Working Out Loud: Witness the Card Game

Do you mind if I move the thread of your questions and my answers to the post itself? I think others will have the same questions…

Not at all, please go ahead!

1 Like

Is it 3000€ for a single story? I thought our calculations at SFWA rates put it to ~$240-320 a piece?

It’s up to 3K a piece. And it will depend on how much work people are putting into the work. I mean if their piece takes 2 weeks of deep research vs 3 hours, you see?

Fair, if it’s going to be good work, they’re going to have to pore through a LOT of writing. By my very rough count the Witnesspedia is around 20,000 words right now.

Things you should specify, though:

Is it for each piece submitted? Or is it for a final piece picked out among submissions, like Grist did? How many final pieces will be there, if so?

PS: At those rates, I’m throwing my hat in the ring as well. -rolls up sleeves- Any limitations on entry, or are we looking for new writers only?

Let’s put it this way, how would you answer your own questions based on what is realistic and fair?

Personally, I would scrap this ‘starter’ concept completely. There’s more than enough starting material in Witnesspedia for a competent writer to write a story in, and another person writing the first 3k is only going to shoehorn a writer into a scenario and characters they may not care about.

I would organize it as -

Writing competition, use Witnesspedia, write a story set in any distrikt of your choosing. 3K top prize for best story (or stories, you pick n). 1k each for n finalists where n is what you can afford. Explain the judges (community? panel? if so, who?)


  1. Cannot retconn the canon (ie: you cannot change the past written in Witnesspedia) but you can affect the future.
  2. Your story has to be centered around the economy and the livelihoods of people of the district you choose, either as a key part of the story or a major piece of the background of the narrative.

This way you’ll get a number of good stories, incentive to write well, without the limitation of having to fill in the blanks for a prose piece that someone else started.


Makes sense to me - Ill add this exchange to the comments section for that call - ok?

Sounds good!

These seem like some fairly major revisions to the original concept. I’ve still got an edit priced into the stuff I’ve written already for this. Do you guys want me to take another look at it tomorrow with these changes in mind?

yes please - for now I added a link to the comment section where we have discussed it so that people are informed/ not surprised

Awesome. I’ll give it another pass tomorrow to include that content.


Compliments, we have received the first application. I have prepared a space on the drive where to collect them for reviewing.

1 Like

wait, what?! that was quick

Ivan your link’s broken :slight_smile:

fixed it

Hi @nadia the copies for the SWAG materials are now uploaded. Apologies for the delay as it took me a while to try get into the mindset of each Distrikt. I feel the copy options now match the personalities of each Distrikt. Let me know what you think?

Here’s take two at the writing contest:
I think to save Ivan’s inbox you might want a separate email address for entries, and also some boilerplate legalise for the Contest T&Cs.
Otherwise, let me know if this is all good.

1 Like

Ok so I think we can actually use both versions. Running two calls, rather than one. But directing them towards different audiences. One being focused on developing the world itself. The other looking more into how a specific field of activity or industry would look like in the different distrikts. I am very curious about what would come out of each, and believe t would be a good learning experience for the future that if we document the process well (which we are already doing here by virtue of this exchange).

Version #1: Ahead of the Next Generation Internet conference we are running on November 29th, we commission starter stories that support a participatory process collective imagination around Internet Technologies. These stories will be used as basis for people working in or around tech to then add their own thoughts, and contribute to the discussion about how we build, use, finance and govern the next generation of internet technologies in Europe. We keep text version #1 as is with the call to action being "Tell us stories of Internet Technologies in better futures. About the NGI event itself: Participants explore what their life and the internet might be like in an array of possible futures. The Witness card game lets you build your ideal economy and government, imagining viable alternatives for internet technologies and their applications, against the backdrop of a global climate crisis, and testing it against real world restrictions.

Version #2: Witness Storytelling competition. These stories will be used to explore and develop Witness. They must must fit Witness’s existing canon, cannot change the past as written in Witnesspedia, but can affect the future of Witness.

Sounds good! Does this mean the releases are going to need any more edits from my end?