Wattpad has launched a new program to allow its writers to monetize their work. Called the Creators Program, the Toronto-based company plans to dole out $2.6 million in writer stipends this year.
“We’re in the business of helping writers build a global audience and make money.”
-Jeanne Lam, president of Wattpad
Participants can receive cash stipends of up to $25,000. In addition to funding, they will also be eligible for marketing and editorial support, as well as sponsored brand partnerships. Currently, the program is available to writers by invitation only.
Wattpad noted that educational programming and writer resources will be available for over 3,000 writers this year, along with over 500 writers who are eligible for cash stipends.
Available to all writers, Wattpad has also launched a creator portal, which functions as an online resource containing information and tips to help people improve their writing.
As part of the creators program, Wattpad recently introduced a new Engaged Readers metric for writers, which provides a snapshot of story performance and engagement over the past 365 days. Engaged Readers, according to the company, also highlights how many readers spent more than five minutes reading a story.
The creators program is currently rolling out to English-speaking writers around the world. Wattpad said that the initiative will be made available to Spanish-speaking markets and the Philippines subsequently, with additional locations to follow in 2023.
“We’re in the business of helping writers build a global audience and make money,” said Jeanne Lam, president of Wattpad. “Our goal has always been to create multiple, scalable ways for writers to make money and build a writing career on Wattpad.”
Founded in 2006 by former CEO Allen Lau and CSO Ivan Yuen, Wattpad provides an online self-publishing platform that has a community of more than 94 million people, including five million writers. To date, around 1,500 stories that were originally published on Wattpad have been published as books or adapted for TV and film.
Lau announced in May that he is stepping away from the CEO role and becoming an executive advisor to Watpad. Lam will take over “day-to-day leadership and responsibility for the company’s operations.” Lam was promoted to president from her role as chief business officer last year. Lau stepping back came just over a year after Wattpad was officially acquired by Naver.
In addition to the creators program, Wattpad offers a number of monetization paths for writers. This includes TV, film, and book deals with the Wattpad Webtoon Book group; sponsored brand partnerships, as well as the company’s Paid Stories program.
Paid Stories was launched in 2019 to allow writers make money directly on the platform. Wattpad claims that Paid Stories has doled out more than $3 million to writers within three years.
The Naver deal, which combined Wattpad Studios with Webtoon also opened up the possibility of new channels for writers given the latter’s specialization in digital comics.