WorldEmber 2019 | World Anvil

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WorldEmber 2019

10,000 words, 31 Days, $1000+ in Prizes!
Number of Entries 43140
Number of Competitors 7471

Do you want to get your worldbuilding skills up to scratch? Join the fun!


Finish 2019 with an achievement! Start 2020 with a bang!

We challenge you to write 10,000 words of new worldbuilding content this December! Check out the prizes and rules below!

Read the Rules View Leaderboard

WorldEmber 2019 is proudly sponsored by:

Prize Categories

Some awards win only badges, and some win prizes too! Check below to see what you could win!


Over WorldEmber you can win over $1000 USD of prizes, including some amazing goodies from our Sponsors! Prize Winner’s Raffle. All WorldEmber participants who achieve a word count of 10,000 words or more will be automatically entered into the WorldEmber Prize Winners' raffle, for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

Wordcount Badges

  • WorldEmber Winner : write 10,000 words!
  • Achieve this, and you've won WorldEmber!!

    The following badges are optional and grant no bonus prizes:
  • The Novella Award : write 25,000 words - a small novel’s worth!
  • The Novel Achievement Award : write 50,000 words - just like NaNoWriMo, but for worldbuilding!
  • Trilogy Award : write 150,000 words - only for the brave! That’s three times NaNoWriMo! Please check with your doctor, spouse and cat before considering this much writing!

  • Please note that higher wordcounts will be vigorously checked for copypasting, plagiarism, and rule breaking.
    Don't risk disqualification over a badge!

Badges With Prizes

  • Community’s Favourite Article : chosen based on community likes
  • Community’s Favourite Body of Work : chosen based on community likes over all of their WorldEmber-eligible articles
  • Most Words : chosen based on the most WorldEmber-eligible words written
  • Human of the Match : for a good spirit who has ranked high in many categories and has really captured the community spirit of WorldEmber. Given at the World Anvil Team’s discretion.

  • Staff Category Community Favourite : Best Article
  • Staff Category Community Favourite : Best Body of Work

Special Categories

Special categories are an opportunity to win an exclusive prize! To be eligible, try and get the most likes on an article using these templates. After the World Anvil Team have checked the shortlist for eligibility, the Sponsor or Deity guild member will judge the top 10 articles and pick the lucky winner!
There is a maximum wordcount limit on special category articles. If your article exceeds 5,000 words it will not be eligible for a special category award. In the case of multiple articles by the same author within the shortlist, only the most liked entry will be judged!
All artwork used in special category entries MUST BE CREDITED.

Note that the Generic Article, Prose and Session Report templates are excluded from this list and have no special category.

To enter a special category, click a template below and get worldbuilding! Check out the prizes in each special category to see what you could win!
Awarded by:

MEGA ART BOX containing:
Medieval Calligraphy by Marc Drogin
Wooden box with ink from Winsor & Newton
Skillshare gift voucher for 3 months
Platinum carbon desk fountain pen
Platinum ink cartridge
Aluminum box
Awarded/Bestowed by:
To be revealed soon!
Awarded by:

A 50$ bundle of fanasty art assets
Awarded by:
Campaign Coins

A $50 gift card
Awarded/Bestowed by:
To be revealed soon!
Bestowed by:
Laughing Prophet

Pick from a titanic collection of Humble Bundle game keys!
Awarded by:
Tabletop Loot
A Deven Rue Map Dice bag, a Tabletop Loot dice tray in one of 7 colors (Orange, Purple, Navy, Black, Hunter Green, Neon Pink or Neon Green), a $50 gift card, and a backpack dice tower!
Bestowed by:
1st Prize -
  • $100 PayPal
  • 1- Auras Beyond Adventure by Spinster
  • 1-""Misty Kingdom"" Faction Creation (Lifetime Subscription)"
2nd Prize -
  • 1 - Character Portrait of choice created by the talented artist Nico RedMark
  • 1- Auras Beyond Adventure by Spinster
  • 1-""Misty Kingdom"" Faction Creation (Lifetime Subscription)"
3rd Prize -
  • 1- Auras Beyond Adventure by Spinster
  • 1-""Misty Kingdom"" Faction Creation (Lifetime Subscription)"
Awarded/Bestowed by:
To be revealed soon!
Awarded by:
Kobold Press

Creature Codex for 5th Edition
Awarded by:
Ironrise Games

A copy of Ironrise board game
Awarded/Bestowed by:
To be revealed soon!
Awarded/Bestowed by:
To be revealed soon!


The goal of WorldEmber is to achieve 10,000 words of original worldbuilding content on World Anvil during the month of December. The platform will automatically track the words you write!

Words which count towards WorldEmber are:
  • Words written in articles only. Any words written in timelines, RPG blocks, maps, notes, secrets or historical events DO NOT count towards your total wordcount
  • Words written in PUBLIC articles (rather than private) and PUBLISHED articles (and not drafts)!
  • Words written in articles created after the start of World Ember (1st December 2019)
  • Articles will only add to your wordcount if they have over 50 words

  • Special Provision: Stubs If you have a stub (article under 50 words) written/started before the beginning of December you can enter it into WorldEmber.
    In order to do that, follow these instructions carefully:
    1. Open the article that has a wordcount of under 50 words
    2. click the ADDITIONAL ACTIONS tab on the right hand side
    3. Click the Reset Date button. This process will update the creation date of the article to the current date.

When does it run?

WorldEmber happens throughout December:
  • PST (Pacific USA)
    • START: 00:00 on December 1st
      END: 23:59 on December 31st
  • EST (Eastern USA)
    • START: 03:00 on December 1st
      END: 02:59 on January 1st
  • GMT (Greenwich Mean)
    • START: 08:00 on December 1st
      END: 07:59 on January 1st
  • ACST (Australian Central)
    • START: 19:00 on November 30th
      END: 18:59 on January 1st


If you’re eligible for a prize (which you will find out during the WorldEmber 2019 Awards Ceremony Stream and/or associted blog post) you will have 2 weeks to contact us with your postal address, email address and full name. By submitting this information, you also give your permission for World Anvil to pass your details on to the prize-giver, which will be a sponsor or World Anvil Deity. This will allow the sponsor in question to send out the prize(s) to you. We can also give you the sponsor/company’s contact details so you can address any further questions to them directly.

If you are eligible for a prize - be it community favorite, prize draw winner, special category or most words - your work will be checked for cheating.

The following acts count as cheating:

  • Like boosting via secondary “alt” accounts
  • Word count boosting (for example, using Lorem Ipsum / placeholder text or copy & pasting other author’s work or reference material).
  • Plagiarism
  • Creating non-worldbuilding content with the intention of winning a particular badge, prize, or special category. This includes blog posts as articles, dev/project updates, and other meta posts. WorldEmber is about worldbuilding!
  • For Special Categories in particular, all artwork used MUST BE CREDITED. Art theft isn't cool, and using it to win prizes could get you disqualified.
Whilst we recognise the need to share your work in order to accrue community likes, excessive campaigning or spamming on the Discord server will lead to Moderator action.

The words must be your own original worldbuilding content.
All judges decisions are final.

Sharing your work

Since many of the prize categories of WorldEmber involve community likes, it’s a good idea to share your work on social media, with your friends and family and with the wider worldbuilding community.

Join us on our Discord server to get feedback from other worldbuilders! Excessive campaigning or spamming on the Discord server will lead to Moderator action.

Use the hashtag #WorldEmber2019 on social media and the official World Anvil social media accounts may share your work for more exposure! You can also contact us about streaming your World Anvil worldbuilding sessions over WorldEmber, to get access to official fan overlays, and with a possibility of being hosted on the official World Anvil Twitch channel. To do that, send an email to [email protected].

Article Critique

This year we will not be running article critique in our discord, but instead will be launching a channel called #worldember-showcase. In this channel you will be able to show off one of your articles every 24hrs! If you are looking for critique and feedback on your worldbuilding, we encourage you to post your article on Reddit. Some fantastic communities for this are: /r/WorldAnvil, /r/worldbuilding, /r/fantasyworldbuilding and /r/DnD! Please check the pinned messages in the Discord channel for full details.


How do I enter?
    Make your free account on World Anvil, create a world, and get writing! The website will automatically track your word count progress.

Do timelines & category pages count?
    Nope! Check the rules! Words written in articles only. Any words written in timelines, RPG blocks, maps, notes, secrets or historical events DO NOT count towards your total wordcount.

The leaderboard is delayed with wordcount/likes, why is this?
    The leaderboard information refreshes periodically to prevent it from creating lag on the website. Check back in an hour or so and it will have updated! In the meantime, why don't you GO WORLDBUILD?!

Can I copy in my old work or stuff I did in NaNoWriMo?
    Verbatim copying of previously done work (even your own!) is not in the spirit of the competition, but expanding on previous work - for example, creating a book bible extrapolated from the first draft of a novel - is just fine.

Do I have to pick a single world to work on for my wordcount?
    Nope! Wordcount is per author, so you can write across as many worlds as you like!

What about co-authors?
    Multiple co-authors can write in a single world; their word counts are accumulated based on individual user, not the world they write in.

How do I get people to like my article?
    You can increase visibility of your articles by sharing them on Social Media - remember to hashtag #WorldEmber2019 and the official World Anvil Social Media may share your post! Remember that your fans will need a free World Anvil account in order to like your article and show their love! Like-boosting through alternate/multi accounts will disqualify you from any prizes you might otherwise have won.

When will the winners be announced?
    The winners will be announced at the WorldEmber 2019 Awards Ceremony stream, a special live-streamed Awards Ceremony on our Twitch - The projected date for this is February 2nd 2020, at 20:00 GMT (12pm PST). If you can't tune in live, you can watch on VoD, or read the partner blog that we release which will contain a full list of usernames of all the winners! We will keep you updated our Discord and social media nearer the time!

When will the badges be given out?
    Once the Awards Ceremony has taken place and all the winners have been announced, we will start the process of giving out the badges. World Anvil has over 500,000 users, though, so this might take a minute! Please be patient!

I won a prize. How do I claim it?
    The prize winners will be announced at the WorldEmber 2019 Awards Ceremony and also listed on a blog post. This will probably be on February 2nd, 2020, but we'll confirm this nearer the time. If you have won a prize, you have two weeks to email your World Anvil username, name, email address and full international postal address (double check it!) to [email protected] (Due to GDPR regulations we destroy all information after use, so even if you've won a previous competition we will need your address again!)
    If you do not claim the prize within the allotted time, it will be distributed at World Anvil's discretion.

When is my prize coming?
    Most of the WorldEmber prizes are donated by our amazing sponsors, and they are the ones responsible for shipping your gifts! Once we have your details, we pass those on to the sponsor, and the sponsor will fulfill delivery within a month. So, six weeks or so after the prizes are announced, you should have your prize! If by then you still haven't received something, we can you provide you their contact details for any further questions.

Why do my articles have to be public?
    Articles need to be public in order for the word count to be updated, and also for our team to be able to check for any cheating.

Can I make my articles private, or delete or edit things after the event?
    After the Awards Ceremony, yes! If you make your articles private or delete them before the ceremony has taken place, you may forfeit your digital badge or your prize, as our team will be unable to check your work for cheating.

Can I sponsor a prize?
    Well, aren't you awesome for asking! All our sponsorships are full for this event, but if you are interested in becoming a sponsor for one of our future events, let us know at [email protected]!

How do I submit my article to WorldEmber?
    All eligible words are automatically counted by the World Anvil platform. You don’t need to do anything except write them!

How do I enter an article for a Special Category?
    To take part, simply write an article using the specified template. A shortlist of the top 10 articles - as judged by community favourites - will be submitted to the judge of the competition, which is almost always the sponsor of that special category. The judge will choose the winner at their own discretion, by their own means. There is a maximum wordcount limit on special category articles. If your article exceeds 5,000 words it will not be counted in the shortlist. Even with this limit, the judge would potentially have to read up to 50,000 words of worldbuilding to pick a winner!

How does the judging of Special Categories work?
    Each special category is sponsored or bestowed by an individual or company (check the details further up the page). The judge may or may not have a prize for the special category, but each one has a unique badge to win. The top 10 articles by most likes (not including multiple entries from the same user) are checked for cheating & plagiarism by the World Anvil team. The shortlist of articles is then passed to the judge, who will pick a sole winner at their discretion and own judging criteria. The judge of the Special Category will have until 21st January to make their decision. If they are unable to do so in that time frame, the World Anvil Team will adjudicate for them.

What is Human of the Match?
    The Human of the Match is a competitor with good community spirit who has (usually) ranked high in several categories, and has really captured the community spirit of WorldEmber. They may be a prolific commenter, have a team spirit, and concentrate on lifting up other competitors and furthering the art of worldbuilding rather than their own private goals - basically, a great human. This award is given at the World Anvil Team’s discretion.

A person has many entries in a Special Category leaderboard, is that fair?
    Yep! As stated above the special categories section - only your most liked article is the one that will be judged if you are in the top 10 of that category. If it looks like an individual is taking up all of the top 10 slots, that's not the case!

Why was the article critique removed from Discord this year?
    We love trying out new things, and this is one of them! Last year we had a channel on our Discord server, but it required heavy moderation. With over 15,000 users in the Discord it needed round the clock surveillance. We want to try out Reddit as an easier format to use and to encourage people to share their worldbuilding online!

Staff Participation

Our World Anvil team and main volunteers - including Enchanters and Discord Moderators - will have their own league for the most liked article and most liked body of work. They will still be eligible for the 10k Prize Winner’s draw, "Most Words" prize, and all Special Categories except those they may be adjudicating.

Worldember Special Categories

Click on a prompt to write your response.
Let the games begin!

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Do you want to get your worldbuilding skills up to scratch? Join the fun!

Last Update Sun, Dec 3rd 2023 01:14