By now, you may have seen the buzz about The Wattys shortlist around Twitter and elsewhere. People all over the place are jumping up and down after finding out they’re on the Wattys 2018 shortlist. I’m one of those people.
For those that don’t hang around Wattpad every day, what does that mean? What the heck is the Wattys?
The Wattys is a contest run by Wattpad every year, to identify the cream of the crop, the top stories of the year in a variety of categories. Tens of thousands of stories are submitted, few make it through to the end. In other words, the stories that make it through to the end are the best of the best. Perhaps you could call it the Oscars of Wattpad? Regardless, to give you an idea of the numbers we’re talking, here are the official stats:
The Descent is one of those 362,423 submissions. When the longlist was released a couple of weeks ago, it was one of about 800 stories that made it. Now, on the shortlist, it’s one of 247 stories. In a couple of weeks, we’ll find out which of these 247 stories are the winners in the various categories of the Wattys.
For me, being longlisted and then shortlisted is humbling enough and frankly, if that’s as far as I go, I’m still going to be extremely happy. To be one of 247 out of 362,423, that tells me enough about my story. So, whether I win or not, I already consider myself a winner.
At the same time, I know there are over 500 other writers that didn’t make it. With them in mind, and all the others that submitted stories, I want to point something out: winning the Wattys isn’t everything. Sure, it’s a huge thing but ultimately, you shouldn’t be writing your story to please the judges of the Wattys. You write your story because you have a story to tell. Don’t ever forget that. Don’t ever let a setback throw you off and make you think your story isn’t good enough. There are plenty of stories I saw that didn’t make it through to the next round that I was convinced absolutely would.
My point is: keep writing. Don’t stop.
This goes for all those that were shortlisted as well. In addition, to all of you, I also want to add a HUGE congratulations for making it this far, and good luck! I’m rooting for all of you!