Time for Wattys 2016!

Wattys

I know you’ve been waiting for it, haven’t you? It’s okay to admit, you’re among friends.

Welcome to Wattpad’s annual Watty Awards — the world’s largest online writing contest! Are you ready for another round of celebrating reader favorites, up-and-coming writers and loads of new categories? I know I am!

It’s free to enter the Wattys, all you have to do is add the #Wattys2016 tag to your story, and the best part is you can enter as many stories as you’d like!

Here’s a list of awards for 2016:

Visual Storytelling:

A picture is worth a thousand words and this award recognizes stories told using in-line media, such as a graphic novel, magazine, recipe book, look book or any other type of story with in-line media. Nominate your story by tagging it #VisualStory and #Wattys2016!

Trailblazers:

Is your story something completely different? Are you pushing the limits or breaking new ground? If so, tag your story #Trailblazers and #Wattys2016!

Writer’s Debut:

Are you brand new to Wattpad and ready to be discovered? To be eligible to win the Writer’s Debut Award, you must have written your first story in 2016. All you have to do is tag your story #Wattys2016!

Hidden Gems:

Have you written a great story but think it lacks the reads and votes to be noticed? Think again! Wattpad readers love hidden gems, and if that describes you then make sure to tag your story #Wattys2016!

Voracious Reads:

This award celebrates those stories readers simply could’t put down! Have you written something that’s gone viral? Just tag it #Wattys2016 and Wattpad will let you know!

Talk of the Town:

Have you written a story that’s gotten readers talking? Don’t forget to tag it #Wattys2016!

Collector’s Edition:

Wattpadders love to add favorite stories to their libraries so they can go back and read them again and again. This category rewards the most added stories of the year. Do you have one of those? Tag it #Wattys2016!

New Voices:

The Wattys are all about finding new talent and promoting undiscovered writers. All new writers are welcome to enter! Tag your story #Wattys2016!

HQ Love:

The HQ Love award recognizes the stories that are most liked by Wattpad staff. Did your story grab their attention? Add the tag #Wattys2016 to find out!

People’s Choice:

This goes to the stories that have collected the most Wattpadder tweets, votes and hearts. If you’ve always wanted to have a say in which story claims a Watty, this is your chance to make that happen! Vote for your favorite story on Twitter on August 1. Sample tweet: I nominate “Story Title” #MyWattysChoice!

International Wattys:

This year, Wattpad is introducing awards for the best stories written in different languages. Head on over to the international profile for your country to learn how to enter.

Rules and Regulations: 

  • The Wattys are open to stories of all categories and ratings, even mature.
  • Your story must be fully available on Wattpad (excerpts are not allowed).
  • Your submitted story must be your own intellectual property.
  • You can enter from anywhere in the world.
  • Your story must have been written in 2016, or updated with a minimum of three chapters in 2016.
  • Deadline to enter is August 31st, 2016.

Timelines:

  • Submissions Start: Mid-June 2016
  • Deadline to enter: August 31st, 2016
  • Winners Announced: Fall 2016

Prizes:

Winning stories will be promoted on the Wattys profile, and other official channels, which may be and are not limited to Wattpad’s official social media pages, newsletters, and other communications.

Have more questions? Wattpad has the answers, just click HERE to learn more!

Haven’t written a story yet? It’s not too late! All you have to have is three chapters posted this year. So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

The only question I have left is: What are YOU going to submit? Head on over to Wattpad NOW to enter!

*Wattpad users must be thirteen years of age to open an account.

 

Sayonara, RT Booklovers Convention 2016!

RT-Booklovers-Convention

Wow, what a ride. For my very first writers’ convention ever, I really hit the jackpot (no gambling pun intended)!

For those of you who do not know, I attended this year’s RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada—six fun-filled days where I had the opportunity to mix business with pleasure! There were over 200 workshops readers and writers could attend featuring a wide range of topics, from YA Spooky Slumber Party to Charmed by the Cowboy (and everything in between). Feel like discussing New Adult trends with the very writers you read? There was an event for that! Are you an aspiring author ready to pitch your book to several eager agents and publishers? There was an event for that, too!

You could literally hob-nob with your favorite authors at one panel then go straight to another where you’d receive a gift bag full of goodies, including books—yes, FREE BOOKS! It doesn’t get any better than that (just make sure you have plenty of room in your suitcase to take them all home)! It truly was an amazing experience. And on the final day of the convention, more than 625 authors gathered at the Giant Book Fair to sign their books, including Brenda Drake, Jennifer Armentrout, Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, Kiera Cass, Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, Anna Todd … and the list goes on and on. Talk about a fan-girl experience! As an avid reader, this convention was a dream come true. And as an author, I found it to be very inspirational.

Participants could either register for the full six day event, which included several after-hour parties, or purchase individual day passes. Basically, it was a giant party where you could mix and mingle with readers, authors, bloggers, editors, agents and publishers. In fact, there was so much to do you had to pick and choose! It was impossible to fit everything in.

My advice to anyone hoping to attend a future event—besides wear comfortable shoes—is to go over the schedule very carefully and decide which workshops are most important to you. Every hour, new events and panels begin and often times there are several interesting topics taking place at once. You’ll need to know in advance which ones to hit so you do not miss out on something you really want to do. And don’t forget to leave room to eat or before you know it you’ll have missed meals!

After it was all said and done, I left Las Vegas feeling exhausted yet motivated. I met new friends and found something I would love to participate in every year—and plan to! Next year the convention will take place May 2nd—May 7th in Atlanta, Georgia. Who knows … maybe I’ll even be signing my very own book at that one. Eek!

So mark your calendars now! I promise—you won’t regret it.

RT

Authors Lindsey Summers, Ali Novak, Sarah Benson and me … living it up at RT Booklovers Convention 2016!

It’s That Time Again. NaNoWriMo!

The month of November means falling leaves, football, big cozy sweatshirts, pumpkin-spiced lattes and most importantly . . . NaNoWriMo!

What is NaNoWriMo you might be wondering? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it begins every November 1st. The whole idea is to write a 50,000 word manuscript by 11:59 PM on November 30. Think that sounds impossible? Difficult, yes, but impossible? No. Broken down, it’s roughly 1667 words a day, 7 days a week for 30 days.

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Last year was the first time I had ever heard of NaNoWriMo and I wanted to give it a try. In the end, I failed miserably, but I did take something away from the experience. Throughout the month, NaNoWriMo sent several messages. Tips for staying on track, what to do when you hit that wall, basically they equip you with what you need to know to finish the challenge successfully. I took everything I learned and applied it to Wattpad’s first #JustWriteIt Challenge, which mimicked NaNoWriMo. I wrote 50,000 words during the month of February and I did so with help from the pep talks I received during the month of November. Wattpad was also kind enough to send words of encouragement throughout their challenge. When it was all said and done, I ended up with an 85,000 word manuscript called Fast Lane which is currently being featured on Wattpad.

So, think you might want to give it a try? Here are some things that helped me:

1.) Start preparing long before November 1st. Plot your draft, even if you’ve never plotted before. It will come in handy when you sit down to write. Life happens, and if you miss a day you’re going to find yourself behind. Knowing where your story needs to go will help push you along the way. It might even deter writer’s block – if you believe in that sort of thing. You can research the many different ways writer’s plot, or you can do what feels most comfortable to you. Just make sure you make that outline – you’ll be happy you did.

2.) Check out the NaNOWriMo forums. They contain a wealth of information. I’ve also stumbled across some helpful threads on Wattpad. It might seem a bit overwhelming with all that information being thrown at you, but take what you can from it and apply it to what you need to do.

3.) Don’t, let me repeat that, DO NOT compare yourself to others. It will kill your creativity. Just do what you do and stop worrying about the next guy. It will get you no where fast.

4.) DO encourage others. NaNoWriMo can be a very stressful time. Help relieve some of that stress by being supportive and encouraging. What comes around goes around. Wouldn’t you like to receive some love?

5.) Write. Every single day. Make an appointment with yourself and do not miss it. Once you fall behind it might be difficult to catch up.

6.) Have fun! This is a personal challenge, not a televised race. It’s based on the honor system. You are under no obligation to show your work to anyone, although you can enter in your daily word count on the website to help you keep track. And you’re free to write about whatever you want: any subject, any characters, and language.

Here is the official link to NaNoWriMo: http://nanowrimo.org/

Now go sign up and get started. And good luck, I hope to see you at the finish line!