8 Times Authors Showed Their Generosity in 2015

It’s the season for giving! Get inspired by this list of some of the year’s most charitable literary luminaries. Authors gave away an incredible amount of money this year, helping to fund tons of worthy causes.


Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto won this year’s Stella Prize, Australia’s top literary prize for women’s writing. But she didn’t revel in her victory for long – she promptly turned around and donated her entire winnings to the Wilderness Society. Donating one’s literary prize winnings is actually a growing trend in Australia. We could all learn a little bit from these authors’ generosity.


George R.R. Martin

Martin’s famous A Song of Ice and Fire series features some really cool wolves – the direwolves who follow the Stark children. He helped out some real-life wolves this year by running a promotion with the Staten Island Yankees, a minor league baseball team. The Yankees played as the Direwolves, while their opponents donned the jerseys of the “Lannister Lions,” all as part of a one-night event to benefit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico.


Michael Morpurgo

Not every author can afford to donate big bucks to charity, but every writer has something to give. Morpurgo donated his work itself! The author of War Horse and other acclaimed children’s and young adult books donated his entire archive to Seven Stories, a Newcastle-based center for children’s books. That includes all of his early drafts, notes, and other valuable artifacts.


Patrick Ness, John Green, Derek Landy, and others

We’re grouping these generous authors together because they were all part of an incredibly successful fundraising campaign that took Twitter by storm. Together, the authors and their readers raised more than £280,000 for Syrian refugees. That’s over $425,000 US!


James Patterson

Patterson is well-known for both his wealth and his generosity. This year, he teamed up with Scholastic to give grants to U.S. libraries. He even kept raising the amount he committed to give!


Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel, David Nicholls, William Boyd, Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Beard, and Khaled Hosseini

Like Patrick Ness’ gang of givers, this group put together a team effort to help Syrian refugees. These authors and their publishers held a charity book sale at Waterstones bookstores across the UK. They didn’t keep any of the money – all proceeds went to Syrian refugees.


Lemony Snicket

Snicket, whose real name is Daniel Handler, teamed up with his wife to give $1 million to Planned Parenthood. The organization was taking particular heat at the time from politicians. “We’ve been very fortunate,” Handler explained in a tweet, “and good fortune should be shared with noble causes.”


Susan Vreeland, Amy Finley, and Others

Many authors expressed their support for the people of Paris following the terrorist attacks there last month. A few San Diego authors took it a step further, holding a literary benefit for the French Red Cross. Called Je Suis Paris, the event invited visitors to donate cash at the door.

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