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!

From The Mobile Screen to the Television Screen: Wattpad and Universal Cable Productions Team Up To Develop Original Content for TV

As we celebrate 10 years as a company, we’re thrilled to announce our latest partnership with Universal Cable Productions, a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. We’ve teamed up with UCP to develop original content for television. Today’s news means the global Wattpad community will have a hand in deciding what people watch on TV.

The creative Wattpad community has shared over 300 million original stories over the past decade. Not only do these stories reflect pop culture, but they also represent diverse voices and experiences. The traditional entertainment industry is increasingly turning to Wattpad to help them understand content trends and identify popular online creators. Our partnership with UCP is just one more example of how Wattpad Studios can help connect entertainment executives with fresh voices and original content with built-in audiences.

“At UCP we’re always looking for ways to find untapped, unsigned, talent and budding writers from around the U.S. and world. Enter Wattpad – an amazing global storytelling platform that not only allows us access to great stories, but also real time data on what is trending, shared, reviewed and resonating with readers,” said Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President of Development for Universal Cable Productions. “Aron and his team manage a virtual fountain of story with great aplomb and we’re excited to dive into their content.”

UCP is focused on developing breakthrough stories that entertain global audiences. The studio has escalated efforts to innovate its development slate and mine for fresh content through unique sources such as Wattpad. Under the partnership, projects will be determined by custom data and insights that Wattpad will provide to UCP across multiple categories including: mystery/thriller, teen, science fiction, action, and general fiction.

“Ivan (Yuen) and I launched Wattpad a decade ago so people could read on their mobile devices and share their stories with each other easily,” said Wattpad Co-founder and CEO Allen Lau. “As we celebrate 10 years as a company, our initial idea has grown into something far greater. Today, Wattpad is one of the most-engaged global communities online. More importantly, we’re a new entertainment company that provides considerable value to traditional industry players like studios, production companies, and publishers.”

Changing the Face of Entertainment

AronLevitz

For Head of Wattpad Studios Aron Levitz, Wattpad was never about reading and writing.

He recalls a conversation he had Wattpad’s Co-Founder and CEO Allen Lau a few years ago. It’s when he realized that Wattpad had more to do with entertainment than it did with books.

“He (Allen) shows me this story based on the band One Direction that had over half a billion minutes of engagement,” Aron recounts. “So, I grab his laptop and go to One Direction’s YouTube page. They had just dropped a new single and their three-minute song on YouTube already had about 400 million views at the time. I did the math. That’s roughly 1.2 billion minutes in total. That’s when it hit me: The most ubiquitous content delivery platform in the world, YouTube, only has twice as much engagement than Wattpad. In that moment I told Allen: ‘You’re not building a reading site, you’re building an entertainment site.’ I joined the company soon after.”

Today, Aron looks at Wattpad and sees a global audience immersed in entertaining stories. He sees a place where an endless amount of original content is supported by passionate communities. He helps entertainment executives zero in on the stories with the biggest built-in audiences and works with them to identify trends, storytellers, and content on the rise.

Wattpad’s massive and engaged community, as well as our data and insights on each of the 300 million stories shared on the platform, has the potential to change how content is developed across the entertainment and publishing industries.

In a world of infinite content, Aron and the Wattpad Studios team help increase the success rate of projects by guiding executives through a fundamentally different development process. “More money is going into projects with no actual change in how development decisions are being made,” says Aron. “That’s where Wattpad Studios shows huge value. We can help executives make better development decisions earlier on in the process by leveraging our understanding of audiences and other insights. If we can prevent shows being canceled and films from flopping in theaters, that’s tens-of-millions not spent in the wrong places.”

According to Aron, soon people around the world will consume “more Wattpad not on Wattpad. Over the next year, Wattpad Studios will co-produce more books, television shows, films, and digital series. People who may never have downloaded the Wattpad app will discover Wattpad stories across multiple platforms.

The possibilities are endless. In the future, perhaps Wattpad will be behind the camera as well as producing. Maybe the title of Wattpad Star will become as ubiquitous as New-York Times Bestselling author. Regardless of what the future holds, as we celebrate 10 years of stories, we’re sure of one thing: Wattpad is entertainment.

#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.

#SurviveTheCabin: Interview with New York Times Bestseller Natasha Preston

“For months, Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her – and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family.

But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…”

This chilling description for The Cellar was posted to Wattpad by Natasha Preston in 2010. Since then, Natasha has sold over 240,000 copies of the print edition to get The Cellar on New York Times bestseller list. She’s even published a sequel titled The Cabin.

As part of our Halloween interview series, we connected with Natasha to get her thoughts on the greatest fear for new writers, getting started:

“At first, I had no intention of writing but after about two months I decided to give it a try,” says Natasha of her start on Wattpad. “When I started writing The Cellar I had no idea where it would go other than a pretty vague outline of the plot. I wrote a chapter and uploaded it as soon as it was finished. Each time a notification came through from Wattpad I would rush to see what my readers had said about the chapter.”

As engagement on her story increased, what started as a part-time hobby grew into a career. Today, fans of The Cellar’s print edition  still engage with the story on Wattpad. “I’ve noticed that since The Cellar was published I’ve had quite a few people coming to read the first draft version to see what changes I’d made.”

Natasha’s follow-up work The Cabin was inspired by Wattpad’s monthly #JustWriteIt challenge, a monthly prompt that encourages writers to hone their skills across a variety of genres. “The Cabin was written specifically for Wattpad’s Whodunit prompt! It was originally called Covert. My editor at Sourcebooks and I went through many rewrites and edits to shape it into the version published today.”

While trying your hand at a challenge like Wattpad’s #JustWriteIt may seem scary, Natasha advises that people just take the leap: “[Just] do it! If I hadn’t found Wattpad I would probably still be working a part-time admin job, unaware that there is a career I want. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s a book out there for everyone. If you’re worried that no one will like your work, I assure you someone will.”

We couldn’t agree more. Horror on Wattpad spans everything from creature features to technothrillers. And don’t forget, scary stories are always better with an audience. It’s why writing on Wattpad makes a difference. “I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Wattpad for being awesome…and finally a MASSIVE thank you to every person who has read, voted, or commented on my work on Wattpad.”

Wattpad Named CIX 2016 ‘Innovator of the Year’ Recipient

Toronto-based company wins award for transforming entertainment industry

The Canadian Innovation Exchange announced today that Wattpad one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, has been named CIX 2016 Innovator of the Year.

Wattpad has transformed the relationship between readers and content and this has caught the attention of Hollywood as a key marketing tool for movies. In June, Wattpad announced a deal with Turner to help generate ideas for shows on Turner networks, starting with the upcoming Tales from the Crypt revival.

“We are building the next major entertainment giant right here in Canada,” said Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad. “To accept this award in our tenth year as a company is a truly humbling experience that validates the work we do to transform how people around the world create and share stories.”

The CIX Innovator of the Year award is given annually to a Canadian firm that disrupts and transforms an industry in profound ways. The award is given to companies who represent the best in Canadian business and who are at the cutting edge in their categories. Past recipients of the Innovator of the Year Award have included Desire2Learn, Vision Critical and Shopify.

Golden Venture Partners and OMERS Ventures are investors in Wattpad and share in the excitement of this award.

“Storytelling hasn’t been the same since Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen launched Wattpad. When we first invested in the company in 2011, we were impressed with their vision of how mobile would reshape the way people share and tell stories.” said Matt Golden, Managing Director, Golden Venture Partners. “Five years later, they’ve delivered on that vision and more. Today, Wattpad stories grace every screen – mobile, television, and movie. We’re thrilled Wattpad is being recognized by CIX for the innovative company we know it is.”

“Wattpad has transformed the storytelling experience for millions of people. Wattpad connects storytellers and audiences around the world, and is now changing how the global entertainment industry discovers and produces content,” said Jim Orlando, Managing Director at OMERS Ventures. “We are very proud to be an investor in Wattpad.”

The CIX is a leading technology innovation destination where investors, innovative companies, entrepreneurs and facilitators converge to drive economic growth and accelerate the development and implementation of new ideas.

This forum attracts the key players behind Canada’s innovative technology products and services in order to learn from each other, meet and pursue customer and investment relationships, and encourage the development of innovative technology that will be an integral part of Canada’s economic growth. It is where deals happen. The CIX Top 20 Program curates the hottest new innovative companies among hundreds of applications each year and the CEO showcase their innovation at CIX. Wattpad was selected as a CIX Top 20 company in 2011.

At CIX on November 22nd, Allen Lau, CEO and Co-Founder of Wattpad, will accept the award on behalf of Wattpad and share his story and insight.

Meet the Wattpad Stars: Zoe Aarsen

alexandra_fletcher_720When Zoe Aarsen first joined Wattpad, she had no idea that her works would spread like wildfire in the community. “I first joined Wattpad in 2011 under a different account name (@caitlynduffy) and the first full-length story I posted (The Rock Star’s Daughter) pretty quickly reached one million reads. The book had already been released on iTunes, but the reaction it got on Wattpad in terms of comments from readers absolutely blew my mind!”

Zoe would later change her username to @Zaarsenist. After racking up over five million reads across her 10 stories on Wattpad, she was welcomed into the Wattpad Stars program. “ I was elated. It’s been my belief since joining the community that this is the future of publishing, so to be recognized by Wattpad as an influential writer is really flattering. ”

Today, Zoe’s works with studios like Warner Brothers Pictures and Universal Pictures to promote their upcoming movie releases on Wattpad. “I have written stories for brand campaigns for Ouija and The Gallows. Being involved in both projects was not only exciting, because teen horror is my passion and I love scary movies, but professionally fulfilling on multiple levels”

For Zoe,  It’s an astounding time to be a producer and consumer of creative content—and fulfilling to see that brands are catching on to the importance of creating a dialogue with consumers. Outside Wattpad, she works in digital advertising. “Having an opportunity to develop companion fiction for theatrical releases is a dream come true for me because it’s allowed me to demonstrate that branded content builds brand awareness and intent to purchase. Writing such high-profile branded content for Wattpad has given me a portfolio of writing that I otherwise might never have had the chance to produce as I pursue my professional writing goals.”

She truly believes that social media has changed everything for content creators: “The old industry rules don’t apply any longer in the same way that they did for decades,” she says. “If you’re an author with a story in your heart about which you’re passionate, you no longer have to wait for an agent or editor to tell you that you’re good enough. Social media demonstrates that readers’ interests are quite a bit broader than what shoppers typically find on shelves at bookstores.”

Zoe also maintains a deep connection to the Wattpad community and advises new joiners to do the same. “As simple as it sounds, it’s really important to read other writers’ works and comment to get a sense of what other people are sharing, and how it’s being received. Wattpad is a community—you get out of it what you put into it. It’s not reasonable to expect that you’ll post your first story and become an overnight success, although that does happen sometimes! It is, however, reasonable to expect that your writing will quickly improve if you get into a good routine of writing, posting, and taking comments to heart.”

For Wattpad’s queen of paranormal teen fiction, life, at times, seems to be stranger than fiction. “It may sound corny, but it’s true: Wattpad has changed my life. I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to have a real career in writing, but because of Wattpad it’s happening now.”

Stay tuned for more instalments of Meet The Wattpad Stars. If you’re a brand looking to work with these Stars or an entertainment studio hoping to partner with Wattpad Studios to find your next hit story, Get in touch!

Frights, Camera, Action: Turner Joins Forces with Wattpad for First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration

Just over a month ago, we announced an exciting new chapter in the Wattpad story: The launch of Wattpad Studios, a new division that will partner with the entertainment industry to co-produce Wattpad stories for print, film, television, and digital platforms. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve teamed up with Turner, the global content leader, for a first-of-its-kind partnership where select Wattpad stories will be adapted for the Turner networks.

The initial focus of the partnership will be The Tales from the Crypt, the eagerly anticipated horror programming from Turner’s TNT and executive producer M. Night Shyamalan.  TNT and Wattpad will invite writers around the world to bring their story ideas forward through contests and other opportunities that will be announced on the official Turner profile on Wattpad and on social media.

“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” said Justin Williams, senior vice president of digital ventures for TNT and TBS. “We’re especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT’s Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre”

In addition, Turner will also tap into Wattpad’s sophisticated, data-driven models to help identify fresh new talent and ideas from the Wattpad community.  TBS and TNT’s development teams will review stories with an eye toward finding great ideas for television, digital and/or mobile platforms. The networks will also work with Wattpad to share story ideas and other material with the Wattpad community in order to receive immediate feedback from audiences around the world.

With insights on approximately 250 million original story uploads and access to over two million creators, Wattpad is in a unique position to partner with the entertainment industry. “There are many ways we can help the entertainment industry zero-in on new voices and stories with massive, built-in fan-bases. Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad’s powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. “The eagerly-anticipated Tales from the Crypt horror block marks the future of television where leading networks source content from fans and build programming together with the audience.”

Wattpad’s partner in the entertainment space, United Talent Agency, helped structure the deal with Turner.

If you’d like to learn more about how Wattpad Studios can help you uncover new talent and diverse content, please contact us.  

Meet the Wattpad Stars: Jen Wilde

Today we introduce you to Jen Wilde, Aussie fangirl extraordinaire with a penchant for zombies and the paranormal. Jen joined Wattpad in 2012 and was instantly hooked. Today, her stories have received over four million reads and her writing has been featured in the epic anthology, Imagines: Celebrity Encounters Starring You, produced by Gallery Books in partnership with Wattpad Studios.

When asked about her start on Wattpad, Jen had this to say: “I started posting my first story, As They Rise, and made friends with other writers whose stories I loved. In the years since, I’ve made more friends and written five stories. I self-published my zombie series, my paranormal romance is published by Limitless Publishing and I landed a dream-come-true deal with Swoon Reads. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I have to say joining Wattpad is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”

For Jen, the decision to join Wattpad would ultimately result in her acceptance into the Wattpad Stars program. A milestone moment that left Jen buzzing. “I was at home, in my kitchen, staring at my laptop screen in jittery excitement. I’d been wanting to be a part of the Wattpad Stars since I first heard of it, so it was an amazing feeling to know I’d made it.”

Jen is truly unique in her approach to storytelling. Her fiction plays with the paranormal in a way that appeals to variety of audiences. For that reason, her works have been used to promote films like The Fifth Wave and Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies on Wattpad. “I loved having the creative freedom to create my own story based on those worlds and had a lot of fun writing them,” says Jen. “These projects helped me grow my writing skills and also introduced new readers to my work.”

Aside from working with the biggest names in entertainment, it’s the connection with new readers that keeps Jen coming back to Wattpad. “I think social media has provided more opportunities for creatives to express themselves and gain recognition for their work. It also creates a direct line for writers to connect with their readers, which I personally love. Being able to talk with readers and get to know them – whether we’re talking about my stories or the latest episode of The Walking Dead – is so much fun for me.”

Jen is currently working on Queens of Geek, a story set to be published next year. Astonishingly, wIth so much on-the-go Jen still finds time for her favourite Wattpad Stories: “I have so many Wattpad stories that I can’t wait to catch up on, like Spook by @jeepersgigi and Paper Wishes by @spencerhoshino.”

Like many of the Wattpad Stars, Jen advises people on Wattpad to stay active and engaged within the Wattpad community. “Try not to judge your worth or the worth of your writing on how many reads or votes it gets.” says Jen, “I’ve found the best way to reach people on Wattpad is to keep writing, keep posting chapters, and make friends. Read other people’s stories, give positive feedback, and make genuine friendships with people.”

Perhaps the best piece of advice Jen can offer writers aiming to reach the Stars program, however, is this: “If writing is something that makes you happy, don’t give up on it.”

Stay tuned for more instalments of Meet The Wattpad Stars. If you’re a brand looking work with these Stars or an entertainment studio hoping to partner with Wattpad Studios to find your next hit story, Get in touch!