We LOVE worldbuilding challenges! They inspire you to write, they help you share your work, and they foster a great sense of community.
If you’re writing professionally, they’re a great way to get new fans. Or maybe you’re looking to improve your worldbuilding? World Anvil’s worldbuilding challenges are a great way to up your game and expand an area of your world that you hadn’t thought of. Or they might create something completely new!
This blog post is a low down of all our different worldbuilding challenges, as well as clarifying when they happen!
Where can I learn about the latest Worldbuilding Challenge?
We also shout out our worldbuilding challenges on our live streams over on Twitch! We go live four times a week:
Tuesdays 7pm London | 11am Pacific – World Anvil’s live support webinar and Ask Me Anything Stream
Thursdays 7pm London | 11am Pacific – Live Gaming Stream and worldbuilding chat
Saturdays 7pm London | 11am Pacific – World Anvil’s Community Update, Develop News and Fun Shenanigans!
Sundays 8pm London | 12am Pacific – World Anvil’s Worldbuilding Podcast LIVE! Interviews and Advice from the Worldbuilding Professionals
And of course, we announce our challenges on the announcements channel of our Discord! We also have a special dedicated channel for discussing competitions and challenges. It’s a great place to share articles, get help and inspiration and have great worldbuilding discussion! And if you want to take part in challenges, make sure you take the @Competitor role, so you get all the news!
What kinds of Worldbuilding Challenges does World Anvil run?
At World Anvil, we have a few different types of challenges. Obviously, different people enjoy different things so we try to vary how our challenges work. Some of our worldbuilding challenges are just for fun, like our Flash Challenges. Then again, in others, you can win huge prizes, and get your work judged by industry professionals. You can take part in all of our worldbuilding challenges, or none of them! It’s entirely up to you. For all of our Worldbuilding Challenges, you’ll need at least a free World Anvil account to take part, but it’s completely free to enter!
WorldEmber every December
WorldEmber is a worldbuilding challenge that runs each December for a whole month. We challenge you to write 10,000 words of original worldbuilding during that time. The words must be public and published so that the system can count them. All completers of the 10,000 words will win a digital badge, and be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win thousands of dollars of prizes from our incredible sponsors.
If you’re feeling competitive, or just get inspired, we also have Special Categories you can enter. There’s a special category for most of the World Anvil worldbuilding template types. The top ten entries of each special category, as judged by likes, are given to a guest judge. There is usually a special prize and badge for the winners of these special categories.
Summer Camp every July
World Anvil’s Summer Camp is a worldbuilding challenge that runs each July, for a whole month. In this challenge, you complete 30 worldbuilding prompts over the 31 days of July. Winners who manage to complete 10 prompts are entered into the copper prize draw. Completers who manage 20 prompts are entered into the Silver Prize Draw. Gold Winners, who complete all 30 prompts of the worldbuilding challenge, are entered into the Gold Prize Draw, where all the biggest and best prizes are!
This is a fantastic worldbuilding challenge for newer worldbuilders. The prompts help guide your worldbuilding and give you specific things to write about. All the prompts are system and setting agnostic, and will work for sci-fi or fantasy worlds.
Also not to be missed is the live meet-up event with World Anvil’s founders! In 2018 this took place in Hyde Park, London. 2019 saw Berlin, Germany as the meeting place. And in 2020, we’ll be doing a tour of cities in the USA, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Sacramento and LA! If you’re close by, we’d love to see you for a morning or afternoon of worldbuilding chat! Of course, we’ll release more details on our social media and Discord when we can.
World Anvil’s Community Worldbuilding Challenges
In addition to the massive challenges of WorldEmber and Summer Camp, we also run Community Worldbuilding Challenges four times a year. These worldbuilding challenges give you a month to answer a specific worldbuilding prompt, which also has a word restriction. Entries are submitted via the competition page and are judged by our Master of Games and guest judges.
There’s a premiere league for people who’ve previously won a worldbuilding challenge, which means that newcomers have a good chance of getting ranked and winning! There are prizes for both the Premiere league and Standard league. We also run a Prize Draw for which any guild member who entered the challenge is eligible. The Premiere and Standard league winners are also submitted to the Worldbuilding Magazine for professional publication!
For an example, check out our January 2020 worldbuilding challenge, the Words of Worldbuilding Challenge.
In 2020, these worldbuilding challenges will take place in January, March, May, and September. They go live on the first Saturday of those months and are unveiled on our Community Stream, Saturdays at 7pm GMT, 11am PST. Each will focus on a different topic.
The subjects of the worldbuilding challenge are also supported by our Sunday Podcast LIVE streams, which go live at 8pm GMT / 12pm PST on Sundays, over on our Twitch Channel. These later become Podcasts and Youtube Videos as well, which you can peruse at your leisure!
World Anvil’s Flash Worldbuilding Challenges
In February 2020, we ran our first Flash worldbuilding challenge of the year, in honour of Valentine’s Day. These are the most casual of our worldbuilding challenges, and a lot of our community really enjoys the chilled out feeling! There are no prizes or badges for completion, but we’ll show off our favourite entries in the World Anvil Saturday Community Stream (7pm GMT, 11am PST on Saturdays). You can enter simply by dropping the link to your article into the comments of the relevant blog post.
These flash challenges take place in the months between the major challenges. Expect one or two flash worldbuilding challenges in February, April, June, August and October.
Other worldbuilding challenges!
Every now and then, we do other kinds of challenges! In 2019, we ran a challenge in partnership with the amazing Kyanite Publishing. Members were encouraged to complete a novelette, and the top ten will be published in an upcoming official World Anvil anthology! The Grand Prize winner also won a book deal with Kyanite Publishing!
As always, keep an eye on our social media and our Discord to learn about new worldbuilding challenges!
The Full Timetable of World Anvil’s Worldbuilding Challenges
January 2020: Community Challenge
February 2020: Flash Challenges
March 2020: Community Challenge
April 2020: Flash Challenges
May 2020: Community Challenge
June 2020: SummerCamp Prep Month
July 2020: SUMMER CAMP
August 2020: Flash Challenges
September 2020: Community Challenge
October 2020: Flash Challenges (plus Inktober)
November 2020: WorldEmber Prep Month (Plus Mapvember and NaNoWriMo!)
December 2020: WORLDEMBER
Which is your favourite kind of Worldbuilding Challenge, and why? Throw your answer in the comments – it helps us fine-tune these events so everyone enjoys them more!