Join our very first book project!

Inspired and enthused by the amazing energy and playful attitudes demonstrated by the participants at the CounterPlay ‘16 festival, we have decided to create a book that is playful in both form and substance. So many thoughts and ideas were shared and developed, and now we wish to collect, present and explore those in more depth. At the same time, we want to broaden the community and the conversations by inviting more people to read along, participate and contribute.

The main theme of CounterPlay ‘16 was “play when it’s difficult”, and we’ll maintain this for the book as well. It has a dual meaning, since it is about supporting play in the many situations where it’s being marginalized, and about exploring how playing might make difficult situations less difficult.

Like the festival, we want to make a book that mirrors the diversity of play by representing a wide range of ways to play and be playful. This should also result in a book that is simultaneously about play and playful in itself. Hence, we will go beyond non-fiction and pure text, as we wish to illustrate the many, many possible forms and expressions play can take. Apart from regular text-based chapters, contributions can also be in the form of drawings, photos, poems, songs, dances, games, connect-the-dots, cut-outs – and so on. We love surprises, so if you have an idea that you think might be fun, get in touch.


The book will be built on three core pillars that supplement each other and hopefully both challenge and inspire the reader:

  • The theoretical / research
  • The personal / stories
  • The practical / guides

By including the theoretical in the foundation of the book, we aim to ensure it will be informed by current research, which should also reflect the many theoretical approaches to play studies.

Through the personal stories and experiences, we wish to show how people all over the world have been engaging with, exploring and implementing playful approaches for a wide range of reasons.

The practical is what will get you playing or what will help you inspire those around to embrace their innate playfulness. We are collecting challenges, assignments, games – anything that is easy to adopt by jumping right in.

Who can contribute:

The call is open to anyone, and we hope a broad spectrum of playful people will want to contribute. Whether you are a practitioner or a researcher, whether you are working with children or adults, in the public or private sector, we would like to hear your story.

Type of book

While we are certainly not lacking ideas for creative interpretations of what a “book” can be, we are currently working towards producing the book as an ebook/interactive PDF or similar and a print-on-demand book.

Your proposal

Your proposal should be in the form of an abstract on no more than 300 words, that describes the core theme(s) of your contribution. If your proposal fits within the book, we will ask you to write a chapter at a maximum of 8 pages (but it can be shorter, of course).

If your proposal is not supposed to be a regular chapter, but another format (drawing/illustration, game, poem, song, video etc.) the word count does not apply. In this case, you can submit what you think describes your contribution best.


For submitting an abstract: September 26th

We will get back to you as soon as possible after the deadline to notify you if your proposal will be accepted into the book. If so, we would like to have a dialog with you to make sure your proposal fits with the book as a whole – before you finish your contribution.

Final contribution: December 5th

After our dialog, we hope you are still keen on submitting your finished contribution (maximum 8 pages, in case of a chapter).

Publication: March 2017

About the project:

When we started this project, we decided that, first and foremost, it should be playful, and we certainly aim to uphold this. This means that we will keep it open, light-hearted, fun and that we will embrace and explore the unpredictable and unknown. We will allow the project and the book to evolve and change shape throughout the project, since we are bound to be surprised and learn new things along the way. The project is building on the CounterPlay festival, but it is a collaboration between a diverse group of people around the world.

Important dates & information:

For submitting an abstract (300 words): September 26th October 3rd

For submitting full chapter/contribution (max 8 pages): December 5th

Expected time of publication: March 2017

For more information, contact Mathias Poulsen at

If you need help, can’t make the deadlines, or if anything else is getting in the way of your wish to participate in making the book, get in touch anyway, and let’s see what we can figure out. We’re quite flexible.