Today, Queen’s Court Games announced the launch of their new Celebrating Roleplaying and Original Web Narratives (CROWN) Actual Play Grant Program. Each of the five CROWN grant recipients will receive a cash award sufficient to cover entry fees for all eleven constituent festivals of the 2024 Audio Fiction World Cup. Queen’s Court Games will also provide technical and creative assistance in developing the winner’s submission reels.
After winning 2nd place overall in this year’s Audio Fiction World Cup for their Vampire the Masquerade actual play The All Night Society, the team at Queen’s Court Games is attempting to use their success to uplift other talented creators in the medium.
“We owe much of our current success to the world of webfests, and we want as many other storytellers and worldbuilders to have that same experience. The two biggest barriers to entry for actual play projects are lack of audacity and lack of funding; we designed the CROWN grants to fix both,” said Queen’s Court Games Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Hammonds. “There are plenty of awards out there, but webfests are the place celebrating actual play for all its creativity, originality, and storytelling.”
Winners will be selected by the Queen’s Court Games production staff. In alignment with Queen’s Court Games’ dedication to uplifting marginalized voices in the medium, priority will be given to first-time submitters, and projects featuring BIMPOC or LGBT+ creators. “We’re hoping to offer up a bit of equity, and vary the stories highlighted in the actual play space. People tell stories that are adjacent to their lived experiences. We want the webfest space to be as diverse and compelling as the world we live in,” said Queen’s Court Games Co-Founder and Art Director Vee Locke.
The CROWN grant is enthusiastically supported by the Audio Fiction World Cup, the goal of which is to foster this type of community growth and collaboration. “[QGC’s] dedication to elevating the Actual Play artform has been evident,” said Ned Donovan, director of the Audio Fiction World Cup and head of Audio Fiction at the New Jersey Web Festival. “These grants are yet another testament to their commitment to the community and to expanding opportunities for indie creators in this area. Actual Play is a vital part of the web content creator community, and we’re witnessing its growth and expansion year after year. This grant program offers an excellent opportunity for projects to gain global visibility and recognition. Don’t miss out—make sure to submit your work!”
The CROWN grant is open to any audio or video actual play with a public release in 2023. Submissions for the grant are open through January 31st, 2024. Final selections will be announced no later than February 16th, 2024.
Images via Queen’s Court Games and the New Jersey Webfest
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