It’s that time of year again. Worldbuilders has officially begun and I’d be remiss if I didn’t help spread the word about this amazing charity headed by one of fantasy’s greatest writers, Patrick Rothfuss.
Pat started Worldbuilders back in 2009 and in the four years since its beginning they have raised more than $2,000,000 for Heifer International. Heifer is an organization that aims to help people in developing countries rise up out of poverty and starvation and gives them the opportunity to really make a difference in their lives.
They don’t just airdrop food and clothes in either, they donate goats, chickens, sheep, and other animals to the families so they can become self-sustaining.
But this isn’t a charity where you click a donate button and watch your money disappear down the drain. Instead, Pat offers a little something back to those who choose to donate with a whole range of prizes and rare offerings.
As Kvothe says in Name of the Wind when a cobbler shows him a kindness:
“Why? Because pride is a strange thing, and because generosity deserves generosity in return. But mostly because it felt like the right thing to do, and that is reason enough.”
Publishers, authors, fans, and businesses all donate to the group. The offerings include rare, signed books, advance reading copies of as of yet unreleased books, geek paraphernalia and a number of other prizes that range from watching and helping famed author Brandon Sanderson write a short story to buying the chance for agents, editors, and authors to look at your manuscript and offer their advice.
There are 3 ways to donate to Worldbuilders:
1.) The Lottery
For every $10 you donate your name gets entered into a drawing for some unique merch. Mainly featuring rare books and donated goods from publishers and authors this is a great method if you don’t mind taking a shot in the dark at getting a prize. The good thing is, everything is tax deductible and super easy to do.
The lottery is also where the bulk of the money comes from for the stretch goals. Special rewards that will be handed out once a certain goal is met. To start off with they’re marked at every $25K up to $100K, which they’ve already hit as of this post. (Don’t worry, more will be coming.)
This years a bit different, new and improved even. Now there’s a Library which lists all of the books up for the lottery. I’d still recommend checking out Rothfuss’ blog every now and again as he delves a little more into the latest in the lottery.
2.) The Sure Thing
The Tinker’s Pack, Pat’s online store, is also full of all kinds of geeky goodness, and not just related to his Kingkiller Chronicles either! The best part is that all of the proceeds from what you buy in the store go directly to Worldbuilders. It may not have the flair of the lottery or the prestigious items in the auctions but it is a definite way to get something you’d like and still donate money to the charity.
Worldbuilders has its own eBay page, which can be found HERE.
As Pat describes it on his blog
“Sometimes we get donations that are really cool…. but they’re only cool for for a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but other people, (sad, unhappy people) have never played portal, and just don’t care.
The same thing is true with action figures, games, musical instruments, manuscripts, or other collectables.
So we put those things up for auction.”
Basically, it’s a chance to find specific things, prizes that will appeal to your geek-filled heart with a yearning you haven’t felt since middle school when Tamogatchi’s were the coolest thing in town.
Particular note needs to be made that the items currently listed on the page are not all of the items that will be available. The Worldbuilders staff starts the auctions in a staggered rate throughout the time the charity is active. Right now the eBay page is filled with the critiques from industry professionals as well as some of those ARC’s for upcoming releases I mentioned earlier.
Pat’s got a blog up detailing the different critiques that are available and for any of you aspiring writers, I’d HIGHLY recommend checking it out.
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It’s hard to argue with all of the good things Pat is doing here. He’s shown the world that not only is a he a remarkable writer of fantasy and stories but he’s really a stand-up guy, one that cares more for the world he’s living in and the people who aren’t as fortunate than lining his own pockets.
I’ve been donating to Worldbuilders every year since it started, no matter my financial standing. Who can’t afford a couple bucks, especially when it’s going to such a good cause.