The 2019 Watty Awards
Wattpad is celebrating a major milestone on our journey—ten years of The Watty Awards. Ten years of unearthing new voices. Of bravely forging new worlds. Ten years of discovering and celebrating the best stories on Wattpad—written by you.
Across a decade of Wattys, we’ve celebrated the journey Wattpad writers around the world undertake to bring their stories from their dreams and into the lives of readers around the world. That’s why the Wattys are so much more than an award. They’re a celebration of what it takes to tell stories.
As we reflected on past Wattys, we started to think long and hard about what this contest means for Wattpadders. Sharing your story is a vulnerable experience, but we’ve seen the impact the Wattys has had on writers from all walks of life – the validation they experienced, the recognition they felt, and the opportunities they earned. The Wattys offers writers a chance to show their skills and passion with the world, take their stories to the next level, and jumpstart their writing careers in a way they never thought possible. We’ve come a long way from the “Share What You’ve Written” contest.
That’s why when you think of the Wattys, we want you to think of the place...
Where writers strive.
Every day, in over 50 languages, our global community turns to Wattpad as a barrier-free outlet for self-expression on topics like LGBTQ+ identity, acceptance, and body positivity. Wattpad is creating a world where everyone’s story can be heard, and anyone can belong.
The Wattys are a celebration of the diverse, creative, empowering stories we can’t stop reading. The stories that open our hearts, that change how we think. We believe that what makes Wattpad special is its ability to bring people together from all over the globe, unearth new and unique voices, and lift up marginalized communities.
That’s why we want to make it very clear that we’re committed to recognizing diversity and creating opportunities for meaningful inclusion across the Wattys as best we can.
How does it work?
With so much amazing talent competing for the top prize, our final selections come down to a detailed mix of data science and overall editorial scores to make sure we get it right.
What is data science, you ask? It’s all the variables that tell us which stories match a particular set of contest criteria.
Let's pretend we created an award category called “Fan Love”. Through content experts and our data, we might decide that the amount of time someone spends reading, commenting, and voting on a story will be how we determine “fan love” metrics.
When we create a data-scientific approach to evaluating the entries, we develop an algorithm that takes all these variables into consideration. In this way we're able to surface the most promising content from our community.
Our editorial team then reviews each story individually. Here are some key elements that we evaluate:
- Character: Your main character propels your entire story. We need to love them, love/hate them, or at least feel something for them in order to let them take us on a journey. If your characters have "it", we're way more likely to want to hop into the passenger seat.
- Hook: Your idea is your golden ticket. Give us a hook we can sink our teeth into, like a unique concept or a new twist on a beloved cliché. The 'What If' of your story is that important spark that will turn a reader's head. It's definitely something we we look for in our nominees.
- Voice: Your narrative voice is your multi-tool. Use it well and you can shape the story you want. This is where writers show off their creative artistry by weaving ordinary words into something magical. But we know it's easier said than done. That's why it's one of our key criteria for The Wattys.
- World: Your world is your playground, and while we’re reading your story, it’s ours, too. While great world-building doesn't have to be complicated, it should be specific, clear, and logical within the scope of your story. Give us too little and we're lost. Give us too much and we're buried under the details.
- Stakes: Your stakes are your North Star. They guide us into caring about a critical moment in time, the characters you've created, the place you've imagined. The writers who manage to grip us right from the get-go with stakes that click are the ones we're least likely to forget.
The 2018 Wattys season has ended. Check out our amazing winners, here.