your entry is your own, original unpublished work, that it, you are the sole owner of the copy rights, or the material is based on copy right free content.

Previous publication is considered to include on or in a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, website, electronic magazine, personal blog, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

GMS Magazine will not use your entry in any way without writen permission from the authors.

Contestants may enter one adventure.


1st Prize: 150€ paid via Paypal

2nd Prize: 100€ paid via Paypal

3rd prize: 50€ paid via Paypal

All submissions will receive a free PDF of Campo de Mitos

Entry Fee:

There is no entry fee. Entering the competition is free.


A panel of judges, recruited among writers and RPG designers will judge the entries and their decision will be final. The judges will not get the names of the authors to ensure fairness.

The author retains the copyright to the submitted work.

No private information will be collected.

Contestants agree that their work could be published in the GMS Magazine website.

The judges reserve the right to dismiss any entry that is deemed to contain harmful or otherwise bigoted content.

Submission indicates acceptance of all contest rules.

The judges are:

Each judge will score from 1 to 10 four aspects of the adventures:

  • Originality: This is to score how surprised they were when they read it. How new they thought the concepts, the creatures or the style of presentation were.
  • Illustrations: Not just how good they are, but how adequate they are to the needs of the adventures. Do they reflect the concept well enough? Do they fill gaps visually in an efficient and appropriate manner?
  • Organisation: How the adventure has been organised. Has it been tailored to make sure it makes the best use of the 1000 words? Are the encounters well structured and distinctly separated from the rest of the descriptions? Are there many gaps in the story?
  • Potential: This is the points awarded to reflect how much the judges think the adventure could become something bigger and more interesting with further work. Basically, if you polished the diamond, how many carats would it have?
  • To make the scoring fair, the judges won’t be able to see each other’s scoring.

Competition follow-up.

The following is an optional activity that authors might or might not participate in as they see appropriate and will have no bearing or influence on the judge’s decisions.

Mindscape Publishing will create an anthology based on as many entries as appropriate to be published and sold in PDF format and through POD in DriveThruRPG. All the earnings will be donated to charity on a yearly basis. The authors of the chosen work will be able to participate in a poll to propose recipients and vote to decide who gets the proceeds. This will be done three years in a row.

Entry into this anthology is optative and the authors will retain all the copyrights and exploitation rights. The use of their work will be non-exclusive, they will be entitled to sell or otherwise distribute their work at their convenience.

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