Pokémon Go Drives Pokémania on Wattpad

The quest to become the world’s greatest Pokémon trainer can be a tough one. Many people around the world are learning this the hard way. As a truly global phenomenon, it’s no surprise that fans of the franchise, emboldened by this wave of nostalgia, are also turning to Wattpad to get their Poké-fix.

Here’s what we found:

  • Last week, reading time on Pokémon-related stories reached a record high with approximately 1 million minutes spent. That’s enough time to beat the original Pokémon Red and Blue games 260,000 in a row!
  • Since the start of the year, reading time for Pokémon is up 66%
  • People shared over 12,000 Pokémon related story uploads in the last few weeks compared to only 4,500 over the month of January 2016. This is an increase of over 160%.

If you’re a die-hard Pokémon fan, check out this list of Pokémon reads from Wattpad’s official fanfiction profile.

If you are are a journalist and want to find out more about the world of Pokemon on Wattpad or request data and insights for you next feature article, get in touch!

 

Sports Fanfiction: The 2016 Espy Award Nominees Inspire Thousands of Stories on Wattpad

Wattpad stories reflect a variety of interests across pop-culture, including sports. Sporting events and athletes are featured in thousands of Wattpad stories.

Since the the Espy Awards air tonight, we looked at the growing trend of sports-inspired fiction. What is an ESPY? Think of it as the Oscars for athletes. It’s a moment where teams, coaches, and industry icons are celebrated on stage.

Sports fanfiction is big on Wattpad. Last month the community spent over 500,000 minutes reading fiction related to tonight’s host, John Cena, alone. Here’s how other ESPY nominees stack up on Wattpad.

BEST NFL PLAYER

Up for an award tonight are Cam Newton, Tom Brady, JJ Watt, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones. Of these athletes, Cam Newton does the best on Wattpad with over 2,000 related stories shared.

Surprisingly, none of the other nominees come close to Cam, but last year’s ESPY Award Winner, Odell Beckham Jr. does. There are more than twice the amount of stories for Beckham than for Cam.

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Over 4,500 Odell Beckham Jr. stories are available on Wattpad

BEST NBA PLAYER

New teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are favourites to take tonight’s ESPY. The other nominees including LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook could be sorry to hear that Chef Curry is also the favourite on Wattpad. With over 3,000 story uploads shared, this year’s NBA MVP has inspired a ton of fiction.

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BEST NHL PLAYER

Sidney Crosby might be a hockey legend, but on Wattpad it’s the popular ship of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes that inspires the most stories with 5,000 story uploads. Other nominees like Alex Ovechkin, Joe Pavelski, and Braden Holtby are left way behind the breakaway duo.

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If you are tuning into the ESPY Awards tonight and the show leaves you in the mood for more, remember that you can always find your favourite athletes on Wattpad.

If you are a journalist and want to find out more about the sports fiction phenomenon on Wattpad, get in touch!

Hot Summer News from Wattpad HQ

Summer is in the air and things are starting to heat up for Wattpad in the news. With all the buzz around Wattpad Studios becoming a Hollywood idea factory, you may have missed some of the other articles on Wattpad and the Wattpad Stars. We put together this roundup to keep you in the loop.

Last month, the prolific Anna Todd set down in Germany to promote her series, After. The turnout was astounding! Check out her rockstar reception, here. Meanwhile, Taran Matharu, Wattpad writer and published author, sat down for an interview with The Guardian to talk about his career and dish out some advice for new writers.

YouTube celebrity, Grace Helbig is also someone who loves to work with new writers. At this year’s VidCon, she spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about her Wattpad project, Freak Week. The contest gave Wattpadders the opportunity to create an original story with her through the #WritingWithGrace story tag. Over the course of the campaign, Grace selected her favourites chapters to create a crowdsourced, original fiction. You can read the story, here, and check out a live reading of the work at VidCon, here.

Speaking of celebrities, it’s possible that no one keeps up with the Kardashians better than Wattpad Star Kevin Fanning. In this podcast, produced by Elizabeth Minkel, Kevin chats about fanfiction, branded content, and, of course, Kim K!

If that podcast put you in the mood for some wild reads, check out this list of the craziest One Direction fan fiction of all time by Refinery29.

We hope that you enjoyed this news roundup. Journalists who’d like to receive regular updates or work with our team on their next feature article can get in touch, here!

En Unión y Libertad: Wattpad Celebrates 200 Years of Argentinian Independence

On July 9th, Argentina will celebrate 200 years of independence. The milestone event will spur celebrations across the country and ignite the community of storytellers that visit Wattpad from across Argentina.

People in Argentina have shared over two and a half million story uploads on Wattpad. They also spent approximately 165 million minutes on Wattpad last month alone!

Here’s what our Wattpad Ambassador, Natalia Alejandra, has to say about the milestone event and Argentinian community on Wattpad: “Argentina won its independence 200 years ago. This is a great reason to celebrate, but I feel we still have a long way to go to earn our place in the world…I can say the Argentine community in Wattpad is a very committed and talented one. A great majority of the Spanish ambassadors are from this country, and a lot of great authors as well. We like to participate and we love to meet up!”

There have already been six meet-ups in Argentina since the first one in January, 2015. In fact, Argentina was the first Spanish country to host a Wattpad meet-up.

“There’s a lot in our culture influencing how we live in communities,” says Natalia, “We have the mate, and the Sunday asado. We tend to always have a reason to gather in large groups to celebrate, or to do whatever…I think over time our community is just going to get bigger and stronger.”

People in Argentina share a variety of stories on Wattpad in a multitude of categories. Facundo Caivano joined Wattpad two years ago. Since then, his epic thriller Z: El Senor De Los Zombies has received almost two and a half million reads.

Other Wattpad Ambassadors like Nadin Velazquez and Annsyn Rodd have been invaluable members of our community. Thanks to people like them, the Argentinian community on Wattpad has become one of the largest and most active on the platform.

For the people who are out in the streets of Argentina, celebrating 200 years of independence, congratulations and we wish you all the best. The memories and stories shared over that grand expanse of time (and in the future) will always have a home on Wattpad.

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!

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!

Wattpad Celebrates Pride Month

It’s been a year since Wattpad launched the official LGBTQ+ profile in celebration of World Pride Month. Since then, over 5 million stories tagged with LGBTQ+ have been shared by the passionate community. People have also spent almost five billion minutes reading LGBTQ+ stories since January of this year.

In Toronto, this month’s pride celebrations culminate with the 36th annual Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3. It’s also the first time in the history of Canada that an acting Prime Minister will participate in the Pride Parade.

It’s an important milestone and a great moment for Canada. As a Toronto startup with deep Canadian roots, it’s also another reason to celebrate the unique voices and diverse content that add to the thousands of stories shared on Wattpad daily!

Wattpad fosters supportive and unique communities like FreeTheLGBT. Started in 2014 by @JustLyd (a Wattpad Star and ambassador), it was originally dubbed “TayGetsTheGay” and has since blossomed into a source for inspiring content and a forum for like-minded people. You can read @Justlyd’s full story, here.

As the rainbow flags wave around the streets of Toronto, it’s hard not to reflect on the work we’ve done over the past year to become one of the safest spaces for LGBTQ+ communities to connect online.

By hosting contests, selecting a story every month, celebrating community member milestones, and highlighting short stories, we help showcase the many different types of love around the world. Wattpad Star, Autum Breeze, says it best: “The LGBTQ community on Wattpad is fantastic. Generally everyone is supportive, uplifting and enthusiastic. The readers and writers are a vibrant, unique set of people from all walks of life who share a lot of fabulous stories and personal experiences.”

We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating the rich diversity, strength, and passion of the LGBTQ+ community this month.