Wattpad Celebrates Ten Years of Watty Awards by Creating New Publishing Opportunities for Winners
2019 Watty Award winners will be considered for a spot on Wattpad Books’ Fall 2020 list
TORONTO - June 4, 2019 - The Watty Awards, Wattpad’s annual global writing competition, is back for its tenth year! To mark the awards’ ten year anniversary, Wattpad Books will consider one winning story for inclusion in its Fall 2020 publishing list.
This year, Watty Award winners will also be considered for Wattpad’s Paid Stories program, where writers can make money from their work directly on Wattpad. The program allows readers to directly support writers by purchasing their stories on Wattpad. These new opportunities for Watty winners add to existing avenues for winning stories to reach broader audiences on and off of Wattpad. In 2018, Wattpad Studios began considering Watty Award winners for opportunities to develop their with entertainment partners.
“The Watty Awards have produced some of the most enduringly compelling and popular stories on Wattpad,” said Ashleigh Gardner, Deputy General Manager at Wattpad Studios, Publishing. “These stories represent the amazing diversity of voices, genres, and perspectives on Wattpad, and we’re thrilled to bring new opportunities to Watty winners, whether it’s via monetization with Wattpad Paid Stories, on bookshelves with Wattpad Books, or via our Wattpad Studios partners.”
Watty Award winners are consistently some of the most creative, diverse, and ground-breaking stories on Wattpad, with a wide variety of past winners receiving publishing and entertainment deals. Just a few of the awards’ previous winners include Beth Reekles’ Wattpad story turned international Netflix hit The Kissing Booth (winner 2011); Vic James’ hit Gilded Cage (winner 2014 under its previous title, Slavedays); Katerina E. Tonks’ Death is My BFF (winner 2014); Kara Barbieri’s White Stag (winner 2016), published by Wednesday Books; and VS Santoni’s I’m a Gay Wizard (winner 2017), which will be published by Wattpad Books in October.
Since launching in 2009, the Watty Awards have received more than 850,000 submissions from writers around the world. Submissions have grown into the hundreds of thousands each year, with more than 300,000 submissions in 2018, the largest number to date.
As the largest writing competition in the world, the Watty Awards combine the best of art and science to finding winning entries. Since 2018, Wattpad has used its Story DNA Machine Learning technology to review submissions, allowing Wattpad’s human editors to find the most promising stories.
The 2019 Watty Award Categories include:
This award celebrates the swoon-worthy storytellers – the ones who tug on our heartstrings and demand our emotional investment, all while showing us the highs and lows of falling in love. From passionate summer flings and steamy rendezvous to epic love affairs and squee-worthy soulmates, the Romance award goes to those stories with love and relationships at its heart. Think you have what it takes to be the next Jasmine Guillory, Nicholas Sparks, or E.L James? If so, make sure your contemporary romance depicts a central love story with a compelling couple and an emotionally evocative resolution.
This award recognizes the worldbuilders – the ones who take us on fantastical adventures, heroic battles, and epic journeys to save people, kingdoms, or dynasties. From Middle Earth to Narnia and beyond The Wall, the Fantasy award celebrates stories that explore new lands, ancient folklore, magical abilities, or supernatural creatures. Penning the next Throne of Glass, An Ember in the Ashes, or American Gods? Share your world with us.
This award goes to the forward-thinkers – the writers who evoke a sense of wonder, unravel new realities, and send us shooting into the void. The Science Fiction award recognizes stories that center around science and technology. Like Star Trek, Westworld, or The Fifth Season, sci-fi stories challenge us to think big and different about the world we live in. Whether you’re writing a space opera set in a galaxy far away, a near-future dystopia, or an epic interstellar odyssey, your storytelling transports us to futuristic worlds and back again.
This award celebrates the poets – the ones who play with language and form to evoke emotion. The Poetry award celebrates talented wordsmiths who radically reconstruct language to tell a story- using images and words to draw out visceral feelings. Strong poetry collections carry themes and characters along the way. Just like Morgan Parker, Rupi Kaur, and Sherman Alexie, poets know how to reshape language, create a narrative, and incite a reaction.
MYSTERY & THRILLER
This award honours the writers who keep us on the edge of our seats and glued to our screens. Whether we’re solving a crime, or racing against the clock to stop one from happening, the Mystery & Thriller award considers stories with intricate plots, high stakes, or lots of suspense. Writing something like Gone Girl, The Widow, or The Hound of the Baskervilles? We’re looking for stories that bring out our inner detective.
HORROR & PARANORMAL
This award is for the fear-seekers – the writers who show us the best takes on our worst nightmares. Whether it’s the dead or undead, supernatural creatures, or the mysteries that go bump in the night, the Horror & Paranormal award celebrates stories that bring all the thrills and chills. These stories are so insidious as to make us question our own realities. Feeding on our deepest terrors, these stories join the likes of The Haunting of Hill House, It, and Get Out.
This award recognizes the writers who take us on a journey through the past, who love writing about lush, historical settings, gothic architecture, Roman battle tactics, and everything in-between. Does your story have a new perspective on Ancient Greece or a twist on the tale of Joan of Arc? Has your main character traveled back in time to the Wild West, or been reincarnated as a Chinese empress? The Historical Fiction award is for stories that give us a glimpse of what it was like to live during a different time period through the eyes of well-loved historical figures or original characters. Think The Kite Runner, The Song of Achilles, The Favourite, or Outlander. If your story fits here, give us a history lesson!
This award champions emerging writers (or the young at heart!) that are navigating the teen experience. Whether it’s coping with loss, exploring gender and sexuality, or dealing with a high school crush, the Young Adult award recognizes present-day stories that capture an authentic teen voice and the emotional stakes of growing up. Think: first loves, first losses, first conflicts, first sexual experiences. We’re looking for coming-of-age stories from all walks of life, from stories like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to The Hate U Give and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Give us a teenaged tale that resonates.
This award showcases the worlds we love, the characters we know, and the stories we’re so obsessed with we have to take matters into our own hands. From BTS to One Direction, Riverdale to Game of Thrones, your fandom knows no bounds! The Fanfiction category aims to recognize Wattpadders who have challenged and changed beginnings, endings, and relationships while staying true to the heart of the story. We are looking for fresh alternatives, rewrites, and deviations of our favorite characters or worlds so that we can spend a little more time with them after the book closes and the credits roll.
This award recognizes stories about the ups and downs of work, life, and love in that golden decade between your late teens and twenties. Maybe your character is living with roommates, or trying to find a job post-graduation, or discovering their sexuality for the first time. The New Adult award is seeking stories that provide a voice for those trying to “adult” in this day and age. If your contemporary tale is anything like Pitch Perfect, Tell Me Lies or Slammed, we want to see it!
This award shines a spotlight on real-life narratives that aren't afraid to put their truths to the page. The Non-Fiction award honors writers who tell real stories through prose, and can encapsulate unknown realities. Stories that suit this category can be anything like Roxane Gay’s Hunger or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. If you’ve got a story to tell, share it with us!
This award recognizes the writers who artfully weave language and navigate prose with style – the ones who put character over plot. The Literary Fiction award recognizes contemporary stories that focus on various life issues in a profound and moving tone. We’re looking for enlightening and slow-paced narratives like The Road, Less, and Exit West.
Writers can submit stories until August 1. Winners will be announced in September.
For more information visit: http://wattys.wattpad.com/
Wattpad’s vision is to entertain and connect the world through stories. Using the power of community and technology, the global multiplatform entertainment company is unleashing the full potential of stories to the world -- in any format. Wattpad’s flagship app is the world’s leading social storytelling platform, home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology allows the company to understand and discover stories among the more than 565 million uploads that have been shared on the platform. Wattpad Studios and Wattpad Books are transforming entertainment and publishing, using data-backed insights to turn Wattpad stories into books, films, TV shows, and digital projects. Wattpad Brand Partnerships offers a full suite of advertising products to help brands build deep engagement with Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Tap by Wattpad, the company’s second storytelling product, offers immersive interactive entertainment experiences in over a dozen languages. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Learn more at: company.wattpad.com