What’s what with the Wattpad Prize

I think Wattpad have set a tough task for themselves with their new Wattpad Prize, which is now open to submissions until the end of April.

The juried prize is open to “stories” in 10 categories and Wattpad will pick its top readers to be on the Prize Jury. They will review story submissions for originality, creativity, structure and grammar. The jury will be selected on level of dedication, expertise and positive influence in the community.

The categories for entries are:

  • Best love story
  • Best escape
  • Best true story
  • Best inspirational story
  • Best comedy
  • Best imaginative story
  • Best epic
  • Best tragedy
  • Best memoir
  • Best suspense story

That’s a very wide range, although I hadn’t realised that “Escape” was a genre of its own, I would perhaps have included it under Suspense.

Now Wattpad is a very big site with a lot of users, around 15 million a month and rising all the time. Over 1.5 million stories are uploaded to the site every month. If even a small percentage of those enter for the contest, then they’re going to be a very busy bunch of jurors.

There are no stipulations on length of “story”, so presumably they’re going to be anything ranging from a few pages to a few hundred. The early entries seem to bear this out, with short stories, novels running to hundreds of pages and all points in between.

Wattpad might have been better off splitting the contest into short stories, novellas and full-length books, which could make it less confusing for writers and readers alike.

The prizes aren’t exactly glittering, although you can’t beat a congratulatory letter, and I’m sure the winners will get a lot of exposure for their work and big publishing is making a habit of swooping to pick up Wattpad success stories.

The website already has the Watty awards, which have been running for a few years. Theye were designed to recognize the most popular content on Wattpad covering three categories, Original Fiction, PopFic and FanFic.

The Wattys saw thousands of entries and over 100,000 votes last year when The Sweetest Sorrows of Ava Hale by Kara Cross won a Story Development prize with Sourcebooks.

Here are some of the details if you fancy entering for the new Wattpad Prize.

Entry rules

The competition is open to all Wattpadders over 13. Any English-language story of original fiction and non-fiction can be entered. Works must be rated PG-13 or below and marked as ‘Completed’ by April 30, 2014.

Original fiction

Original fiction includes stories, characters, and settings that are entirely of the writer’s own creation. These stories can focus on the everyday experiences and conflicts of a protagonist, with detailed characterisation and background.

Non-fiction

Non-fiction includes stories that are factually accurate and focus on real events, people, and experiences. These stories can include, but are not limited to, essays, journals, biographies, travelogues, self-help and advice.

How to enter

Tag your completed work of original fiction or non-fiction with wattpadprize14 by April 30, 2014.

You can enter  a maximum of three works and no, you cannot sign up twice under different names.

Prizes

The winning writers get a mailed hardcover copy of their winning story, an official congratulatory letter and will be featured on the Wattpad website and mobile apps over June.

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