Geeks Doing Good.

Worldbuilders Blog


So many fulfillment!

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Happy new year everyone!

We're still pumped about the final fundraiser total, and we will be for a while. And we're going to keep saying thank you because we can't believe how crazy generous you all are.

There's a bunch of work still to be done, so we figured we'd share with you guys some of the stuff we'll be up to for a while.


The Big Announcement: We're helping with the Tak Kickstarter fulfillment! Planning is underway, and we're starting to get some of the rewards for the packages we'll be sending out (if you're curious, it was -6 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 C) when we were unloading). Now, a lot of you guys preordered Tak supplies through The Tinker's Packs, and we'll have enough to go around. But the folks who backed the Kickstarter were first in line, so we'll be starting fulfillment in the next week or two. After all the Kickstarter rewards are in the mail, we'll be sending out the preorders, and once those are done, Tak will go live in our store! Yay!



The Other Big Announcement: Once we've finished processing all the donations data (there's a lot of data!), we'll start the Lottery pull. So you still have some time to contact us with any address changes. If you donated via PayPal, please make sure the address they have on file for you is correct, because that's the address we received. If you'll be moving sometime in the next month or so, please let us know your new address and when you'll be there. We'll be finalizing our lottery draw list soon, and we'll keep you posted.

The Not So Big Announcement: Once we're all done sending out Tak rewards and preorders, and when the last of the Lottery prizes is out the door, we're moving! By the end of summer, we should be in our new physical location that has such features as more space, real offices, and a bona fide loading dock! Remember when we had to set up a ramp to get stuff into our current storage area? The ramp has been retired now that we have enough people to bucket-brigade all the boxes. But we always dreamed of a day when we wouldn't have to break down and reassemble every pallet of store product or donations we receive. That dream should be a reality before next year's fundraiser!

We're excited, but it's a not-so-big announcement because it only affects the ten of us for now. The extra space (and loading dock!) will streamline our operation quite a bit, though, which will allow us to accomplish more throughout the year. We can't wait!

More updates as they happen, and in the mean time, we hope everyone has the best 2017 ever!

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Thank you so much for a wonderful fundraiser!

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 It's taken us a little while to get our thoughts in order and our emotions under control after the end of the fundraiser--we’re all still a little weepy with joy and flabbergasted at how well this fundraiser went.

We raised over $2.5 million for Heifer International.

That deserves a caps lock. Guys. We raised TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS for Heifer!

Do you have any idea how much good this can do for people all around the world? We’re about to tell you!

That’s 126,325 flocks of chicks, that can help a family pull themselves up out of poverty like Kid and Klang.

That’s 84,217 hives of honeybees, which help to improve an entire region by pollinating crops, as well as providing honey and beeswax--that’s a living for the beekeepers, and improved crops for the whole community.

It’s 42,108 tree seedlings, which purify the air, help prevent soil erosion, and produce fruits or nuts for a family to eat and sell.

That can provide goats to 21,054 families, which will grow exponentially when those goats have kids through Heifer’s Passing on the Gift - and did you know that goats usually have twins? That’s three families helped by a single goat.

It’s 9,187 girls getting the chance to go to school, to improve their lives, expand their horizons and have the chance to make a huge impact on the world.

That’s 8,422 villages that get access to clean water. Clean water. So many families are still forced to do without clean water, or have travel far away to fetch clean water.

That can launch 6,922 small businesses, giving families the means to take control of their own lives, and better their communities as well.

It’s 5,053 heifers, which provide milk for a family to drink and sell, manure to use as fertilizer, and calves to Pass on the Gift to another family.

That can provide biogas stoves to 2,527 whole villages, which provides a healthier and cleaner way of cooking food and providing light, and it's a whole lot better for the environment.

This is so much good that Heifer can do in the world, and it’s all thanks to you. This would not have been possible without your help in donating, in spreading the word, in bidding on auctions or buying the Cards Against Humanity Sci-Fi Pack.

Worldbuilders would not exist without our incredible community of authors and publishers and book lovers, gamers and game-makers, artists and jewelers, and geeks of all creeds. That’s you guys. All of you. Everyone who donated a bunch of books, games, collectibles, and art, everyone who spread the word, liked, shared, and retweeted our updates, everyone who told their friends, family, and coworkers about us, you were all part of this, and we can’t do it without you.

Every year, we set out to show that the geek community is full of wonderful people who will always do good if given the chance. We give that chance, and every year, you amaze us with how good you truly are.

We have so much love for our supporters and our sponsors, and for the wonderful folks at Heifer International who give us an outlet to make the world better.

Thank you to everyone who donated, and to everyone who sent us items for auctions or the lottery. Thank you to Cards Against Humanity for making another excellent card pack. Thank you to all the teams who participated in the Overwatch Tournament and had a blast with our silly debuffs. Thank you to everyone who started a team page--we had more teams than ever this year, and some of them absolutely blew it out of the water, like Team Acquisitions, Inc, the WriMos, all the Critters, and the ever-adorable Charlotte and Maggie.

Thank you. We’ll never be able to say it enough, but thank you.

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Two Million Dollars

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We’re rounding the corner on the end of this year’s fundraiser, and today’s update includes the very last things going into campaign. We have a ton of cool art, jewelry, and comics to show off, in addition to some fun crafts sent in by awesome supporters.

But first: We passed TWO MILLION DOLLARS you guys!
  







This is an amazing of three parts. First, that means that in raw support, you guys ponied up over a million dollars, which is more amazing than we have words for. Second, you used up all our matching funds, which brings us to the Third point: we have another $500,000 of matching funds! We were contacted by another anonymous donor--one person--who offered up another half a million. While we don’t expect to use up all this new matching money, this allows us to continue to double all donations through the end of the fundraiser.

We hoped we’d use up all the matching money, but we didn’t think we would. Then you guys blew our minds with days left on the clock. And now we can continue matching up to the end, which is...we don’t even have the words. You’ve all used up our matching money and every superlative we had. All we can say now is: thank you. Thank you all so much for being...well, superlative.

Okay, we’ll wipe away a tear of joy and let you know about the final wave of cool stuff!

There were lots of art prints sent in this year from folks like Karen Hallion, Penny Arcade, illustrator (not pianist) Grace Fong, and more.


The art is all up for auction so that people can get their favorite piece, so if any of these intrigue you, go bid before they’re gone Sunday night.

We also got a TON of jewelry this year, from a couple of different places. Medusa’s Mirror, the designer behind Mary Robinette Kowal’s lovely 2013 Hugo Awards necklace (she’s in the final photo) sent two beautiful beaded necklaces that Amanda immediately donned to show off.

And we received a huge donation from longtime supporter Serpent’s Dance Designs, who sent more awesome copper jewelry than ever! She sent beautiful cloak pins, copper necklaces based on the Kingkiller Chronicles, and two delicate rose petal necklaces, one in the standard copper, and one very special sterling silver. We love the silver rose petal so much, we wanted to make it available to anyone, so it’s in the lottery. Take a look at all the cool stuff she sent:



What better way to enjoy wearing jewelry than while reading comics? (Bear with us, we’re very tired right now.) A bunch of sponsors sent us some awesome comics and graphic novels! Dark Horse Comics and Improper Books sent some deluxe, limited, and even doodled graphic novels, and the creators behind Sex Criminals and Bitch Planet sent us a couple care packages to auction off. We have the care packages and the deluxe Dark Horse books on auction, along with a set of signed and doodled graphic novels from Improper books. The best part is that they all sent us enough stuff to throw even more books in the lottery! We want to spread the love, so if you need the entire set of Improper Books...uh, books, they’re in the auction. If you want to play the odds, you’ll have the chance to win individual doodled books in the lottery!

Speaking of Improper Books, Chris and Laura got married (congratulations guys!) and had some beautiful wooden table signs made for the reception, all based on pubs and inns from their favorite fantasy novels. That’s their Eolian sign down there on the right, next to some lovely Monsterful Creations, and all of them are on auction right now!

 

We have SO MANY comics and graphic novels, and you can see them all here. Also make sure to check out all of the beautiful jewelry over here.

All the auctions end Sunday evening, and the fundraiser will run through Monday night. Thanks to our new anonymous donor, we will be able to match ALL DONATIONS through the end of the fundraiser--we’re still crazy happy about that--and thanks to all of you guys, Heifer International will receive over two million dollars for their programs to help families and communities get on their feet and thrive. For a little perspective, that’s almost half of everything we’ve raised since Worldbuilders started...and y’all did it in six weeks.

You--yes, we’re looking right at you--are our favorite people. Thank you so much.

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Still More Author Donations!

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The finish line is rapidly approaching, but we're not there yet! Thanks to all you guys and your amazing generosity, we've raised a grand total of over $1,830,000.00 for Heifer International. Even without the matching funds, this is hands down the most we've ever raised during our annual fundraiser. And since we're not sure exactly what "hands down" means, we're going to talk about all the new additions to our Lottery Library (and some of the current auctions)!



























Most of the new stuff in the Lottery Library was donated by our author friends. We have cool signed stuff from Brad Beaulieu, Kevin Hearne, Anne Bishop, John Green, Ann Leckie, Kristen Britain, Peter V. Brett, Ernest Cline, Marie Brennan, and so many more--most of which made it into the lottery for anyone to win.

If you're interested in some of the stuff we have on auction, there's a typewritten manuscript from Kevin, a handwritten manuscript page from Kristen, a couple signed books from John, and a super-rare book from Peat. We also have one last manuscript critique from Holly Black, and a final Tuckerization from Bishop O'Connell.

There's honestly too much cool stuff to cover here, so head over to the Lottery Library and take a look!












 
If winning stuff is too boring, take a look at some of the new stretch goals we've posted! Shawn Speakman does a unique reading of the prologue from The Name of the Wind, Pat pronounces some Kingkiller names, and while it's not a stretch goal, we posted a video of Pat and Sarah singing as part of Charlotte and Maggie's Concert for Worldbuilders! Did you hear about the concert? It's an online concert that's open to everybody! You don't have to drive anywhere, dress up, or buy overpriced beer, just head over to the YouTube playlist they've set up (or click the video below) and start listening. It's the BEST.

 
 

Speaking of the best, you guys are the coolest people a charity could hope for. You've all absolutely blown us away with your generosity, excitement, and all your help this year. Yes--your help running the actual fundraiser by working with us on shipping, moderating Pat's Twitch stream, offering to match donations, spreading the word via social media, and covering processing costs. You guys really are the best...hands down.

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Generous Supporters, and Delightful Miscellany

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Have we mentioned recently that we have the best supporters ever? Yeah, we're talking about you. You amaze us every year, and this year has been no different: yesterday afternoon, we passed $1.5 MILLION dollars!

Yeah. Our people are the best people.

Some of our supporters take their awesomeness another step further and send us stuff to use in the fundraiser - sometimes signed or rare books from their personal collections, and sometimes handmade items full of geekery and love. Most of these end up being really specialized items that we put up as auctions, like the geeky cross stitches from Alyshondra, or the steampunk-style (Nerf)guns from Dale, or the Mr. Tibbet backpack from Jessica.

But sometimes people like Monsterful Creations will send us multiples of their items, so we can put up one as an auction and one in the lottery. Or people like Keith will send us an enormous box full signed of books that we can put into the lottery for anyone to win.

Really, there's something for everyone. Our supporters are what helps make both our auctions and our lottery library so wonderful, and we can't thank you enough for contributing!

There's some other miscellany that we added today, like The Story Book put together by the folks over at r/Fantasy, a story written one sentence at a time by a pretty staggering list of authors. Or the Game Night with Harper Voyager staff and writers, which promises to be full of food, games, and a stack of books - a pretty epic night, if you ask us.

We also got a ton of stuff this year from our friends at ThinkGeek, and we put a few of the items up for auction, like a Game of Thrones Bundle and the Longclaw Umbrella that made Rachel laugh so hard her sides hurt...

...but they also sent a ton of stuff that we're so excited to put into the lottery! There's a beautiful leathercloth edition of A Song of Ice and Fire, and a veritable stack of BrickBoys, as well as a bunch of other great stuff you should just go take a look at.

We have 9 days left in the fundraiser, and we still have a lot more items to add to the lottery, including even more books donated by authors, some beautiful jewelry, and a HUGE stack of comics and graphic novels.

We still have just over $200,000 left in matching funds, and that means we're so close to hitting our $2,000,000 goal. The Worldbuilders office has been full of happy dances all week, and we know next week will be more of the same!

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More Books from More Authors!

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 Opening donations from our wonderful authors is one of our favorite parts of the fundraiser. They always send us such cool stuff!

Today, we added another round of author-donated books into the lottery. As long as you select "Books" when you check out, every $10 gets you a chance to win some of these great books. There's over 200 new books in the lottery, from authors like Robin Hobb, Holly Black, Myke Cole, Brent Weeks, and more. 

Seriously, just look at this:

Look at all those books! Make sure to check them out in all their glorious glory, since any one of them could be yours.

We also have a bunch of auctions, if you don't want to take your chances on some of the coolness.

And if you're bad at waiting, or see a book up there that particularly takes your fancy, maybe go out and buy it. Help support the authors who help support us, because they're some of the best people in the world.

 

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Hundreds of books from Prime, Tor, and Del Rey

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The title says it all, really!

Today is a pretty epic day for the Lottery Library, because we're adding just shy of 850 books. As always, every $10 donation gets you a chance to win any of these books, or any of the thousands of other books and games we've already added.

Prime Books was one of our earliest sponsors, and they never disappoint: 600 of today's books come from Prime, 100 each of six different titles. We always get asked how we deal with the sheer amount of books we get, since our warehouse is just the basement of Worldbuilders HQ, and the answer we have to that is that trying times breed ingenuity.

As always, Prime has sent us some seriously quality books, featuring stories from Holly Black, Gene Wolfe, Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, and some guy named Patrick Rothfuss. Make sure to check out all the books from Prime that you have a chance to win!

Del Rey has been with us for years and years, too, and they always send us a great selection of books - ranging everywhere from some of the team favorites like Peter V. Brett and Pierce Brown, to new titles like The Devourers and Lightless that we really can't wait to read.

We know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but come on...those look awesome.


We also have a few auctions from Del Rey you should be sure to check out...and if you keep checking back, you'll see the final round of auctions going up TONIGHT, which will give you a little preview of all the awesomeness coming next week...

Last but so far from least is a new sponsor this year: Tor! If you're a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, you've definitely read some books published by Tor; they're a big name in the business, and they publish some seriously quality books. We were thrilled when they decided to join our little fundraiser, and then even more thrilled when SEVENTEEN boxes showed up on our doorstep.

No, we didn't send these down the stair-ramp...hardcovers are too heavy for that.


That's 200 books right there, and if you ask us, that's a fantastic way to start off a sponsorship! You can check out what's in the boxes here.

We're coming up on the last week of the fundraiser. We already have thousands of prizes up for grabs, and we'll be adding so many more before the fundraiser wraps up. Tomorrow we have some delightful miscellany, and we also have even more books and a huge pile of comics/graphic novels to add. 

This last week will be one of the most important times in the fundraiser, and we want to end BIG. Help us spread the word using the below images to share on social media, or add as a cover photo.


 





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Games! So many games!

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Thanks to you guys and our crazy matching money, we've raised over a MILLION DOLLARS for Heifer International! Rachel noticed yesterday that the grand total was getting close, and obsessively refreshed her browser until it looked like this:

Then she giggled a lot.

Our next mile marker is doubling that to use all the matching funds! We're hoping we can entice more folks to increase our base donations to a million dollars so we can give Heifer a cool two million for their projects.  As part of that enticing enticement, we've added a bunch of games to our Lottery Library. How many games is "a bunch" you may ask? That's when we get all smug and say, "We're glad you asked that specific hypothetical question--we just added over $84,000 worth of games!"

Seriously. And not just any games. It's not like we got a bunch of sidewalk chalk for tic-tac-toe. We have many pallets of games from Mayfair Games, Fantasy Flight, Wizards of the Coast, and Settlers of Catan, just to name a few. That's on top of all the games we already have from Cheapass Games and Pathfinder! Check 'em out!

  

Mayfair has been supporting us for a while, starting with their initial donation of 18 pallets of games a few years ago. It was enough for Maria to actually rent a forklift during a blizzard. They've been in the biz long enough to know that serious gamers love serious games with quality components. If your games library is looking small, or you're in search of some solid new games to bring to the...tabletop...we listed a bundle of 22 Mayfair Games on auction here.

Fantasy Flight also figured out that quality games have staying power, and we're so happy they joined us this year! Amanda has a large (and growing) game shelf in her house, and there are a bunch of Fantasy Flight games on it that look well-loved. Thanks to their generosity, we have a bunch of solid Fantasy Flight titles in our Lottery this year, and if you don't want to leave it to chance, we have an auction going for a bundle of 23 games right here.


Wizards of the Coast is a name you might recognize, especially if you play their flagship game, Magic the Gathering. This year, they joined us by donating an unprecedented 2,000 copies of the Magic Origins Deck Builders Toolkit. Magic the Gathering has staying power for a reason: it's a game that's pretty simple to pick up after a quick tutorial, and decks can be customized to take full advantage of a player's individual style. Each Deck Builder's Toolkit contains enough cards to build a couple decks and get started, or to bulk up your existing deck! Also good for combating denner addiction.

Settlers of Catan is one of Pat's all-time favorites, and if he's got a free hour, all you have to do is say, "Catan?" and he's stuck. It's like making Mister Mxyzptlk say his name backwards. Catan has a version of the game called the Traveler edition, which is the same game we know and love, but in a smart, smaller size you can play anywhere. They donated a bunch of them to us, and they're all going in the Lottery.

We love games, and we know you guys love 'em too, so we're beyond thrilled to be able to offer more games than ever this year. Thank you all so much for joining us this year. After raising so much money for Heifer International, we're going to volunteer Amanda to host games night!

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Giving Tuesday: A Wonderful Success!

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HOLY COW, you guys!

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday (Pat wrote a great blog about it), and you all stomped out in a BIG way.

We started the day at about $677,000 - a total that still amazes us - and this is what we saw when we all went to bed last night:

And that wasn't even the end of the day! In all, we raised $115,400 yesterday, before the matching. WITH the matching, that's $230,800. That's almost a quarter of a million raised yesterday alone!

So thank you. We unlocked two stretch goals yesterday alone: Sherwood Smith hosting an online workshop, and Pat pronouncing Kingkiller names. We're well on our way to hitting our million-dollar goal, which means we've almost used half of our matching funds. We'd love to use all $1,000,000 in matching, so help us spread the word! Tell your friends and family. Share us on Twitter or Facebook. Buy someone a flock of ducks as a Christmas present. Contact us to start your own team page (teams@worldbuilders.org). Donate to the second round of our Overwatch tournament.

We'd love your help, in any way you can!

We haven't quite reached out $1,000,000 stretch goal yet, where Neil Gaiman will read a story for us. The voting is really close, but it looks like it will be either The Raven or Where the Wild Things Are. Donate to help decide!

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Worldbuilders Week on r/Fantasy!

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All this week, the wonderful folks over on r/Fantasy are hosting us and about 40 authors in a series of Ask YOU Anything threads! These are similar to AMAs (Ask Me Anything), where a given person opens up questions to the community at large - except this time around, the authors are the ones asking YOU the questions. These will range from silly to thought-provoking to anywhere in between, and the authors will be dropping back in throughout the day to discuss the huge variety of topics.

We've got the current list of participants below, but be aware that the list might change, and that some authors might be dropping in multiple days, so you never really know what might happen.

Check in daily to see what authors want to know about YOU!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Mark Lawrence
Jason Hough
Jeffrey Alan Love
Django Wexler
James Sutter
Helen Lowe
Darynda Jones
Michael Martinez

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Aliette de Bodard
Monica Valentinelli
Adrian Tchaikovsky
Dyrk Ashton
Ferrett Steinmetz
Robert Brockway
Shawn Speakman
Becky Chambers
Susan Dennard
ML Brennan

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Betsy Dornbusch
Cat Rambo
Travis Heermann
Jay Swanson
Snorri Kristjansson
Dave Gross
Janny Wurts

THURSDAY, DEC 1
Martha Wells
Mazarkis Williams
Jaye Wells
Jacqueline Carey
Scott Hawkins
Dana Cameron
Adrian Selby
Kelley Armstrong

FRIDAY, DEC 2
Randy Henderson
Leah Bobet
Robin Hobb
Graham Austin-King
Sherwood Smith
Angus Watson
Carol Berg
Darrell Drake

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We love DAW, Overwatch, Reddit...and YOU!

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This morning, our thermometer showed over $630,000 raised for Heifer International! You all have been so generous that we had to raise our goal to a million dollars...which is, oddly, the amount of matching money we have! So think of it: if we reach our new goal, we’ll have used up all the matching money we were offered, doubling every last dollar. And the way you guys have been rallying, we have a very good chance of doing just that!

If you’ve been biding your time, waiting to see what else might show up in the Lottery, we’re happy to announce that we’ve added a TON of books from DAW Books to our Lottery Library! Hyperbole? Not by much--there is a 6’ x 15’ section of shelving in the office that is completely filled with DAW books, and we have a few auctions on top of that for some of the ARCs, signed books, and signed ARCs DAW sent. This is the most they’ve donated to any of our fundraisers, and we have a bunch of sets--complete series, or the first couple books to start you out. Most of the DAW prizes contain more than one book. Check ‘em out!

Once you’ve ogled all the awesome reading material DAW sent, head over to our AMA on Reddit r/fantasy to answer some questions. “Answer?” you may ask. But of course! All week some of our favorite authors will drop by our AMA for an AYA, where they ask you questions! Sound strange? It is delightfully so. Today, we have Darynda Jones, Mark Lawrence, Jason Hough, Jeffrey Alan Love, Django Wexler, Helen Lowe, James L Sutter, Andrew Lynch, and Michael J Martinez, all of whom will be dropping in here and there throughout the day to ask you guys what’s up!

Andrew already asked, “If you had to replace a dragon from one of your favourite books, what would you replace it with, and how would that affect the story?” to which thelanos42 replied, “I'm pretty sure the Bicycle Riders of Pern would not have been quite as successful.” Mike wanted to know, “What is the biggest thing that's gone wrong for you because you were too engrossed in a book?” citing missed train and bus stops as an example. He’s also interested in your favorite beer. Head over there and join the conversation--different authors will be stopping to chat all week!

After you’ve spent a day on Reddit, it might be time to unwind from all that smiling and get down n’ dirty with our Overwatch Tournament, which kicks off tonight at 5:30 pm, CST. All the information is on our Tournament Page, including who’s going to be duking it out, and what sort of handicap they have. You can influence who gets skunked by donating! Each team is raising money for our fundraiser, and for each match, the team who fails to raise the most money gets the handicap--right now, the first match between the Secret Hitler team and the Penny Arcade team looks pretty good for Penny Arcade, who has raised over $1,700. This means the Secret Hitler team will have to play as Soldier 76. We feel bad for them. Head over to the Overwatch Tournament Page to find all the times, handicaps, donation links, and links to the teams’ Twitch pages.

In the meantime, we’ll keep adding cool stuff to the Lottery Library, checking in on Reddit, trying to figure out how to liquid-cool our PCs, and posting Stretch Goals as they unlock. A big, warm thank you to everyone who’s donated, contributed, asked questions, tweeted, posted, and visited our page (hey, here you are!). We love you all thiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!!

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Announcing: the Worldbuilders Overwatch Tournament!

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Like many nerds, Pat got into playing Overwatch. And then he got Amanda to play Overwatch. And then she got Jeff to play Overwatch...

In short, we're fans.

So when Max of Cards Against Humanity challenged Pat to an inter-office Overwatch tournament, well...we couldn't let a challenge like that go unanswered! So we started talk to the folks at Cards, they started talking to some of their nerdy friends, and we started talking to some of our nerdy friends, and in the space of a few days, we suddenly had a bunch of nerdy groups wanting to field their own teams for an Overwatch tournament.

And Worldbuilders is, after all, in the business of making people happy.

So we're ridiculously excited to bring you:

Art by Kevin Budnik.

Starting next Tuesday, we'll have eight teams coming together to battle it out and see who the true Overwatch champions are! We have some seriously high-quality teams here, so it's anyone's guess who will come out on top. 

WorldbuildersCards Against Humanity
Penny ArcadeGeek and Sundry
Loading Ready RunBadali Jewelry
Secret HitlerWaffle Media

But the best part is...you can probably have a pretty good shot at influencing how the games play out. You can donate to your favorite team (or teams!), and in each round, the team who raises the least will be given a debuff during their match. Want to see Team Secret Hitler play as only Soldier 76? Donate to Team Penny Arcade, since those two will face off in the first round. Want to make sure Team Worldbuilders has a chance against Team Geek and Sundry? That's within your power!

You can follow along with where each team is at, who they're playing, and what the debuffs will be over at this handy site we put together. There's almost a week between now and the first matches on Tuesday - plenty of time to bump your favorite teams into the lead, to save them from the shame of debuffs...

You'll be able to watch all of the matches from the Worldbuilders Twitch channel, where Amanda will be spectating and giving her commentary on the matches (which might be just as amusing as the matches themselves). Each team will also be streaming their matches on their own Twitch channel, so if you'd rather hear Team Badali swear a lot, or hear a ton of jokes from Loading Ready Run, that's always an option too!

We're beyond excited for this tournament, and we hope you'll join us in the fun!

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Books from The Signed Page, DreamHaven, and Titan Books

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Today is a day all about books!

We're getting close to our $400,000 stretch goal, where agent Seth Fishman will host a live Q&A on how to get an agent. (This stretch goal, by the way, pairs very nicely with the WriMos for Worldbuilders page - get the chance to win a professional manuscript critique, and know how to shop your book around to agents afterwards!)

We're also getting steadily closer to our $1,000,000 stretch goal, where Neil Gaiman will read the book most selected by our donors. 

Right now, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe has the lead, but Where the Wild Things Are isn't too far behind... Voting will close once the fundraiser hits a million dollars, so if you want to help decide what Neil will read to us, vote with your dollars! You can make your selection when you checkout on the donation page.

 Today, we added a ton of books to the lottery from some of our awesome sponsors. If you - like us - love to read, then all the new additions should make you just as giddy as they make us!

First up, The Signed Page sent over a selection of signed books - make sure to check them all out! Some are going up for auction, while others are going into the lottery for anyone to win. These are all beautiful hardcover books, sure to look awesome on any bookshelf. Plus, there's also an auction for a DVD set of the first season of The Shannara Chronicles, signed by Terry Brooks himself!

The wonderful folks at DreamHaven were especially awesome this year: the drove over to hand-deliver their donation, meaning they got to see their books start to fill up the donation wall! They brought us almost 800 books, and most of them got added to the Lottery Library today, but there are some we're holding onto the feature later in the fundraiser...so stay tuned!

Also, speaking of the donation wall?

Lookit!

Titan Books is a new sponsor this year, and they're starting with a bang! They sent us over a ton of books that span the geek spectrum, meaning there's bound to be something in their donations that will make any nerd drool. We put a few up for auction, but most of their donation is going right into the lottery. Check out their full donation - $10 from you means a chance to win these beautiful books!

Tomorrow, we've got an exciting announcement coming up that we're all giddy over, so be sure to check back in!

And until then, keep being awesome.
-The Worldbuilders Team

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Shiny Things from Pat Rothfuss

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Over the weekend, the fundraiser passed $300,000, meaning we've unlocked our third stretch goal: the Worldbuilders Team doing our best happy dances! 

 
 

We are so happy here at Worldbuilders HQ with how well the fundraiser is going - at any given moment, someone is probably doing one of these happy dances at their desk or the packaging table. Thank you, all of you, for helping to make this our best fundraiser launch yet! We're just going to keep doing these happy dances until someone makes us stop.

Oh, and do you know what else makes us do a happy dance? AWESOME DONATIONS.

As usual, Pat has thrown a bunch of donations at the fundraiser this year, and we have a nice mix of lottery and auction items. You can view them all in the lottery library, or read what Pat has to say about all his donations, but there are some particularly shiny things we want to talk about.

Some of you might know about the famed Gold Name Rings: a 10 karat gold ring inscribed with the spell-word Rothfuss that, if given back to the man himself, is exchangeable for one (1) fairly open-ended favor. The possibilities are kind of endless, but Pat does reserve the right to negotiate a bit on this favor, based on legal or ethical reasons.

One of these rings is going up for auction, but another one is going into the lottery, where anyone can win it!

We also have another shiny thing making its debut this fundraiser: the Silver Name Ring.

Think of this as a smaller, more specific favor. If you find yourself in the same place at the same time as Pat (say, at a convention), he'll make some time in his schedule for you. You can trade in your silver ring to get coffee, play a game, hang out - some sort of meaningful interaction with Pat. There are three of these, and they're all going right into the lottery.

That's all for today, folks. Tomorrow, we'll be throwing a bunch of books into the lottery, and later this week we'll be debuting a new event that's sure to generate a lot of excitement. So stay tuned, because this fundraiser is just getting started.

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Critiques and Tuckerizations, and your chance to win a Critique!

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Happy Friday! We’ve hit a grand total of $218,430 (as of the time of this writing) for Heifer International, so it’s a happy Friday indeed!

We’ll keep it brief, because we know you guys all have a weekend to get to. Our Critiques and Tuckerizations auctions are live and doing well, and our first batch of auctions for Badali Jewelry, Subterranean Press, Valyrian Steel, and a lovely assortment of signed books donated directly by their authors will all be ending Sunday evening. Don’t miss out!

If you want to check out all the Critiques and Tuckerizations, Pat has a great list of them over on his blog. There are a few we want to highlight, though, ones that you can win even if bidding on auctions isn’t your thing…

Over on the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page, we have four critiques available to anyone who donates through that page! As with the normal lottery, every $10 donated gets you one entry - and even better, your donation is still eligible for the standard lottery, meaning you not only get the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime critique, you could also win books, games, jewelry, collectibles, and more!

The first critique (already unlocked!) will be from Jaime Lee Moyer, speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime will read up to the first 75 pages of the winner’s manuscript, and will give a ton of feedback and overall impression.

If the WriMos page reaches $5,000, editor David Pomerico will give a critique of the first 50ish pages of a manuscript, and give detailed critique and commentary. Feedback from an editor is an incredibly valuable thing, and it could be yours!

At $10,000, Bradley P. Beaulieu will throw his critiquing hat into the ring. Brad has been supporting Worldbuilders for years now, and this year he’s offering up a formal review of up to 12,500 words in a manuscript OR short story.

The final critique will be unlocked when we hit $15,000: a critique by Sherwood Smith! Sherwood will read a FULL manuscript (up to 150,000 words), and offer a ton of feedback. Seriously, a critique like this by an author of her caliber is pretty mind-blowing, and we’re so happy she’s letting us put it in this special writer’s lottery.

So there it is, folks! If you’re frantically working away at NaNoWriMo, or if you have a novel gathering dust in your trunk - donate through the WriMos page! If you have a writer friend who would drool over this chance, try to win one of the critiques and gift it to them (can you say BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER?!).

All week, we’ve been watching the totals add up while we answer questions and accept even more cool things from supporters and donors. Maria has been getting emails from folks who just heard about the fundraiser and want to send us pallets of games and books. We accept donations all year, and that includes during the active fundraiser. So if you think your company is a good fit for Worldbuilders, or if you’re an author who just saw our fundraiser in your Facebook feed, feel free to contact Maria at donations@worldbuilders.org and ask if maybe we could use some more stuff of our lottery. Even if we can’t use your donation this year (and we’ll certainly try), next year’s fundraiser will be upon us in no time!

We’re approaching more unlocked stretch goals, so stay tuned and ready your Share buttons!

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SO MANY books and games!

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Four days, $85,000 doubled by matching funds, for a total of over $170,000 raised for Heifer International! Thank you all so much for joining us and pitching in!

Bunny hugs for everyone!!

We’ve been seeing a lot of you guys sharing the fundraiser on Facebook and Twitter and it warms our hearts. Please keep doing that. We’re pretty sure the signal boost is what’s bringing folks in who otherwise might have missed it. Maria was running numbers yesterday, and this year we’ve raised more than we had last year at the time, even without matching funds! That’s totally due to you guys and your generosity and enthusiasm. We can never thank you enough.

If you want to share an image, we have one!

In the last two days, we’ve added a truly ridiculous number of books and games to the Lottery Library.

As always, our authors really outdid themselves this year and sent us more books than we could show off at once...so head over and check out the first round of author-donated books! There are some auctions in there, but most of these books are going right into the lottery, where a $10 donations gets you the chance to win.

And if a good game is more your thing, we have you covered there too! Cheapass Games came in as always with a pile of games. We’re also trying something new this year: game download codes! Trion Worlds came in with 150 game codes, available to anyone who chooses games as the type of prize they’d like to win.

That’s what’s been happening over the last few days. What do we have coming up? Let’s see. Y’all have unlocked our first stretch goal, which is a Big Reveal of Pat’s redesigned website. You may see a flickering on the horizon this weekend, but you'll hear plenty more about it from Pat next week, when he’ll expound upon its virtues and general coolness in his blog. Join us to check out all its majesty!

 While we’re talking about stretch goals, we’re $50,000 away from unlocking the next. Heifer International saw that and sent us their stretch goal for the $200,000 mark, and you will NOT be disappointed. We want to say more, but a) we don’t want to spoil it and b) we can barely see the computer screen because we’re tearing up a little. Brett used the word “epic,” but we’ll let you decide.

Okay, that’s it for today, because we want to go back and watch that thermometer total climb. The best part of this job is being reminded how awesome people can be, and you guys are the awesomest!

--The Worldbuilders Team

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Day Two: You are AWESOME.

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We’ve raised over $70,000 in the first day with all the matching funds. Twenty-four hours, you guys! This is fantastic! We’d tell you how much you rock, but you might already know that. So instead, we’re going to shift gears a little.

As promised, our Lottery Library is filling up with all the cool things we have in the lottery and on auction. Feel free to head over there and check it out! There’s lush books from Subterranean Press, some beautiful jewelry from Badali Jewelry, and auctions for Game of Thrones prop replicas from Valyrian Steel. Every $10 you donate is one chance to win some of this awesome stuff!

We do the lottery every year to encourage folks to donate (and because it’s super-fun), but honestly, the real winners are the folks Heifer helps with all the money we raise. Right now, $70,000 basically translates to 583 goats. That’s 583 families who can pull themselves out of poverty, start a farm, and send their kids to school.

How does it work?

Pat mentioned this in his blog, but in case you missed it, please check out this video. It’s short, but we want to give you guys an idea of what we’re talking about.

 
 
 

If you can’t watch it right now, it’s an interview with a woman named Chasha, who once had to beg to support her family. She was skeptical about some random charity giving away goats, but she was willing to put in the hard work--she joined Heifer’s program, built a fence, and learned how to farm goats. These days, she has the ability to buy groceries, make bread, and send her granddaughter to school.

Chasha is one of the many people whose lives have been vastly improved by Heifer’s programs. Folks like her are the exact reason we do this every year, and this lasting change is what makes us so optimistic about the future. Feel free to visit Heifer’s website to see what other programs they have going right now, and find out how more people like Chasha are getting the help they need to become independent and successful.

Thanks so much you guys. You’re the best.

--The Worldbuilders Team

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The 2016 Worldbuilders Fundraiser is Live!

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The Worldbuilders 2016 Fundraiser is officially underway!

 
 

Welcome! Have a seat! Grab some tea! If you’ve joined us before, you know the drill. Feel free to head over to our Worldbuilders Team Page and help the total climb! If you’re joining us for the first time, we’re glad you’re here! For the next four weeks, we’ll be posting updates, stretch goals, auctions, and lottery prizes, all to raise money for our favorite charity, Heifer International.

Why Heifer?

Here’s the low-down: We like Heifer International because they are incredibly smart about how they organize their programs. They only go where they’re invited, and they work with community leaders and families to make sure that what they do is what the community needs. Once the community establishes their goals for improvement--anything from improving farming techniques, to establishing a source for clean water, to starting a co-operative where the entire community can have access to supplies they normally wouldn’t be able to afford separately--Heifer starts the education process to get everyone on the same page. After a year or so of classes in business, farming, veterinary skills, and so on, Heifer brings in the materials the program requires. This can be livestock, seeds or saplings, bees and hive materials, or any other supplies to get the program off the ground.

The best part of Heifer’s programs is that every one of them features their idea of Passing the Gift--once a family is successful in the program, they pass on their education and materials to the next family. If a community’s co-operative thrives, its members help the next town over establish one of their own. When livestock give birth, the offspring is passed on to another family, along with all the original family’s knowledge. It’s a ripple effect of goodwill that makes sure the money raised keeps working for years, touching more and more lives.

How can we help?

Worldbuilders raises money for Heifer and their programs by making it a big ol’ geek-centered party. Our favorite authors donate rare and signed books. Artists and jewelers send their finest creations. Some of the biggest publishers in the industry send in books (and often entire sets of books!) and introduce us to even more folks who are glad to help out. All the donations we receive, from books and games to jewelry and collectibles are added to our Lottery and auctioned off to raise money.

Speaking of raising money, this year we’ve teamed up with Heifer to pull together ONE MILLION DOLLARS of matching money. Every dollar we raise will be matched. If you donate $120 to buy a family a goat, Heifer will receive $240 for two goats. If we can raise a million dollars, Heifer International will receive two million dollars to help pull families here and around the world out of poverty.

Wait....lottery?

At the end of the fundraiser, we will draw names and match them up with the thousands of prizes in our Lottery. Every time you donate $10, your name goes in once. Donate $50, you’re entered five times. After our random draw, we mail out everything in the Lottery Library as a massive wave of Thank You to our supporters!

So what all is going on?

Over the next four weeks, keep coming back to worldbuilders.org for daily updates. We’ll be adding more stuff to the Lottery Library. We have auctions launching every Sunday at 7pm CST. Our friends and supporters are joining us for Stretch Goals when we hit certain dollar amounts. Neil Gaiman will be reading us a story if we hit a million dollars, and everyone who donates through our Worldbuilders Team Page can vote on which one! Plus, we’ll have a couple more surprises lined up to keep things interesting. Visit us often, share the stretch goals on Facebook and Twitter, and help us get the word out.

Let’s change some lives!

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The Fundraiser starts in—oh! Shiny Thing!

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Hi guys! So with the Fundraiser starting on Monday, we figured we should cover some details. First of all--

Wait, Maria never unwrapped her lamp? Or her shoes? Come on, Maria! This stuff has been here since...oh, we never told anyone? Well, that's a story. Guys, when Maria was on maternity leave, we did a thing. It takes too long to explain, so how about an equally long video about it?

 

 








And even now, she still has stuff wrapped. Lazy.









This is why we can't concentrate on the Fundraiser!

Anyway, the Fundraiser! While Anne and Mike keep sending Geeks Doing Good packages out the door with the help of whomever is available and, of course, Bag--remember Bag? He's lost a lot of weight lately!








We're thinking of hiring Brett's grandmother to get Bag to eat more.

Sorry. We're a little distracted these days, what with the Fundraiser and all. Oh, wait--Hank Green is on Brett's stereo. We have to add another hash mark to the song tally.








Time for a new Post-It...

Now that we marked off another one, what were we saying? Mindy, what were we saying? No, not "el chupacabra."








Though her trophy wall is filling up as she finds more hidden chupacabras around her office.

Fundraiser! We have to stay on track! So the Fundraiser starts Monday, and we'll have a spanking new website, and--oh, rats. We've run out of blog. That's okay, we have a lot still to do, so we'll grab a snack and get back to work. Did we mention the refrigerator is fixed?













Yum.

...wait, what were we talking about?

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Get Ready for the 2016 Annual Fundraiser!

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It's nearly upon us! We've been organizing, calling folks, processing donations, and all the good stuff that comes with planning a fundraiser. The reality just hit us yesterday:

The 2016 Fundraiser for Heifer International starts on Monday, November 14th, 2016!

That's less than two weeks away (which is why we panicked a little yesterday).

 





We're kidding a little bit. We've actually managed to get a lot of the groundwork laid, old and new friends have been contacted about stretch goals, and we've even started compiling photos and descriptions for the auctions. Overall, we're super ready for this year's fundraiser. But of course, there are some new things happening that make us a little nervous (and we're prone to that anyway). 





This year's fundraiser is the shortest one yet! We will run for four weeks, from November 14th through December 9th. We have every day planned out, and a lot of stuff to cram into each one, from auctions, to cool stories, to stretch goals, to daily updates in our Lottery Library of all the cool stuff you have a chance at winning. Some of our longtime donors have upped their game, with Badali Jewelry and Serpents Dance Designs donating more cool jewelry than they ever have, DAW sending several large boxes of awesome books, and Subterranean Press donating even more limited edition books than ever. We also have a bunch of new sponsors and donors, including Titan BooksWyrmwood Gaming SuppliesGeek Chic, and Trion Worlds. We're upping our gaming...er, game.

The Worldbuilders website is also getting an exciting update this year! We've been working with a local company to redesign the Worldbuilders website (you are here), and we're stoked to reveal it. We're still on schedule to have it ready by the start of the fundraiser, and the new site will be your one-stop experience for all things Worldbuilders. Our main page will be brigther and a bit more airy, but you'll still be able to find Donation options, our Fundraiser Thermometer, the Lottery Library, all our Stretch Goals, and a lot more. Also, we'll be easing Pat's workload by posting most of the blog entries this year, though he's still going to be talking about the fundraiser quite a bit on his blog.

There will be more cool announcements as the fundraiser progresses, but we don't want to spoil the surprise! So strap on your boots, tell your friends, and let's see if we can make this year's fundraiser the best one yet!

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