Spring Thing is an annual competition to highlight works of text adventure games and other literary works, also known as Interactive Fiction.
Adam Cadre, author of several works of Interactive Fiction, including Photopia and Varicella, announced the Spring Thing in 2001, both to promote works that would be longer than those entered into the Interactive Fiction Competition, and to encourage authors to submit works to the general public during other times of the year. It was run in 2002 and 2003, but Cadre did not host it the following year. Greg Boettcher picked up the slack, and hosted the Spring Thing from 2005 until 2013. As of 2014 it was run by Aaron A. Reed.
As with the better-known Interactive Fiction Competition, works submitted to the Spring Thing must be released as freeware or public domain. Unlike that competition's limit of two hours per work, judges may spend as much time as necessary with an entry in the Spring Thing.
List of winners to date
- 2002: Tinseltown Blues by Chip Hayes - the sole entrant in that year
- 2003: Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus by Dan Shiovitz and Emily Short
- 2004: No competition
- 2005: Whom the Telling Changed by Aaron A. Reed
- 2006: De baron / The Baron by Victor Gijsbers
- 2007: Fate by Victor Gijsbers
- 2008: Pascal's Wager by Doug Egan
- 2009: A Flustered Duck by Jim Aikin
- 2010: No entrants
- 2011: The Lost Islands of Alabaz by Michael Gentry
- 2012: The Rocket Man from the Sea by Janos Honkonen
- 2013: Witch's Girl by Mostly Useless
- 2014: The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost by Briar Rose
- 2015: Toby's Nose by Chandler Groover (Audience Choice and Alumni's Choice)
- 2016: Tangaroa Deep by Astrid Dalmady (Audience Choice), The Xylophoniad by Robin Johnson (Alumni's Choice)
- 2017: Bobby and Bonnie by Xavid and Niney by Daniel Spitz (tie for Audience Choice)
- 2018: Illuminismo Iniziato by Michael J. Coyne (Audience Choice and Alumni's Choice)
- 2019: Among the Seasons by Kieran Green and The Missing Ring by Felicity Drake
- 2020: 4x4 Galaxy by Agnieszka Trzaska, Hawk The Hunter by Jonathan B. Himes, and JELLY by Tom Lento and Chandler Groover