Patrick Rothfuss’ Annual Worldbuilders Fundraiser Raises $1.9 Million

patrick rothfuss worldbuilders annual fundraiserPatrick Rothfuss Blog

Patrick Rothfuss has become well known in the fantasy genre through his three-part novel series, the Kingkiller Chronicle. The first book, The Name of the Wind, marked a turning point in the genre, offering readers a new and breathtaking interpretation of fantasy by telling the tale of Kvothe. The novel’s devoted following eventually led to the creation of the Worldbuilders organization.

Back in 2007, when The Name of the Wind was published, Rothfuss started a blog, wherein he answered questions, posted new information about books, and told readers more about his life. After I first read the book, I remember regularly checking the blog. It was a nice place to go, learn new things and enjoy hearing about cool releases, particularly when it came to foreign editions of the book. As the blog and the book became more popular in 2008, a photo contest was held. Readers and fans of The Name of the Wind were invited to send in creative pictures that would be placed into categories by Rothfuss, who would decide on winners that would receive cool, book-related prizes.

The number of submissions was staggering, and eventually led to the development of Worldbuilders as Rothfuss wanted to bring the community together to do something great:

Worldbuilders is a charity founded by author Pat Rothfuss in order to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to make the world a better place.

patrick rothfuss worldbuilders annual fundraiser
Patrick Rothfuss Blog

Starting in 2008, Rothfuss used his blog as a means of spreading the idea of Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International. Heifer is a charity that promotes self-sustainability and education to prevent hunger and poverty in small communities. When you donate to Worldbuilders, all proceeds go to Heifer International to provide them with the tools and resources that will allow them to help a community. For example, if you donate enough to purchase a chicken, Heifer provides a family or community with a chicken and teaches the family how to use it to their advantage. The chicken will lay eggs, which can be used to sustain the family in a number of ways. Not only does it provide food, but it also serves as a source of income, as a family can then sell eggs or poultry.

Through Worldbuilders, Rothfuss has brought attention to a charity that does a great deal of good to the world. Over the years, the outpouring of support for Worldbuilders and Heifer has been astounding. Back in 2008, Rothfuss offered readers two options in the form of supporting the charity; readers could enter into a raffle and receive fantasy and sci-fi themed books, including many of his own rare editions, or they could purchase a signed and personalized book from him. The opportunity to purchase a signed, personalized copy of The Name of the Wind was unbelievable to fans who did not have the opportunity to meet with Rothfuss in person.

At the time, I jumped at the opportunity, as I was not only receiving a great gift for my boyfriend, but I was also supporting something great. In the early years of Worldbuilders, personalized requests were handwritten and sent to Rothfuss himself. When I sent in my letter, I never thought that I would receive the book that I did. In my personalization request, I asked for Rothfuss to include a quote, if possible, from The Wise Man’s Fear, the second novel in the series that was still in production. I never actually expected for him to fulfill this request, but he did! I can’t even begin to explain how exciting it was to open the book and see a glimpse of what was to come. What was even more exciting was the thought that it provoked. My boyfriend and I waited two years to finally learn what that quote meant when The Wise Man’s Fear was released in 2011.

It’s been amazing to see how Worldbuilders has evolved over the years. What started as a way to give back to the community turned into an annual fundraiser. As the number of fans and supporters grew, so too, did Worldbuilders. Every year, fans, authors and publishing companies join in and support Rothfuss in his quest to do good, and each year the event gets better.

Worldbuilders now offers a number of opportunities for supporters to receive cool prizes in return for their donations. While the option still remains to purchase items from Rothfuss, including signed books, clothing and jewelry, there are two other options as well. There are auctions, in which a number of things are available, including rare, signed first editions and advance reading copies (ARCs) of fantasy and sci-fi books, but there are also opportunities for aspiring writers to receive feedback on early manuscripts. There is also a lottery library, where there are donated books, games, and merchandise from fantasy and sci-fi authors and publishers, many of which are also signed.

In addition to these opportunities, Rothfuss also has stretch goals, in which a certain event will take place if the fundraiser raises a specific amount of money. In the past few years, Rothfuss has even worked with fantasy author, Neil Gaiman in order to meet some of these goals. This year, Gaiman will be reading a children’s novel that will be chosen based on popular vote.

This year, an exciting opportunity exists for Rothfuss’ fans, as he has offered to do a Q&A on the third book in the Kingkiller series if the fundraiser reaches $2 million! As it’s been five years since The Wise Man’s Fear was released, the opportunity to learn more about the final book in the series is amazing!

With only a few days left in the fundraiser, now is a great time to see what Worldbuilders has to offer. For more information, you can check out Patrick Rothfuss’ blog, or you can look what the fundraiser has to offer!

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Melissa Ratcliff
the authorMelissa Ratcliff
Senior Staff Writer
Reader, Writer & Translator. Cats, books and video games are my life.