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The Zenobia Award is Back

by Candice Harris

I’ve been so caught up with my travels for SPIEL Essen ’23 that I’m justing getting around to posting about the kickoff of the Zenobia Award II, which is a game design competition and mentoring program for game designers from underrepresented groups to submit game designs covering underrepresented historical topics. The Zenobia Award II application period is open until October 14, 2023.


The first Zenobia Award kicked off in November 2020, and the winners were announced in October 2021. Regardless of which game designs won or didn’t, the first Zenobia Award was a great success. It led to the creation of several awesome, unique-themed historical games, with some submissions even getting picked up by publishers including Sherria Ayuandini‘s Kartini – From Darkness to Light (Ion Game Design), and Jo Kelly‘s Molly House (Wehrlegig Games).

Kartini is a historical strategy game for 1-6 players about educating young women in Indonesia, and is available for late pledge on Kickstarter (KS link). Meanwhile, in Molly House, 2-5 players take the roles of the gender-defying mollies and compete to create joy in a queer community in early eighteenth century London. Wehrlegig Games is launching a crowdfunding campaign for Molly House on Backerkit (BK link) on October 17, 2023.

These are just two examples of great game designs that received some much deserved attention as a result of the Zenobia Award. I can’t wait hear more about the designs we’ll discover from the Zenobia Award II!

For a wealth of information on the Zenobia Award (including the snippet quoted below) and details on the application process, be sure to check out the official Zenobia Award website.

The second Zenobia Award contest is officially live, through October 14th. Click here to be taken to the application form.

The Zenobia Award is both a competition and a mentoring program in which game designers from underrepresented groups develop and submit historical tabletop game prototypes. Throughout the design process, competitors will receive mentoring and feedback from industry leaders, to help them move towards successful game publication.

The Zenobia Award seeks to attract and reward more diverse design talent in order to improve historical tabletop game design and participation and to diversify historical topics simulated in published hobby board games. It seeks to apply the Derby House principles for diversity and inclusion in professional wargaming to hobby gaming.


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