Wattpad's Editorial Lead AMA on Writing & What We Look For

Hey all!

I’m Nick, from Wattpad HQ. I am the Editorial Lead here and I come to answer any questions one might have about what we look for in stories, what we commonly work with authors on improving, what the most frequent issues are in stories, what gets them declined, and anything else you might want to ask to help you figure out where or what to improve next in your own story.

To be clear, I can’t answer specific questions on your story. So your question can’t be “Is my summary good?” or “Do you like my character description?” or “Is this a captivating opening line?” I wont answer those questions.

I also gain something out of this, as this helps me better identify what are the top writer concerns, where could we give out more information to writers, where are their struggles or gaps in knowledge, and so on, so a thank you in advance for the research assistance!

@FireAlwaysReturns has compiled all collection of all the questions and answers if you want to skip to just that

What a great opportunity!

Wattpad has different programs. How do you decide which program a story you like will go into?


I know most of the Wattpad-program stories currently focus is on YA/teen stories, does that extend across genres to mystery/fantasy/scifi?


I don’t think my heart is prepared for reading about everything that my book is not. :joy:


What does Wattpad think about stories that don’t fit into a specific genre (cross-genre)? And do you think encouraging cross-genre would help with originality in stories?


What are the most popular genre in your opinion?


Why is there no poetry in the editor’s choice?


Typically speaking, how many people on the team will read a project before it gets chosen for one of the programs?


Hello !

So… I have a pretty good question : do you know when all the cool programs are gonna be open for French language stories ? :slight_smile:

Thank you !


When you’re on the hunt for stories, how much in depth do you look at a story? How much of a chance do you give a story to draw you in? Does it need to hook you (or whoever reads it) right away or do you maybe jump to chapter 10 to see how it develops?
In other words, do you consider stories according to their potential throughout the entire story or are the ones with a ‘not so interesting first chapter’ quickly discarded?


Is there any bias you know of for things that don’t conform to the traditional things you tend to see get popular here? Or do you see that as an advantage?


Is there an optimal chapter length for stories on Wattpad?


Star, like word count or the number of chapters in a book :thinking:

Both would be interesting


Is there an optimal style of book you look for? Such as favoured genres, chapter lengths, and subject matter? If you write these, do you give you a leg up over others or any other kind of advantage?


What is being done with the data from the new story tools? Are they going to be implemented on a mandatory basis? How will that data help Wattpad evaluate us as writers? (And why don’t we know how they’re using that data yet?)

These aren’t quite editorial questions, but they are touting these features as being useful to helping discover writers, so I’m curious.


Grammar and spelling. How good do you have to be at it? Like, I know not littered with errors, but how many is too many?


How do you guys approach prologues? Are there some kinds of prologues that you will encourage, or do you just stay away from all of them?


Why is no fanfiction ever Featured on the Editor’s Picks or reading lists?


What do editor’s pick generally look for?


Is there a preference to 3rd POV over 1st? Or do the editorial group really don’t care? Or if there are more than one character POV in the same story.

Also, when you read a story, do you canalize it to experts in the genre? For example, if you receive a romance story, but that is not your interest n genre, will you be the one evaluating it or would you pass it to someone who is more inmmersed in the genre? I wonder if this is not canalized, would it bring a bias when choosing which genres to showcase. How do you overcome these sort of bias?