Authors doing good works with their written words

by kiya@evpl on Saturday, December 13 2008, 2:48pm. Viewed 1,072 times.

This week I heard about a fundraiser that author Patrick Rothfuss has been doing for Heifer International. After having run a successful contest on his personal blog, Rothfuss decided to try raising a little money for his favorite charity, Heifer International. On November 10th, he announced the fundraiser on his blog, offering to match reader contributions dollar for dollar, hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars. In less than four days they contributed over $5000 (not including Rothfuss' matching donation), and he increased the goal again, and again. When the fundraiser ended on December 11th, readers had contributed over $50,000 to Heifer International, and Rothfuss promises to match every dime. Rothfuss, who only quit his day job this past year after The Name of the Wind, the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, sold well in the US and internationally, is delighted, and so is Heifer International.

Then I started wondering about other authors, and what similar projects they might have done. I know that J. K. Rowling's new book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, is a fundraiser for a charity she helped found. The book is the collection of stories that Harry and friends use to reach their goals in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Both these stories help me feel good about the authors I love to read. Do you know of other authors who use their public attention to help others?

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on Monday, December 29 2008, 6:46pm

There is a band called Rock Bottom Remainders who's members are almost all authors, including, but not limited to, Amy Tan, Dave Barry & Stephen King. They donate the proceeds from their concerts to organizations who work on literacy. I suppose it's not doing good works with their writing, but it's still pretty interesting.

kiya@evpl wrote
on Sunday, January 4 2009, 4:19pm

Just an update on the Patrick Rothfuss fundraiser. Go here: to read the details on his blog. The last two days, over $16,000 were raised, making the author's total matching donation over $58,000. This money, plus the donations that were made directly to the Heifer page, makes a grand total of $113,466.28.  And he's planning something similar for next year!

psychopomp wrote
on Thursday, January 15 2009, 12:44pm

Fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson has in the past auctioned off a name of a character in his books on a local level.  With "A Memory of Light," the last in the late Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, he is doing a Heifer International charity drive inspired by Pat Rothfuss' drive at Christmastime.  

Sanderson's blog post:

The page on (Wheel of Time site):