Note that the ICIDS 2021 website has moved here. This page is no longer being updated.

Call for Papers (Technical Program)

The theme for the conference this year is Interconnectedness and Social Impact. We encourage authors to consider possible connections to this theme in their papers, but we emphasize that there is no requirement that papers reflect the theme, either implicitly or explicitly. The theme is meant as inspiration, and is not intended to act as a constraint.

A downloadable version of this call can be found here: pdf | plain text

Main areas:

Paper and poster/demo submissions are invited into one of four main conference areas. Please note that the topics listed for each area are suggestions, and we invite authors to interpret them broadly, and to consider similar topics that are not listed:

  1. Narrative Systems: covering technological research from narrative AI to authoring tools.
    Area chairs: Ben Samuel (University of New Orleans) and Albert Li Boyang (Nanyang Technological University)
    • Narrative AI and Procedural Generation
    • Formal Models of Narrative
    • User Modelling
    • Authoring Tools
    • Novel Interfaces and Feedback
    • Interactive Cinema and iTV
    • Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Storytelling
    • Storytelling with Big Data
    • Novel Architectures and Engines
    • Computational Narratology
  2. Interactive Narrative Theory: exploring narratological models and literary approaches.
    Area chairs: Frank Nack (University of Amsterdam) and Ruth Aylett (Heriot-Watt University)
    • Narratological Models
    • The Role of Author and Reader
    • Literary Approaches
    • Narrative and Game Design
    • Narrative and Performative Practice
    • Aesthetics
    • Critical Readings
  3. Interactive Narrative Impact and Applications: describing the impact of interactive narrative on society and novel applications.
    Area chairs: Vincenzo Lombardo (Università degli Studi di Torino) and Cristina Sylla (University of Minho/ ITI/LARSyS)
    • Health, social, or educational applications
    • Impact on Culture and Society
    • Ethical, moral, social, and policy issues
    • Professional Practice and Processes
    • Purposive Interactive Stories and Games
    • Applications of Interactive Narrative Technology
    • Production and Processes
    • Cognitive and Affective Aspects
    • Narrative Presence and Engagement
    • Evaluation of Applications.
  4. The Interactive Narrative Research Discipline and Contemporary Practice: presenting new philosophies and methodologies.
    Area chairs: Christian Roth (University of the Arts Utrecht) and Lissa Holloway-Attaway (University of Skövde)
    • Philosophical Approaches
    • Learning from Other Traditions
    • New Scientific Methodologies
    • Pedagogy and course structure
    • Archives and Preservation
    • Place of Interactive Narrative among other fields
    • Reflection on the History of the Discipline
    • Future of the Discipline
    • Blue Skies Research.
      In this fourth area we additionally welcome position papers that may make a strong but well-grounded argument about the past, present and future of the discipline.

Submission categories:

  • Full papers (9-12 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) describing interesting, novel results or completed work in all topics of this call.
  • Short papers (6-8 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) presenting exciting preliminary work or novel, thought-provoking ideas in their early stages.
  • Posters and demos (4 pages, excluding references, in the proceedings) describing working, presentable systems or brief explanations of a research project.

Submissions should be made through the ICIDS Easychair site:

Please note that Papers must be written in English, and only electronic submissions in PDF format will be considered for review. Publication is conditional on a minimum of one author registering for the conference and attending to present the work to the community. The peer review process for ICIDS 2021 will be double blind and follow the guidelines set out by the ICIDS Steering Committee: Note that ICIDS follows the CHI anonymization policy:

In the event a paper is rejected it may be considered for another category at the discretion of the Program Chairs and General Chairs. Successful submissions will be included as part of the conference proceedings published by Springer. All submissions must follow the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) format, available at:

Authors should consult Springer’s authors’ instructions and use their proceedings templates, either for LaTeX or for Word, for the preparation of their papers. Springer’s proceedings LaTeX templates are available in Overleaf. Springer encourages authors to include their ORCIDs in their papers. In addition, the corresponding author of each paper accepted, acting on behalf of all of the authors of that paper, must complete and sign a Consent-to-Publish form. The corresponding author signing the copyright form should match the corresponding author marked on the paper. Once the files have been sent to Springer, changes relating to the authorship of the papers cannot be made.

Provisions with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic: If none of the authors of a paper can attend the conference due to the current pandemic or in case the situation requires us to run the conference virtually, publication of the proceedings will go ahead, and will be conditional on registration and remote presentation (either live or as pre-recorded video depending on the final arrangements).

Important Dates

July 23rd July 30th – Submission deadline (full, short, poster/demo)
September 28th October 5th – Notifications to authors
October 8th October 15th – Camera ready paper due
All deadlines are 23:59 AoE (Anywhere on Earth)

Call for Creative Works

ICIDS 2021 Art Exhibition – Curatorial theme: [Re|Dis]Connection

A downloadable version of this call can be found here: pdf | plain text

The ICIDS 2021 Art Exhibition provides a platform for artists, makers and creators to explore interactive storytelling from the perspective of a particular curatorial theme: 


Please note that the curatorial theme is intended to inspire, not constrain, and will be developed further to accommodate the accepted works. As the world attempts to recover from a global pandemic, issues of disconnection and reconnection are at the forefront of many people’s mind. The horrors (and joys) of being disconnected from the wider world, and the anticipation (or anxiety) around reconnecting with family, loved ones and society at large.These concepts relate to interactive narratives not only in terms of theme, but also methodologies, structures and modalities. This exhibition encourages artists to explore Reconnection and/or Disconnection across disciplines, languages, cultures, technologies, and histories.

The curatorial team seeks to inspire proposals with the following open questions:

  • How might interactive storytelling aid or represent experiences of reconnection?
  • What effect might sensations of disconnection (from each other, from technology, from the internet) have on interactive storytelling?
  • How far do the connections and disconnections (between different technologies, methodologies, creative practices, creators, story nodes etc etc) shape interactive storytelling?

The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) is the premier venue for researchers, practitioners and theorists to present recent results, share novel techniques and insights, and exchange ideas about this new storytelling medium. Interactive digital storytelling is an exciting area in which narrative, computer science and art converge to create new expressive forms. The combination of narrative and computation has considerable untapped potential, ranging from artistic projects to interactive documentaries, from assistive technologies and intelligent agents to serious games, education and entertainment. The conference has a long-standing tradition of bringing together theoretical and practical approaches in an interdisciplinary dialogue. Since 2010, ICIDS has hosted an international art exhibition open to the general public. This year, the exhibition will be held in connection with the ICIDS conference in Tallinn, Estonia. It will be open to the public under free admission at a venue to be announced later. The art exhibition will be held in conjunction with the academic conference, which runs from 7-10 of December. A virtual catalogue of the works will be hosted online by the conference, and descriptions and scholarship published by Carnegie Mellon ETC Press in a peer-reviewed, ISBN-numbered volume in the year following the exhibition.


The ICIDS Art Exhibition welcomes proposals for interactive digital storytelling artworks that explore the curatorial theme [Re|Dis]Connection, and that engage with the challenge of combining computational digital media and storytelling. Artworks can include, but are not limited to:

  • screen-based computational works;
  • web-based works,
  • interactive installations;
  • augmented, virtual, and mixed reality,
  • mobile and location-based works;
  • computer games;
  • interactive documentaries;
  • transmedia works;
  • and any other artistic works that involve some combination of computational and/or rule-based system and interactive storytelling.

Artworks must be completed by the time of exhibition, and not at the concept stage. Works-in-progress or technology demonstrations may be appropriate for the academic conference doctoral consortium, and should be submitted there. Submitted works will be reviewed by a jury, and selected works will be exhibited in the exhibition space, and included in the online exhibition catalogue.

Important dates

  • August 31, 2021 (11:59 pm, Eastern European Summer Time) artwork proposal submission deadline.
  • September 30, 2021: notice of acceptance/rejection. Note that jury members may contact the artists prior to this if there is the need for clarification or discussion of details of the submission. Upon acceptance, curators will contact the artists to discuss details of the artwork and to discuss installation requirements. Submissions should provide details of equipment needed, and specify what equipment will be provided by the artists. ICIDS is not able to provide financial assistance. We will attempt to provide some assistance with equipment and manpower for installation, but artists are encouraged to provide their own equipment and to be present during setup where possible for physical works and installations. The curators will be happy to provide a reference letter to aid artists in applying for funding.
  • Submission of final materials for exhibition catalogue (date TBC – participating artists will be notified of date prior to exhibition opening) 
  • December 7th 2021: Exhibition opens.

Criteria for Selection

We welcome both physical installations and online submissions. The art exhibition will be presented in a hybrid format, its final form depending on the local situation considering COVID19 measures in December. In the case of a fully online exhibition, online sessions/panels/presentations/fireside chats with artists will be organized to ensure artists have sufficient opportunity to describe and discuss their work, therefore there is an expectation of commitment to virtual participation in the conference.

Estonian language submissions are also encouraged – we will ensure such submissions are reviewed by Estonian-speaking judges.

We are looking for novel, thought-provoking, evocative, sensor-rich interactive art experiences created by a diverse and broad group of creative practitioners. The selection will be based on the criteria listed below in order of priority:
Creativity: original or innovative use of interactive media, articulating the relationships between interactivity and storytelling
Strength of the concept: depth, coherence and originality
Relevance to the theme: demonstrates the ability to shed light on, elaborate, or personalise the exhibition theme “[Re|Dis]Connection”
Feasibility: ease of installation (or provides clear guidance for installation). NOTE: Please consider restrictions of set-up time, resources, COVID-compliance etc.
Durability: work should be able to withstand users’ active interaction.

To submit: complete the online form

ICIDS 2021 Art Exhibition co-Curators:
Lynda Clark (InGAME, University of Dundee) and Raivo Kelomees (Estonian Academy of Arts)

Call for Workshop Proposals

A downloadable version of this call can be found here: pdf | plain text

Proposals for workshops are short papers (4 pages including references, in Springer LNCS format: that are not anonymized. Workshops may vary in length, from half a day to a full day, and may vary considerably in format. Interdisciplinary proposals are particularly encouraged.

Successful proposals require at least one workshop organizer to register for ICIDS 2021 and to attend to run the workshop. Workshop attendees will also need to register for ICIDS 2021 in order to attend.

Proposals should include: 

  • A brief description of the workshop (maximum two pages), outlining: 
    • Format 
    • Goals 
    • Topic 
    • Expected outcomes 
  • A proposed schedule and a short draft of the call for participation. 
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of the proposed organizing committee. This committee should consist of two to four people recognized in the area. 
  • The primary contact for the organizing committee. 
  • If possible, a list of tentatively confirmed attendees. 
  • A proposal for how the workshop might be run remotely/virtually if this is necessary due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Workshop proposals must be submitted via email to by 23 30 July 2021. Your email should outline any requirements that you have for running your workshop at the conference (e.g., requirements pertaining to space, physical/virtual setup, technology, etc.). The workshops will be held on December 7th 2021.

Previous ICIDS workshops: 

Workshop proposals and papers will be published online and made available through the ICIDS 2021 website.

Important Dates

July 23rd July 30th – Submission deadline (workshop proposals)
August 9th August 16th – Notifications to workshop organizers
All deadlines are 23:59 AoE (Anywhere on Earth)

Workshops Chair: Mirjam Vosmeer (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)

Call for Doctoral Consortium Participation

A downloadable version of this call can be found here: pdf | plain text

The Doctoral Consortium (DC) is an opportunity for PhD students to present their research in areas related to topics of the ICIDS conference. The Consortium will provide expert feedback on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions. We will also discuss career development.

 The event is intended for students who have articulated a research proposal and can point to some initial results. The work should still be in progress and malleable enough to take advantage of the feedback. 


Submit before midnight (AoE) on October, 1, 2021 in one combined PDF to 

  • Short paper (max 4 pages in LNCS Format, plus references) describing the research work, initial results, status and next steps. 
  • CV of the PhD candidate (1-2 pages) including a list of own previous publications (if available) 
  • Additional materials (videos etc.) can also be submitted by adding links to the submission PDF
  • Submissions should be authored by the student only, and they should not be anonymized for review. 

Review process

Contributions will be reviewed by a panel of experts, selected to match the topics of the contributions. In addition to quality of submission, additional factors such as expected thesis submission date (priority will be given to students with less time to completion), as well as diversity of students across research areas and institutions will also be considered.


Accepted contributions will be presented at the ICIDS 2021 DC and receive feedback from a panel of experts. In order to participate, applicants must register for the conference. A publication of revised abstracts is planned.


ARDIN is happy to announce the availability of travel scholarships for accepted contributors to the DC, who can apply after acceptance by stating their need (e.g. flight ticket, accommodation) in an email to Funds are limited and the scholarships will be awarded strictly on a need basis. Further details will be shared at a later date. 

The ICIDS 2021 DC Chairs:
Sylvia Rothe & Hartmut Koenitz