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Contests & Design Challenges



UPDATE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, and the book is on sale at this link. If you were a member of the WBA mailing list before Sunday 3/10 at midnight, check your email for an announcement that includes your discount coupon for the book. It is good through 3/17.
March 9 through Midnight March 10 (Sunday night).  Our first book, World Building Tips Volume 1, goes on sale on Monday (in ebook formats only, for now). To kick off this landmark event, I wanted to make it possible for WBA list members and world building fans to score a copy for free for a limited time.   So we’re launching a little internet scavenger hunt, and here’s the thing:  if you complete the hunt and send me links to all the listed items by midnight on Sunday, you’ll get a free book on Monday.* It’s that simple.

First let me tell you a little about this great new book, and then how to join the scavenger hunt!

World Building Tips, Volume 1World Building Tips, Volume 1

This 77-page book is jam-packed with solid world building how-to and tips on every page. It’s a compilation of the weekly tips that have been going out to the World Building Academy list members for the last 6 months. These tips will not be repeated online and are now available only in this book.  It covers things ranging from structural meta-considerations, to a hands-on geography development process, to things like illness, games, and global weather.  Click here to preview the Table of Contents.

The book includes a brief commentary by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, award-winning author of the Sime-Gen series of novels, who says of this book,

“This is an excellent primer in worldbuilding. It shows you all the disciplines to read up on or take courses about and what precisely to watch for as you study.”

This book retails for $4.99. So how can you get a copy for free? Here’s how.

How the Scavenger Hunt Works

scavenger hunterAt the bottom of this page is a short list of questions and tasks. All of these items have some bearing on the topics covered in World Building Tips, Volume 1. You will need to scavenge around the Interwebz for illustrations or websites that provide the answer for each item.

Once you have found an illustration or website that you think fits an item on the scavenger list, just copy/paste the webpage link into an email or a text document. Do this for every item on the list.

When you’re done, fire off that doc or email to me at worldbuilding [at] deborahchristian [dot] com and be sure to let me know what ebook format you want (mobi, epub, or pdf). Otherwise I will send you a .pdf.  I’ll try to have all books out to contest participants by Monday.*

surprised girl with binoculars

Don’t surprise me with garbage links, OK? They have to really answer the scavenger list questions or tasks to qualify!

In this scavenger hunt you’re working to complete the items by the deadline. You’re not competing against other people, so no winners will be announced. If you answer all the list items, you are automatically a winner. That doesn’t mean you can just slap any old garbage url down, though, and send it to me. I do actually look at what you’ve linked to (you never know what will be a good resource for my future writing about wb things!). So whatever you link to really does need to respond to the actual scavenger item. Otherwise your entry will sadly be disqualified. Also, if you are a list subscriber, I cannot accept links that have already appeared in a Tip you have previously received on-list.

BE SURE TO NUMBER your responses to match the item list. For item 1, put “1” and then your link. Some folks just throw spaghetti on a wall and hope it sticks. Don’t make me sort through your spaghetti. Number the noodles, ok?

Although the Tips book is free during this promotion, there is a small price of entry to this contest. Namely, to access the scavenger list, you will need to share this page to your social network (with a tweet, a facebook page share, or whatever). The links to do so are in the Scavenger Questions below. Once you do, the scavenger list will be revealed on this page. (If a contest like this is not your cuppa, no worries: you can still get the book when it goes on sale, and anyone who is a WBA list member before Monday will get a half-off coupon good for a limited time as well.)

So, without further ado, Happy Hunting! and here are the questions.


message in a bottle

Let your friends know wassup on this page, and the scavenger list is yours! Use the social links below.


World Building Tips Scavenger Hunt

1 What’s something weird or remarkable that’s happened during a full moon and/or a high tide? Link to the news or historical report about the event. (Relates to Geo Tip 4, The Moon and Its Effects)

2 Link to a picture of some kind of aftermath of a volcanic explosion—the more spectacular the better. (Relates to Geo Tip 6, Ripple Effects of Volcanic Explosions)

3 Name a city that has existed for centuries at a river delta or confluence of two rivers, and which is famous for being the most important city in the region.
Link: you can link to any webpage that talks about the city’s historical context enough to show it is old and has been an economic hub for centuries or even millennia. (Relates to Geo Tip 2, Rivers, Oceans, and Capitals.)

4 What is an unusual domestic pet that has been kept historically in some culture? We’re getting away from cats and dogs here and are looking for things even more exotic than mice, bunnies, or monkeys Link to the page that talks about the unusual pet, or to a picture of one (along with something indicating it is or was a pet at one time). (Relates to Socio Tip 5, Domestic Pets).

5 If your fictional economy has moved beyond barter and is producing currency, what might that look like? Link to a real-world (historical) example of a currency you’d like to model your own after. (Relates to Socio Tip 8, Currency.)

6 What’s a game, NOT commonly known to modern folks, that you’d like to see in some form in your own fictional world (or in a setting you read about)? (Relates to Socio Tip 11, Know the Most Favorite Games in Your World.) Your link should point to a description of the game and how it is played.

7 What’s an ancient holiday you’d like to revive and maybe rearrange so it would work in a fictional setting? Link to a description of the original holiday you have in mind. “Ancient” in this case ideally means something with its origins in the BC era, but anything older than 500 yrs old will do. (Re: Socio Tip 4, Know Your Holidays)


* It is my goal to have all free books distributed by Monday, but I have no idea what the response to this contest will be, so if there happens to be a glut of entries it may take me longer to process everything. Nevertheless, I will have your book to you as soon as possible.

Click here to see earlier contests and winners:

November 2012: Best Person, Place, or Thing Writing Contest. Winner: Tad Kelson




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