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WorldEmber 2020

10,000 words, 31 Days, $1000+ in Prizes!

Finish 2020 with an achievement! Start 2021 with a bang!

We challenge you to write 10,000 words of new worldbuilding content this December! Check out the prizes and rules below!
All you need is a free World Anvil account, grab your hammer, and GO WORLDBUILD!

Read The Rules View Leaderboard

WorldEmber 2020 is proudly sponsored by:

Prize Categories

It's super simple! Complete 10,000 words of fresh worldbuilding during December and you're a WorldEmber Winner! You'll be entered into the prize winners' raffle. There are bonus challenges to win some extra shiny badges on your World Anvil profile, and some awards give bonus prizes! 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! 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

Going the extra mile with your wordcount? There are extra badges if you do!

Award of Eloquence : write 10,000 words! Achieve this, and you've won WorldEmber!!
The Award of Verbosity : write 25,000 words - a small novel’s worth!
The Award of Loquacity : write 50,000 words - just like NaNoWriMo, but for worldbuilding!

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

The following achievements get a bonus prize AND a rare badge!

Community’s Favourite Article : chosen by a community vote based on the top most liked 10 articles with a unique author*
Community’s Favourite Body of Work : chosen by a community vote based on the top 10 authors with the most likes*
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.

* At the end of WorldEmber, there will be a community poll to vote for these. They will be drawn from the most liked articles. Only the most liked article per author will go foward, so don't despair if one person in particular is dominating the leaderboards!
Staff Category Community Favourite : Best Article
Staff Category Community Favourite : Best Body of Work

The staff are kept separate due to their advantage of being well-known in the community so it's fair for everyone! Staff are marked with an icon next to their username in the leaderboards.

Special Categories

Special categories are an opportunity to win an exclusive badge! 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 of the category will judge the top 10 articles and pick the lucky winner at their discretion!
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!

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:

BONUS PRIZE: A bronze mini of your own design!!
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: A $25 Steam gift card!
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: A mysterious box of worldbuilding books!
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: A pair of bluetooth earbuds!
Awarded by:
Tabletop Loot

BONUS PRIZE: amazing dice from their store!
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: A katana steel bracelet!
Awarded by:
Brian Colin

BONUS PRIZE: Revilo Campaign Setting & Revilo Bestiary
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: £30 gift voucher!
Awarded by:
Kobold Press

BONUS PRIZE: The Tome of Beasts 2 for 5th Edition
Awarded by:

BONUS PRIZE: A copy of the Ironrise tabletop game!


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 WorldEmber (1st December 2020)
  • 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 on Avanced Tools & Options on the right hand side
    3. click the SPECIAL ACTIONS tab on the right hand side
    4. 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: 11:00 on November 30th
      END: 11:00 on January 1st
  • EST (Eastern USA)
    • START: 14:00 on November 30th
      END: 14:00 on January 1st
  • GMT (Greenwich Mean)
    • START: 19:00 on November 30th
      END: 19:00 on January 1st
  • AEST (Australian Eastern)
    • START: 06:00 on December 1st
      END: 06:00 on January 2nd


If you’re eligible for a prize (which you will find out during the WorldEmber 2020 Awards Ceremony Stream and/or associated 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. 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 #WorldEmber on social media and the official World Anvil social media accounts may share your work for more exposure! You can also stream your World Anvil worldbuilding sessions over WorldEmber! To get access to official fan overlays, download them from our blog post here!.

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.


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 the visibility of your articles by sharing them on Social Media - remember to hashtag #WorldEmber 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 2020 Awards Ceremony stream, a special live-streamed Awards Ceremony on our Twitch - The projected date for this is in January 2021. 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 on 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 1,000,000 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 2020 Awards Ceremony and also listed on a blog post. This will probably be in January 2021, 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 favorites - 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 word count 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 a 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 at the time, 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!

Worldember Special Categories

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

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