The Worldbuilding Awards celebrate the creativity of the World Anvil community by recognizing their best work every year. And this time around, the winners were announced in the first-ever Worldbuilding Con, so it was even more of a special occasion! Keep reading to know who won and check out their amazing work!
How were the Worldbuilding Awards 2022 judged?
The winners of the Awards were decided in three phases:
- Self-submission phase: we asked all Anvilites who wanted to enter to submit their best worldbuilding to the Awards. These were then compiled into checklists.
- Nomination phase: the panel of external judges (all experts in worldbuilding or writing!) chose their 5 favorite entries from their category’s submission as the nominees.
- Community vote: the community voted for their favorite nominees to choose the final winners!
Check out the Worldbuilding Awards 2022 page to learn more about the rules.
So now that you know how this was decided, here are the results of the Awards!
Winners of the Major Categories
Best World: Cathedris (Devon Ruscheinski)
We’re starting strong with the Best World category—all worlds, regardless of their creation date, were eligible, and the final winner was Cathedris, by Devon Ruscheinski (aka Stormbril). In Cathedris, humanity is striving to survive in a world where the husks of long-dead gods roam the planet, and it’s all tied together with a very strong visual identity.
Best New World: Culinarypunk (Emily Armstrong)
This category was for worlds specifically created during 2022—and Culinarypunk, by Emily Armstrong, takes the prize! This is a very light-hearted and fun setting where everything is themed around food. Species are food-based, magic is food-based, and even conflicts are all about food! It’s also an RPG setting, so if you’re hungry for a new campaign setting, don’t skip it!
Most Ground-Breaking New World Premise: Shattered (Catoblepon)
Shattered, by Catoblepon, doesn’t have planets—it has islands floating in space around a star (which isn’t really a star either). Oh, and seven gargantuan animals are constantly floating around too. If you want to read about a giant space sea slug, take a look at it! Shattered might still be a small world, but it’s earned its place among the greats.
Most Beautiful New World: Solaris (Annie Stein)
Nnie’s work is always a joy to read, in no small part thanks to the beautiful presentation of Solaris! The text is laid out in a spectacularly easy-to-read way so you never feel lost, and her illustrations stand out for their unique style. If you’re looking for a well-thought-out but easy-to-process world, give it a look—you won’t be disappointed.
Most Beautiful World: Shadowfire (Tim Day)
We got a tie here! Shadowfire was judged as one of the two most beautiful worlds when including worlds created before 2022 too. It has a full-width design with subtle colors and gradients that put the text on the forefront so you don’t get distracted by anything. The homepage is also well-designed and to the point, and feels like an honest invitation to explore the setting.
Most Beautiful World: Malkora (Polina Arteev)
Malkora greets you with a design that reminds you of a beautiful dawn on a misty day—a theme that is reinforced by the opening line: Seek a new dawn in Malkora. You’re immediately prompted to choose your role in the world (as a Dawnbringer or a Seeker), which only makes you want to read more about it!
Best Worldbuilding Article: Archivist’s Introduction (Gabrielle Decker)
World introductions are probably the most important kind of article you can write, as they’re how most people will begin their journey exploring your setting. There are many ways you can go about it, but Gabrielle offers one of the most striking introductory experiences I’ve seen. The layout is clear and beautiful, and includes everything you need to know—including an interactive path to learn more about specific topics.
Winners of the Article Categories
Hearts & Minds Award: Togae, He Who Sings Death (Devon Ruscheinski)
This is an incredibly well-written and immersive article about the sad but hopeful story of Togae. If you’re looking for a dark narrative article, read this one and peek into the themes of Cathedris!
Rise of Nations Award: Cotton Candy Dwarves (Emily Armstrong)
Can you imagine a dwarf named Taffy Nougade? Well, it’s not weird if it’s a cotton candy dwarf! These dwarves grow cotton candy instead of hair and are known to be pacifists, living in their gingerbrick homes in Sugarcanaan.
Strength & Honor Award: Plague of Dreams (Nicklas Larsson)
The Plague of Dreams is a horrifying concept developed in this horrifyingly well-written article about a military conflict that almost annihilated the underground city of Vicitra.
Pillars of Progress Award: Laws of Magic (Jester%)
Magic is a very important element of many fantasy settings—in this article, Jester% guides you through the inner workings of their flavor of magic. It’s a well-written article that goes deep into the topic, perfect for you hard magic fans out there!
Myths & Legends Award: The Extinction Event (Emily Armstrong)
During the Extinction Event, 99% of humanity died except for the good people of Beckettville. This article explains the events of that day and how the prophet Hiram Beckett saved the town
Winners of the Non-Article Categories
Cartography Award: Ink-Stained Map of Malkora (Polina Arteev)
Good maps tell you all you need to know about a place—but great maps tell a story! This one pulls you right into the desk of the cartographer, whose feline companion has just toppled the ink bottled all over the map. With this map, you’ll want to know more about the world, but you’ll also sympathize with this poor cartographer… especially if you have an animal companion too!
Time and Space Award: History of the Anvil (TJ Trewin)
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a world’s history and development… well, look no further! Chronicles are a great tool for that, and TJ really used everything he had at his disposal to make this the best Chronicle of the year. The map and all of its details are beautiful, the history is deep and engaging, and there are so many pins to click that you’ll fall right into this rabbit hole if you’re not careful!
History Award: Rise of the Nurbotu Scarfolk (TJ Trewin)
The Nurbotu Scarfolk escaped a great disaster that poured magic into the world—this is the history of this culture. From personal events to political developments, this timeline will give you a good view of who these folk are.
What’s your favorite? Share in the comments and give them some love!