As accelerators and incubators grow in popularity as essential aspects of fostering tech ecosystems, it seems inevitable that other industries would start to take notice of the benefits of collaboration through these programs.
Wattpad has taken the lead in this sense with their new Wattpad Stars accelerator, which helps viral writers jumpstart their careers in the industry.
“We want to reward writers who’ve devoted time and effort into their craft and provide a way to get their talent recognized. This is also a way to activate the potential in new writers,” said Ashleigh Gardner, head of writer and publisher partnerships. “Years of working with Wattpad storytellers has given us the insight needed to recognize the potential in writers and stories. Wattpad Stars know how to craft an addictive story and spend time to engage their readers. All of that requires time and effort, by rewarding these writers we hope that more people will be inspired to share their own stories.”
Through the program, Wattpad Stars get to work with top brands, get help getting their stories published, collaborate with the people who work at Wattpad, and other opportunities like walking the red carpet at the American Music Awards and speaking at TEDx events.
“Wattpad Stars know how to craft an addictive story and spend time to engage their readers.” – Ashleigh Gardner, head of writer and publisher partnerships
“Everyone has a story. Most of our Wattpad Stars began as passionate Wattpad community members who couldn’t wait for the next chapter of their favourite read. When a new writer is commissioned by a brand like Mondelēz or Paramount Pictures their confidence skyrockets,” said Gardner. “Suddenly what began as a hobby becomes an important part of their lives. Our goal is to connect as many people as possible with these types of opportunities so that more people will be inspired to post their first chapter.”
The accelerator is an opportunity for the Wattpad community to take advantage of the strong writing community they’ve already established — in the past, Wattpad writers like Apryl Baker, who was commissioned by Universal Studios to write for the Ouija and Unfriended promotions, and Anna Todd, who wrote a story on Wattpad that received one billion views and received a six-figure publishing and film deal from Paramount.
While the program is mostly co-ordinated digitally, some writers do get the chance to work out of the Wattpad headquarters in Toronto. To apply, you can check out the application forms here.