The Wattys 2021 looks for novels and adds Best Cover category as Wattpad Paid Stories hits $1 million paid out to writers

Details for The Watty Awards 2021 have been revealed and this year the Wattys are looking for completed novels across a dozen categories and have added a new contest category for Best Cover, which is backed by Canva.

Submissions for the Wattys open on July 7, 2021 and close on September 30, 2021. Entries must be completed novels on Wattpad of at least 50,000 words, marked ‘complete’, posted to the site after January 1, 2019, and in one of the eligible languages and genres.

To qualify for the new Best Cover category, entrants must design their own covers, and any images used must be original or licensed.

The categories for The Watty Awards 2021 are:

  • ChickLit
  • Fanfiction
  • Fantasy
  • Historical fiction
  • Horror
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • New Adult — this category covers stories highlighting late teens to early 20s
  • Paranormal
  • Romance
  • Science fiction
  • Werewolf
  • Young Adult — this category focuses on the teen experience
  • Best Cover — sponsored by Canva. Canva has a selection of Wattpad book templates available to help you get started

You can get more details about the Wattys 2021 and the rules and eligibility requirements through this link to the Wattpad website.

Wattpad Paid Stories has paid out $1 million over two years

Wattpad has just celebrated two years of the Wattpad Paid Stories program and says indie authors have now earned more than $1 million from the scheme.

Wattpad Paid Stories is a scheme which was launched in 2019 and more than 550 writers and 750 stories are now part of the program. Users have spent more than half a billion minutes reading Wattpad Paid Stories, and now average nearly 30 million minutes each month reading stories in the program.

The company says writers making money from Wattpad Paid Stories include romance writers such as Tamara Lush (@TamaraLush), who has accumulated millions of reads with 10 stories in the program, and New Zealand-based Tay Marley (@tayxwriter), whose 30 million-read YA hit The QB Bad Boy and Me has been a top-performing story. Filipino author @CeCeLib, has seen more than 260 million reads across five stories, and Turn On (17.6 million reads) from Indonesia’s Tiara Wales (@TiaraWales) has had 17.6 million reads

It’s a tough route to join the Paid Stories program as Wattpad sets out a range of criteria to consider a story:

1: You must be a Wattpad Star

Stories don’t usually skip this step (with some exceptions, like The Wattys, International writers). Even if a story is going straight to Paid, it’s going to also go into Stars first, so Stars entry should be your primary goal. The Stars program is the gateway that links to all of the other opportunities across Wattpad. (How to become a Wattpad Star).

2: Your story must be completed, either on Wattpad, on Wattpad in draft, or offline in a manuscript.

3: Your story must be at least 50,000 words. There is no upper limit on word count.

4: Stories can be of any genre, except for: Fanfiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Classics, Random

5: Your story must be original and wholly owned by you or be based on a story in the public domain and must be based on the version in the public domain.

6: There is no minimum required read count.

South Korean web giant Naver recently completed a $600 million takeover of Wattpad and the short fiction market hotted up with another South Korean company Kakao Entertainment buying two serial platforms Radish and Tapas for a total of $950 million. Amazon is also in the process of launching its own Vella serial fiction site.

Wattys 2020 Awards winners picked out of 40,000 entries

Wattpad will join Webtoon in $600 million sale deal with Korean search engine company Naver

Serial thriller — Kakao buys short fiction sites Radish and Tapas for nearly $1 billion

Amazon launching Wattpad rival with Kindle Vella serial stories offering authors 50% royalties