Introducing Wattpad Labs

We’re excited to announce the launch of Wattpad Labs, an innovation lab for emerging products involving a 3-month paid residency at Wattpad HQ in Toronto. Wattpad Labs offers people outside of the company, who are just as passionate about entertainment as we are, a chance to work with us to develop the next breakthrough storytelling product.

We live in exciting and disruptive times. The nature of entertainment continues to evolve as emerging platforms and technologies hatch new ways for the world to create and enjoy stories. We want to work with ambitious and entrepreneurial teams to produce next-generation storytelling products that will transform the entertainment landscape.

During the 3-month residency, teams will develop, validate and iterate on their storytelling product under the supervision and mentorship of the Wattpad Labs leadership team. Not only will they receive mentorship, but teams will gain the ability to test concepts against Wattpad’s community of 55 million people and access to IT infrastructure. There’ll also be significant upside opportunities for teams that successfully graduate from the program, as well as a chance lead the charge on scaling the new business as full-time Wattpad employees.

Interested in applying to Wattpad Labs? Check out this website to learn more about the program and the application process.

Over a decade ago, Wattpad reinvented storytelling for the mobile and social age. Wattpad Labs is how Wattpad is powering next-generation products that will set even more stories free.

We can’t wait to see what product concepts your team dreams up!  

Calling All Canadian Filmmakers: Submit Your Adaption of Strange Yarns for a Chance to See it On Screen

We’ve teamed up with The Coup Company, the tech-enabled content studio, and are calling on all Canadian filmmakers to pitch us on how they would turn a tale from Josh Saltzman’s popular horror anthology Strange Yarns into a short film.

 Filmmakers will be given the choice to pitch against one of 13 of Josh’s short stories with the chance to produce the subsequent film. To enter, filmmakers can go to WattpadPresents.com to create a short profile and submit their 1-minute pitch video based on one of Josh’s short stories.

 The Wattpad Presents Strange Yarns pitch competition unfolds over two months. Pitches will be evaluated based on audience engagement, originality, quality and talent. Fan participation begins late July with the top greenlit short films being produced in Fall 2017.

 "I'm excited and horrified to the point of delirious madness to see what these demented minds from across the country knit from these Strange Yarns " said Wattpad Star Josh Saltzman.

 The Coup Company is a tech-enabled content studio that connects filmmakers with fans to find the best new talent and content that can be financed and produced for the global marketplace.

“It’s a privilege to be trusted with Josh’s stories and be able to surface new filmmakers via our platform to develop them for the screen.” said J Joly, CEO, The Coup Company. “Both Wattpad and Coup are committed to surfacing new storytellers for the screen and the page. Combining our efforts provides us an unprecedented opportunity to align our innovative platforms to create new content for the screen while supporting new creator voices.”

This unique collaboration will leverage The Coup Company’s innovative fan-influenced creator platform with Wattpad’s entertaining stories and its community 55 million people around the world.

Alongside Wattpad and The Coup Company, key partner support includes: Telefilm Canada, the Independent Production Fund (IPF) and the Bell Fund.

“We can’t wait to see how filmmakers interpret Josh’s fantastical storytelling into a short film so it can be enjoyed by even more horror fans,” said Head of Wattpad Studios Aron Levitz.

Canadian filmmakers get your submissions ready for your chance to see your adaptation on the screen! Learn more at WattpadPresents.com.  

Fullscreen Joins Forces With Wattpad Studios For New Series "FANtasies"

THE 10-EPISODE SERIES IS SLATED TO PREMIERE THURSDAY, JUNE 22ND

In a first of its kind collaboration, Fullscreen and Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, announced a partnership to take fanfiction to the next level with “FANtasies.” This fresh scripted anthology series is produced by New Form and stars today’s biggest digital media stars premieres on Fullscreen Thursday, June 22, 2017. New episodes will be available exclusively on Fullscreen, available anytime via iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android phones and tablets, Chromecast and online at Fullscreen.com.

 Fullscreen will bring popular fanfiction to life in this new series produced by New Form where we select the best, most imaginative fanfiction from Wattpad and other social platforms, and adapt it into an immersive narrative starring the talent who inspired the story. Stories will be drawn from a variety of genres including a musical romance, a pregnancy comedy, and a found footage horror movie, with nothing limits. Host, Drew Monson (“Not Cool”), opens each episode from his new home in the ‘Weird Part of the Internet,’ where fanfiction magically comes to life.

 “FANtasies” stars Andrea Russett (“Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett”); Brandon Rogers (“Magic Funhouse”); Tre Melvin ("12 Deadly Days"); Jon Cozart (“After Ever After”); Mikey Murphy (“Dirty 30”); Bart Baker (“FML”); Gabbie Hanna (“Laid in America”); SSSniperWolf (“Clickbait with SSSniperWolf”) and Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox from Smosh. This season, series guest star Mamrie Hart (“Dirty 30”) directs the premiere episode, a hospital soap opera entitled “Paging Dr. Hart,” starring alongside friends Grace Helbig (“Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig”) and Hannah Hart (“Electra Woman and Dyna Girl”).

 The series is created by Fullscreen and produced by New Form, with Kathleen Grace and Melissa Schneider serving as Executive Producers, with Lon Harris as Executive Producer and showrunner on the ten-episode order.

Scaling The Future: Allen Lau's Latest Contribution to INC

Wattpad Co-founder and CEO Allen Lau is one of the newest contributors to INC.com, a leading site for business news, ideas, and inspiration.

His Column, Scaling the Future, will examine the challenges startups face in the innovation economy. It will also outline advice for entrepreneurs rooted in real world experience. An excerpt of his first column is enjoyable below and in full here

At a fast-growing company, it's easy to find yourself thrust into a managerial role without a fully developed skill set. It's the reason so many new managers struggle to find their footing in leadership roles that frequently evolve.

4 Common Pitfalls For New Managers (and how to avoid them)

As a CEO with more than 20 years of managing people under my belt, I've made more than a few mistakes. I've also witnessed a multitude of new managers make some of their own. If you're new to managing a person or a team, you should avoid these four common mistakes.

1. You Think "Manager" Means Most Productive Individual Contributor

I first started managing people when I was 26. Before I turned 30, my team had grown to 30 developers. On paper, I was fantastically successful. In reality, I should have fired myself.

Why? I didn't realize that I had been given a new job, manager. To be an awesome manager I thought I had to produce more code than any other member of my team. This management style created more problems than it solved, but it wasn't until years later that I realized this.

These days I understand that a manager's focus should be to ensure a team works on the right things effectively. You'll avoid a lot of chaos when you adopt this focus.

Instead of trying to have all the answers or produce the most results, direct your team toward the result you're after with efficiency and care. In a way, you help (not teach or demand) others to fish while you steer the boat towards the richest waters. A strong manager leads a high-performance team in the right direction.

2. You Accept a Managerial Role For The Wrong Reasons

Facebook's VP of product design shared a great post that goes further into the unintuitive things you learn as a new manager. She points out that most companies position management as the only route for career advancement, thereby creating a chase towards the role for the wrong reasons.

If developing a team and genuinely caring about their performance doesn't sound appealing, you may want to focus on strengthening your skills as an individual contributor (IC).

That said, you can try management out before deciding. In my early career, I was a manager for a few years but switched back to an IC because I missed coding. With the pressure of leading a team off my shoulders, I could hone my technical skills (as well as develop my people skills).

Once you've tried both sides, think about what you want from your career. How can you find balance while you develop your hard and soft skills? Don't get caught taking on a role you're not passionate about. Too many people already take on this complex challenge for the wrong reasons.

Read Allen Lau's Full Post on INC