Meet The Wattpad Stars: Brittany Geragotelis

After 10 years of pounding the pavement with publishers and agents, Brittany Geragotelis decided to break free from gatekeepers by posting an original story on Wattpad for free. “I loved the concept of Wattpad—the fact that anyone could post their material and that it gave the power back to readers by letting them decide what they wanted to read.” says Brittany about the decision.

For her, it was a bold move that would ultimately pay off with a three-book publishing deal and an invitation to join the Wattpad Stars program.

Brittany’s original story, Life’s a Witch, gained over 19 million reads in under a year. The instant recognition rekindled her love of writing and changed her perception of online communities.

As a former magazine editor, Brittany is no stranger to the rush of popularity that comes with rising stardom. The interviews she conducted over the course of her career helped her find out how other writers started in the industry and gave her insight into their creative process.

Now that the tables have turned, here are a few pro-tips Brittany shares about getting started as a writer:

Sit down to write every day: Even if it’s just a page. The habit of writing is what will help you finish your first story.

Tell the story you want to read: This will help shape your writing as a journey and give you the experience of creating something you’re interested in.

Don’t start a story until you have an outline: Everyone’s process differs, but outlines can really help with writer’s block.

Read, read, read:  You can learn a lot about writing by studying those that do it well. Bonus: reading is a great way to fuel inspiration and creativity.

Don’t listen to nay-sayers: Says Brittany, “You should never let someone else dictate your dreams! I say this because I went through 10 years of rejection from a lot of people whose opinion I thought mattered. If I’d listened to them, I would have given up (which I almost did). But I didn’t and now, here I am. So, if you love to write, write. If you feel compelled to tell stories, then tell them. THAT should be what you’re focused on…not whether someone else thinks your writing’s worth being out there. Put it up on Wattpad and let readers decide for themselves.”

Meet The Wattpad Stars: Rachel Meinke

Today’s featured Wattpad Star is Rachel Meinke. In 2011, Rachel joined Wattpad on the hunt for free stories. After about a month, she gained the courage to post some stories of her own.

Rachel believes that social media has taken writing to a new level by allowing anyone to share their work instantly. Her active imagination and knack for audience engagement have led to 28 stories accumulating almost a 250 million reads and 5 million votes on Wattpad!

She offers up this advice to people who want to build their audience on Wattpad: “Tag your stories appropriately, make sure you take full advantage of that feature. [Also] be active in the clubs, interact with other readers and writers to put yourself out there. Don’t spam people to read your story. Instead, make friends and be genuine. That’s what’s going to get you somewhere.”

That genuine connection between storyteller and audience is often the factor that sets Wattpad Stars apart. “Remember why you write in the first place. Don’t do it for the fame and the attention. Do it because it’s your passion, because it’s what you love to do.”

Today, Rachel is commissioned by major international brands like Mondelez and Lenovo to write Brand Stories. With Mondelez, Rachel created stories to promote the Sour Patch Kids’ playful identity on Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

“Getting asked to work on these projects really means a lot to me as a writer because it means that these companies trust me to represent their brand,” says Rachel about her work with brands on Wattpad. “They’ve all been such pleasant experiences!”

Though all these experiences on Wattpad have been life changing, Rachel’s love for reading remains strong as ever. She still makes the time to check out new stories and is currently reading Paper Cuts and Bad Boy Bakers on Wattpad.

Stay tuned for more installments of Meet The Wattpad Stars!

Popular Fantasy Trilogy White Stag to be Published by St. Martin’s Press

We’re thrilled to share that Wattpadder Kara Barbieri is the latest storyteller to have their work acquired by a major publisher! Twenty-year-old Kara – or Pandean as she’s known in the Wattpad community – has written the wildly popular White Stag trilogy, which some people have described as “Twilight meets Game of Thrones.” Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, announced yesterday that they acquired the world rights to the trilogy and publication is planned for Fall 2018.

“I think I’m still in shock,” says Kara of the life-changing news. “I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and always wanted to be a published author. I can’t believe it’s finally happening, all because I shared my story on Wattpad.”

White Stag follows a seventeen-year-old girl who was captured from her village to live in the brutally beautiful Permafrost as a servant to Goblins. Outliving most, she finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover secrets to find the truth about who she is and the world that has become her home. The Permafrost Series has accumulated over 375,000 reads and Kara is currently serializing the second book in the series, Goblin King.

“White Stag is the story of someone who learns that being vulnerable doesn’t make you less strong. The main character goes through a series of traumatic events, but learns how to heal and overcome her past by letting people into her life,” explains Kara. “The story’s resonated with so many people, in so many different ways. And that’s exactly why I write – to reach others with my words.”

Kara joined Wattpad in October of last year and began sharing White Stag with the global community immediately. Soon after, the story became one of the most popular works in the Fantasy category. In fact, the Wattpad community has spent 6.5 times more hours reading White Stag than they have spent reading any of the other top 1000 fantasy stories on Wattpad! Like all popular writers on Wattpad, Kara regularly engages with readers on Wattpad and has even hosted a White Stag contest for die-hard fans.

If you just can’t wait to read White Stag in print, read it now on Wattpad and see for yourself why so many people around the world have fallen in love with Kara’s fantastical story.

For over a decade, Wattpad has inspired and connected people through stories. Along the way, we’ve changed the lives of people in the community, and Kara is the latest example. Congratulations, Kara – we’re so excited for you!

#TNTHorrorContest Launches on Wattpad

With Halloween drawing near, Turner, the global content leader, and Wattpad are teaming up to find the scariest stories online with the #TNTHorrorContest. At least one lucky horror writer will win a grand prize of $20,000 and have his/her story purchased by the network. In addition, 10 finalists will each receive $2,000 and have their stories optioned.

The #TNTHorrorContest opens today, Friday, October 28, and runs until November 27.  In order to submit frightful stories, writers must share their original horror stories on Wattpad and tag it with #TNTHorrorContest. Writers can enter multiple stories for consideration and each story must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words. The contest is open to U.S. residents who are 18 years of age and older.

Once the contest closes, submissions will be voted on by the Wattpad community. The top 35 stories determined by public voting will be further narrowed down to a short-list of 10 stories that will be announced in December.

“The Wattpad community loves scary stories: Fans have shared millions of original horror stories and have spent over 26 million minutes with horror-related content in the last 30 days. That’s the equivalent of over 50 years,” said Head of Wattpad Studios Aron Levitz. “With this contest, horror writers have a chance to see their stories come to life, and Turner discovers content that’s guaranteed to give their audiences the chills.”

Full contest details are posted on the official TNT profile on Wattpad.

Ten Wattpad Writers Get Their Fairy Tale Ending

Ten Wattpad writers had their publishing dreams come true today with the release of Once Upon Now, an anthology of remixed fairy tales. The book is an exclusive collection of ten new modern tales, each with a fantastical twist. Once Upon Now is on sale now in Target stores and online.

Once Upon Now Cover

The stories are written by winners of the #OnceUponNow contest hosted by Target, in partnership with Wattpad and Gallery Books. In the anthology, Rapunzel is homeschooled in a high-rise apartment, and Sleeping Beauty is the victim of a rare medical syndrome. Classic tales like Princess & the Pea, Pinocchio, and other favorites are reimagined in the book.

Once Upon Now features the work of some of the most beloved Wattpad writers, including:

To celebrate the release, we’re giving away five copies of Once Upon Now signed by the authors. To enter, follow us on Snap and share a photo of you dressed up as your favorite fairy tale character. Full contest details will be available on Snapchat.

Wattpad's Snapchat QR Code

The #OnceUponNow contest launched in the spring and quickly became one of the most popular contests on Wattpad. The Wattpad community voted on their favorites remixed tales, and then a team of editors at Gallery Books curated 10 of the most inventive and popular stories for the published book.

Wattpad Interviews 2015 Watty Award Winner Ekene Ugbaja

The Wattys are back and bigger than ever. To get you ready for this year’s edition, we interviewed 2015 Watty Award winner, Ekene Ugbaja, and got his thoughts on writing, The Wattys, and being part of the Wattpad community.

Ekene is a Nigerian born writer and student who’s currently based  in London, England. His Watty award winning story, The 4th Estate, is a psychedelic thriller filled with gritty themes and dark undertones. To-date, it’s received over  50,000 reads on Wattpad.

Since joining Wattpad in 2014, Ekene has found a passion for writing, but this was not always the case. It took a run-in with a teacher to show him that his writing might be something audiences were after. “I had a teacher when I was doing GCSE that basically didn’t like me, thought I was noisy and disruptive…she saw me writing some stuff up and it wasn’t the class work, so she thinks that I’m sending notes and forces me to read out to the class.”

What happened next would inspire Ekene and put him on the road to becoming a Watty award winner and Wattpad featured writer. “The class didn’t take the mick, in fact, they kind of liked it. It was an awakening of sorts, and I just liked to write from there and that led some friend that I used to have to tell me that I should write on this thing called ‘Wattpad’.”

Ekene took that advice and decided to upload the The 4th Estate to Wattpad. “In a year I got incredible stats on the book, a Watty award and a great following. It felt great. At its core, it meant that as a writer I’ve got a chance and really that’s all a writer could possibly want. At the end of the day, it was a humbling feeling for me because I was just that lucky to win out of thousands. To be honest, competitions like that really help to bring out those that truly work for it.”

To new entrants, Ekene offers this advice: “It’s all down to your dedication to your craft and ability to just have simple communication skills. Don’t be afraid to personalise your queries. Quirkiness isn’t a bad thing…really that’s your main selling point, your weapon.”

That appreciation for the things that make us unique is what keeps Ekene engaged in the Wattpad community. He’s a supporter of the group Perfectly Imperfect on Wattpad and cofounder of Lemon Haze, an incubator for young writers.

With Lemon Haze, Ekene hopes to pay-forward his success and help new voices find their audience. “ It seems a little cliché but at the end of the day I just want to help other people. If connecting writers with great potential to a steady slew of reviewers and pointing out some great designers is the way that I can do that, I’ll do that.”

For many in the Wattpad community, The Wattys is a great way to connect with like minded storytellers and passionate fans. Ekene’s final thoughts on the Wattys echo our feelings: “Wattpad HQ has really done their users a big service with the creation of the Watty Awards and it’s only going to get better.”

We can’t wait to see what this year’s Wattys brings. If you’d like to participate in this year’s Wattys for a chance to have your story recognized by the global Wattpad community, check out our contest page – here.

Stay tuned for more interviews with Watty award winners. If you’re a media outlet that would like to learn more about the Wattys or connect with a Watty award winner, get in touch!

The Mysterious World of Wattpad

On Wattpad, people love to get to the bottom of a good mystery. Since January, people have spent over 250 million minutes reading stories in Wattpad’s Mystery / Thriller category. To keep the global Wattpad community guessing, we invited 127 of Smashwords’ most riveting mystery makers to take part in #MysteryMay.

#MysteryMay uncovered some intriguing stories. After the launch of Wattpad’s official Mystery profile, our content sleuths revealed a world of sub-genres. Thanks to Wattpad’s content experts, mystery lovers can find legal thrillers, paranormal mysteries and everything in between on the profile. Those with their hands in the cookie jar may also be excited by a unique genre on Wattpad, culinary mysteries anyone?

The story doesn’t end there, though. Here’s the twist: #MysteryMay might be over, but the stories keep coming! Every month, 45 million people around the world use Wattpad to find  next favorite read. Mystery writers (and writers of any genre, for that matter), can get noticed by serializing their stories on the platform.

If you’d like to reach the people searching for a riveting mystery, we recommend adding Wattpad story tags like #mysterymay, #hard-boiled, #whodunit, and #cozymystery to your work. Unable to solve a case of writer’s block? No problem! You can follow regular writing prompts from Wattpad, here.

You never know what you’re going to find when you explore the mysterious side of Wattpad. If you’re looking for a clue to get started, however, we invite you to check out the great stories from Smashwords in mystery and detective or thriller and suspense.

Why Online Influencers like Tyler Oakley Thrive on Wattpad

To promote the fall release of his first novel, Binge, YouTube Star Tyler Oakley released excerpts of the book on Wattpad, to the surprise and delight of his many fans. To date, people have spent over one million minutes engaged with the excerpts –  which have been read over 720,000 times, and received more than 30,000 comments.   

The release of Binge on Wattpad also reveals some insights for online influencers who may be curious about how to use the app to their advantage.

A Wattpad survey found that 90% of people exposed to the excerpts thought favorably of Binge, while over half of readers said they were much more likely to purchase a physical copy of the completed book.

Tyler Oakley was one of the first YouTube stars to create and promote a Wattpad profile. For fans, Tyler’s presence on Wattpad connected them directly to one of their favourite online celebrities.

So what worked? Well, for one, the Wattpad community loves YouTube and Vine stars. Fandoms on Wattpad gather around everything from established franchises to online stars on the rise. If you have an established online presence, you might just have a passionate fan community on Wattpad.

Since Tyler’s successful release of Binge, other YouTube stars, like Grace Helbig, have joined Wattpad to promote their work and connect with fans. Just as exciting, new features like in story multimedia and improved homepage discoverability, give brands and influencers new tools to reach the hyper-engaged Wattpad community, in more ways than ever.

For more on how your brand can leverage Wattpad’s global community of influencers, and expand your reach to all new audiences, check out our business page, here.

To purchase your own copy of Tyler Oakley’s first novel, Binge, follow this link.

Comedy Spotlight: Humor writer Andrew Shaffer on how Wattpad helps his comedy writing

There are people who claim they don’t suffer fools gladly. We think those people are probably lying.

April Fools’ Day is a 24-hour window where it’s socially acceptable to test the limits of our own comedic tomfoolery – and shed light on those who spread laughter the rest of the year, too.

Since humor is one of the most searched for categories on Wattpad, we spoke with Andrew Shaffer – a comedy writer who uses Wattpad to showcase and beta test his own writing, as well as to supplement his existing social media presence.

We wanted some tips and insight into how he uses Wattpad as a comedy writer specifically – and possibly to get some ammo for our own humor writing arsenals.

“I was already a published author with two nonfiction books, and one novel [Goodreads Choice Awards-nominated parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey],” says Shaffer, who joined Wattpad in 2013.

“But I saw a different readership on Wattpad from the one I could reach with paperbacks or ebooks—an international audience, reading stories from around the world.”

Shaffer initially began by posting some previously published material, just to test the waters. Soon, he found himself posting fanfic for Sherlock and Guardians of the Galaxy.

He discovered what an increasing number of already-published authors have found with Wattpad – a platform for stories that otherwise wouldn’t have found an audience, and a way to test reactions to new story ideas.

Shaffer will be the first to tell you that to deliver laughs through fiction is not an easy task. “It’s often difficult to know if I’ve written something funny until someone else reads it,” he says. “Like a stand-up comedian, an author needs to test out funny material to see if it works.”

Which is why he sends some of his work to beta readers, some to his editor, and, other times, tries some of his bits out on social media (including Wattpad).

“I’m currently serializing a rough draft of a parody [Catsby: A Novel] on Wattpad to get a feel for what works, and what I need to revisit on my next draft,” says Shaffer. “Feedback is essential for comedy writing. The more eyes on it, the better.”

Like many comedy writers, Shaffer finds that humor can be a great way to spark conversation about otherwise more serious topics.

“Nobody likes to be lectured to,” he says. “Especially with important issues, it’s very easy to get heavy-handed. If you have a point to make, humor helps the medicine go down. Comedy is the cherry flavoring.”

We wanted to know if Shaffer had any tips for crafting a solid punchline… possibly for our own personal research, but also for science.

“I think it’s fairly easy to write a good punchline,” Shaffer tells us. “People who aren’t writers do it all the time on Twitter, for instance. However, it’s more difficult to craft a good punchline that works within the context of a story. Does it fit the tone of the story? Does it ring true for the characters you’ve created?”

“The other thing about punchlines,” he reminds us, “is you need to throw out the first couple you think of. Don’t take the most obvious route—go in a different direction. The bigger the left turn, the funnier the punchline.”

Definitely some noteworthy intel.

As for what Shaffer finds most useful about Wattpad specifically, he points to the ability to serialize his work, and connect with readers through comments as he posts.

“When you’re writing a novel, you might spend a year or more alone with these characters in your head,” he explains. “But if you’re serializing something, and readers can comment directly on the work-in-progress, the writing process takes on an entirely new dynamic. It’s both fun and scary to hear from readers as a work is in progress! Wattpad has the ability to radically alter the drafting process.”

Shaffer, of course, is not the only comedy writer who’s found success on Wattpad. Kevin Fanning, for example, has garnered a huge following thanks to his hilariously creative writing, as well as YouTuber Grace Helbig. Because ultimately, comedic prose can take many forms.

“Humor can be sweet or it can be snarky,” Shaffer reminds us. “The only thing that really matters for me, though, is, ‘Is it funny?’”

For more comedy and tomfoolery, check out Andrew’s writing, the humor category on Wattpad, or write your own story.

The UnSlut Project: How a Private Diary Became a Social Movement

In 2013, Emily Lindin did something incredibly brave. She shared her grade-school diary that chronicled her experiences being labeled the school ‘slut’ with the world. Emily hoped it would put a spotlight on an issue young women face all too often: Slut shaming. Her diary, The Unslut Project has over 14 million reads and thousands of comments on Wattpad. People around the world have spent more than 4,000,000 minutes reading about Emily’s experiences.

The Unslut Project is the first non-fiction story on Wattpad to be published. The edited and expanded memoir, published by Zest Books, has exceeded all expectations. A reprint is underway to keep up with demand. Emily – with the help of her fans and supporters – has also produced a related documentary called:  UnSlut: A Documentary Film. It is currently being screened in theaters, community centers, schools, and living rooms all over the world.

Emily proves that passion and community-focused storytelling can propel causes and raise awareness of important issues. She has mobilized a global community to try to eradicate slut shaming and sexual bullying from society simply by serializing her diary on Wattpad, adding additional commentary from her older self, and encouraging others to share their own  experiences through the Your Unslut Project story on Wattpad.

Today Emily Lindin is one of the most recognized opponents of slut-shaming. The UnSlut Project’s viral popularity transformed her from writer to advocate. You can learn more about Emily Lindin and The UnSlut Project, here.

If you have a cause or are a non-profit and want to learn how to use Wattpad to reach new generation of supporters, visit our how-to page.