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    Hey fellow Wattpadders!

    In January 2011, I decided to give this “Wattpad thing” a try, and began uploading a book that I was writing specifically for all of you. It was called Life’s a Witch, and it was about a teenage girl who is not only a witch (I like to call them twitches!), but also a descendant of the first person murdered during The Salem Witch Trials. The book had magic, romance, action, darkness, cute boys, kick-ass girls and the ultimate bad guy…

    Within a year of posting it, you made it one of the most-read books here on Wattpad!

    AND, that’s not all you did!  Due to your overwhelming love and support, the publishing world took notice, and I scored a 3-book deal with Simon & Schuster! It is my biggest dream come true to finally get my books published, and I know that you have all been a huge part in that.

    So, as a thank you for being so awesome, and to get you excited about the three e-book installments that will be coming out starting October 9th for .99 cents each, here’s a sneak peek of the prequel/spin-off of Life’s a Witch, called What the Spell?.

    Happy reading!

    Brittany Geragotelis

    AKA “Britt The Book Slayer


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    Check out this writing contest from our friends at Bookfest Windsor 2012!

    Say it SHORT and sweet or sassy but get your LIT ON stage.

    250 Words… It’s less than 10 Tweets!

    Hey, you’re a writer. Hang out with the prized, the famous and word-world insiders at BookFest Windsor, one of the most notable literary festivals in North America. We’re kicking off our second decade with a new contest, BFW Bound. We’re searching for the authors of the future, and giving them a chance to compete to open our show from the stage of the Capitol Theatre. Don’t wait for the deadline. Send your literary gem to bfwbound(at)bookfestwindsor(dot)com today.

    The Rules

    • Submission dates: September 10, 2012 – October 5, 2012
    • Micro fiction/creative non-fiction and poetry in English are eligible.
    • Previously published work is eligible. You must own copyright to the work.
    • All authors 18 and over are welcome.
    • Prose entries must be 250 words or less.
    • Poetry 30 lines maximum, including blank lines.
    • Submit entries in the body of an email to bfwbound(at)bookfestwindsor(dot)com.
    • Subject line should read BFW Bound + entry title.
    • Include name and complete contact information with entry.
    • Top entries will participate in a reading at Phog Lounge, Downtown Windsor, 7:00 p.m., October 20, 2012.
    • Reading Judges: Karl Jirgens, Editor of RAMPIKE, and author Mary Ann Mulhern.
    • 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizewinners will open BookFest Windsor 2012, on stage at The Capitol Theatre Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
    • First place winner receives print set-up and 3 copies of a self-publishing project up to 250 pages from Windsor Public Library Self Publishing Lab.
    • Winners must participate in October 20th and October 25th events. 

    BookFest Windsor reserves the right to use shortlisted and winning entries in future promotion. Due credit to the author will be given.


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    TAKE IT TO A NEW LEVEL: FIXES FOR YOUR FICTION

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 17 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15 and Week 16!)

    This week, we’re going to think about the perspective your scenes are written in. You may have a brilliant plot and a great story, but perhaps readers are saying that they don’t feel like they know your characters well. Perhaps readers are giving you the feedback that your writing feels a bit choppy. By thinking about perspective, I think you can smooth out your writing and help your readers get to know your characters even better.

    Here’s an example of a scene written from multiple perspectives (by the way, my feeling is that this piece of writing here DOESN’T WORK ON THE PAGE)

    Katherine sighed. She felt lonely when Harry left like that. She looked at the door. He turned back. He was tired of the same old argument.

    He said, “I’m going now.” His mouth was dry.

    She wanted to cry but she stopped herself.

    Angel arrived. She yawned. These guys were always at the point of breaking up. “Hey there, you two. Fighting again?” She’d had a long, hard day at work and she was bored of coming home to her roommates doing this.

    Can you see that we shift from Katherine’s perspective, to Harry’s, back to Katherine’s, then on to Angel’s. When I read something like this, it feels to me like I can’t just sit down and enjoy the story. Each time the writing changes perspective, it feels like I have to, as a reader, change perspective too.

    Sometimes it works beautifully. You can have an omniscient narrator who sees everything. But often changing perspective too often in the same scene distances your reader from your characters because they can’t settle into the story. They can’t get to know any character well. By trying to see the scene from too many angles, the reader doesn’t get to see the scene at all.

    Look at the same scene as above from Katherine’s perspective only.

    Katherine looked at Harry standing by the open door. He filled the frame – she loved that he was so gigantic. If only he wasn’t so angry. She could see the way a small muscle twitched in his cheek, a sure sign he was furious, but she wasn’t going to apologize.

                “I mean it, Kate,” he said. “I’m going now.”

                It took everything she had to shrug and pretend she didn’t care.

                Angel appeared in the corridor behind Harry, and squeezed past him into the living room. “You guys fighting again?” she asked. She flung herself onto the couch and switched on the TV, flicking from channel to channel.

                Harry glared at Katherine. “I’m not coming back.”

                Katherine said, very softly, “Don’t make out this is my fault.”         

    How does it read to you when you stay in the same perspective all the way through? Does it make it easier for you to imagine the scene and get to know Katherine? Try the writing prompt this week and see if staying in the same perspective works for you in your work.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    Write 250 words of a breakup scene from the point of view of one character. Write another 250 words of the same scene from the perspective of the second character.

    Post your two responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.

    Commit to your writing by joining in this and the following workshop:

    Oct 15th-Nov 12th: Kickstart Your Writing - Trying New Things To Fuel Your Writing


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    Aisling’s Summer Diary: Fan Fiction Contest:

    It’s your turn to write Aisling’s Diary! If you win, your story will be published as an extra chapter on the upcoming publishing of Aisling’s Summer Diary

    See Contest Details Here


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  • 09/19/12--09:24: The Cult of Celebrity
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Emily Mah Tippetts, author of “Someone Else’s Fairytale,” about her writing inspiration:

    I hit upon the idea for my novel, Someone Else’s Fairytale, while looking through entertainment headlines one day. What if, I thought, I had a character get hit on by a fictional Robert Pattenson, and what if she really, really didn’t care, hadn’t seen his movies, and didn’t think he was all that good looking? The idea was too funny to pass up.

    Many of you will be familiar with Danny Evan’s “star make-unders”. He states, more convincingly than I ever could with mere words, how stars derive their looks from strict lifestyles, makeup artists, stylists, and airbrushing.

    They’re just people, after all. Very rich, very well known people, but the same species as all of us.

    When I set out to create my Hollywood heartthrob, Jason Vanderholt, I put in a mix of flaws and strengths. He’s a person who’s not an angel, but not a demon either. He’s average. My main character, Chloe, is not all that interested in appearances. The only man who’ll win her heart is one she can trust. While Jason won’t stop hitting on her, she’s also got a best friend who seems to want more than friendship. Forget the usual storytelling formulas; to find out who wins, you have to read the book.

    My portrayal of someone from Hollywood as a regular person isn’t supposed to ridicule him, because normal people don’t deserve ridicule. As funny as it is to look at these pictures of stars photoshopped onto average bodies, I don’t see this as a criticism of average people. Looks are, as they say, only skin deep. For people who make a living from their appearance, they are of the utmost importance. I can certainly understand why individuals who have their faces projected on giant screens around the world are obsessed with how they look.

    By the same token, celebrities who do maintain their appearance are not superior to the rest of us. They may be better looking, in better shape, and have more money. I find it sad, sometimes, how many people are willing to sign up to the cult of celebrity, though. There is a lot about fandom I don’t understand. Someone Else’s Fairytale is a love story between two people who can look past the hype and forge a connection. It’s sequel, Nobody’s Damsel, will be out early next year.

    -Emily M. Tippetts

    Read Someone Else’s Fairytale on Wattpad!

    Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, falls for everygirl, Chloe Winters, who hasn’t bothered to see most of his movies. She is the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn’t her fairytale. The book is for sale here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Someone-Elses-Fairytale-ebook/dp/B006JD115K/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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    Let’s Get Digital: David Gaughran on Self-Publishing

    David Gaughran is known as quite an expert in the changing world of self-publishing. His book “Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should,” is a top-rated guide to self-publishing on Amazon. Listen to our podcast with David as we discuss his writing, his thoughts on the changing state of publishing, and his historical novel “A Storm Hits Valparaiso.”

    Read his stories on Wattpad and check out his blog for great insights into the self-publishing world. David’s stories are available to purchase on Amazon


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    Dr. Vincent Lam spoke to writers in Toronto at Wattpad’s meetup on Sunday, September 23rd 2012.

    Join us at our next writer meetup in New York! Wattpad wants to introduce you to your next million readers.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Dianne Greenlay, author of the historical adventure “Quintspinner - A Pirate’s Quest”: 

    (Image Source)

    Life on board a pirate ship in the 1700’s, while immensely better than that of an enlisted sailor in an official Navy, was still pretty rough. Fresh water was scarce, and the water that was stored in casks and barrels, in the heat of the tropics, quickly grew algae and bacteria, becoming slimy and green-tinged, much like the water that can be seen in summer horse troughs and shallow ponds today.

    Frequently, water sources for the cities of the times were dangerously polluted with raw sewage and rotting carcasses, so it was assumed (and rightly so!) that to bathe in water, or to consume much of it, would result in illness. Many sailors and pirates never learned to swim as water became a thing to be avoided, and baths were undertaken seasonally at best!

    “Grog” was a cheap alternative to supplying drinking water on the ships sailing in the West Indies. Initially it was a strong, harsh rum, made from the sugar cane grown there and fermented into alcohol. “Kill-devil” as it was referred to, was so strong that it often produced alcohol poisoning in those who over-indulged. Two servings per day became an early standard, although the “tots” were often doubled or quadrupled before going into battle, as the “liquid courage” made the crew members more pugilistic and wounds would be more easily borne when a sailor was drunk.

    The straight rum issued to the men on a daily basis, however, resulted in chronic drunkenness and lack of discipline. This was a dangerous combination for men who were both prone to violent behavior and who routinely carried sharp daggers in their waistbands. Arguments between crew members of the same ship often escalated to the point that two warring crew members would be put ashore to settle the issue. Such fights commonly ended with one or both pirates losing a limb or eye, and on occasion, only one would live to be victorious.

    Eventually the rum tot was cut with, or added into, the water rations. This not only cut down on the drunkenness, but it made the stored drinking water more palatable, and the antiseptic qualities of the strong alcohol made the water safer to drink. As time went on, sugar, lime, nutmeg, or cinnamon were added to improve the taste.

    “Powder monkeys” were children, some as young as the age of five, and many, although not all, were orphans who were abducted from the streets of the large cities. Powder monkeys, chosen for their small sizes and agility, were forced to sail and work upon the ships. Even these youngsters were permitted a portion of the grog with which to fortify their courage, as their job was to quickly haul bags of highly explosive and unstable gunpowder up to the gun crews during battles.

    Powder Monkey on a ship (Photo: Wikipedia)

    A daily liquor ration was administered to sailors in the US Navy until the mid 1800’s and the practice remained in place in the British Navy until July 31, 1970 when the 300 year old naval tradition officially ended, on a day that is still referred to as “Black Tot Day.”

    Although official records are not kept, pirate crews, to this day however, are assumed to be reluctant to give up their historical drink of choice!

    Yessiree, life in the days of the pirate was much different from how we live now. I researched heavily for my novel, Quintspinner – A Pirate’s Quest and came across all kinds of strange facts and juicy tidbits to weave the story around. As a result, the novel has won 14 book awards in the categories of Best Historical, Best YA, Best Commercial, and Best Beach Read.

    I am so pleased to be able to share the novel in its entirety with Wattpad members. Quintspinner is also available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    I’m excited to also announce that Book Two in the Quintspinner series, Deadly Misfortune will be released very shortly! Join me at www.diannegreenlay.com for free chapter previews and posts about all things pirate-y!

    In the words of a long ago pirate – “Here’s to your fortunate proceedings, a good hot fight, and a long life to each and all.”

    Read Quintspinner - A Pirate’s Quest on Wattpad!

    As the daughter of a London physician in 1717, sixteen-year-old Tess Willoughby has seen her share of horrors and been to some of the city’s shadiest quarters. But a simple trip through the chaos of a London marketplace takes a bizarre twist. Tess witnesses the murder of a renowned elderly seer and unwittingly becomes the mistress of the woman’s prophetic spinner ring. Even worse, Tess’s panic-stricken trip home leads her to discover a secret family history that shocks Tess to her core.

    Unable to give up the bejeweled ring, Tess must embark on a treacherous voyage to the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. Trapped on a merchant ship and unwillingly betrothed to the murderer who covets the power of her ring, Tess finds strength and comfort in the company of a handsome sailor, even though this growing temptation will most certainly jeopardize their lives. Even stranger, she soon realizes that even though her fiancé is ruthless, he alone can secure her safety throughout their perilous journey. Thrust into a world she doesn’t understand to fulfill a role she is only beginning to grasp, Tess questions everything she has believed up to now. Her only hope of saving those she loves is to accept her destiny. And yet, the strange influence of her spinner ring could change everything…

    Full of high seas action, dangerous magic, and a dash of romance, Quintspinner is a swashbuckling adventure that twists and turns with the fury of a hurricane.


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    TAKE IT TO A NEW LEVEL: FIXES FOR YOUR FICTION

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

     Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.>

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 18 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15, Week 16 and Week 17!)

    One thing I notice cropping up in the responses on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Threadis the issue of shifting tenses.Notice in the following paragraph how tricky it is when a writer shifts tenses:

    Maggie sits in her room, flicking through the paper. She’s turning the page when she saw Emily’s photo. What was Emily doing in the paper? Maggie jumped up and runs to the kitchen. “Mom,” she shouts. “Mom, where are you? Emily’s dead.” Maggie feels the tears running down her face. She couldn’t stop crying.

    It may seem like a minor grammatical thing, but keeping your writing in the same tense all the way through gives your reader a much easier reading experience.

    Look at the same paragraph written entirely in the past tense:

    Maggie sat in her room, flicking through the paper. She turned the page and saw Emily’s photo. What was Emily doing in the paper? Maggie jumped up and ran to the kitchen. “Mom,” she shouted. “Mom, where are you? Emily’s dead.” Maggie felt the tears running down her face. She couldn’t stop crying.

    The past tense creates a little distance, but has a great storytelling feel. Flashbacks and memories can be hard to incorporate in past tense, however. The only way to master this is to practice, practice, practice.

    Here’s the same paragraph, including a flashback, written in the present tense with the flashback in the past tense.

    Maggie sits in her room, flicking through the paper. She turns the page and sees Emily’s photo. Emily who she met the first day of school. Her best friend. She remembers the argument they had yesterday. The terrible things she said.

    Maggie jumps up and runs to the kitchen. “Mom,” she shouts. “Mom, where are you? Emily’s dead.” Maggie feels the tears running down her face. She can’t stop crying.

    The present tense gives an immediacy and an easy way to use flashback and memory (by shifting to the past tense). But it can feel a little breathy and rushed. You make the choice as to which you prefer in your own writing.

    Now the tenses are working in this short piece, it’s easy for me to spot that the verbs are weak, the writing is clichéd and the sentences are all the same length. These are things I can edit now I’ve got my tenses under control.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    We’re practicing tenses this week. Write a single paragraph that includes these three words:

    CRACK

    LOST

    CALL

    Write it first of all ENTIRELY in the present tense. Rewrite the same paragraph ENTIRELY in the past tense. Use those three words each time.

    Post your two responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.

    Commit to your writing by joining in this and the following workshop:

    Oct 15th-Nov 12th: Kickstart Your Writing - Trying New Things To Fuel Your Writing


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Madeline Sloane, author of the non-teen romance “Distracted”:

    The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth’s human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. 

    Although it is the 50th anniversary of the publication of her runaway bestseller, “Silent Spring” (1962), Carson remains one of the greatest nature writers of America and one of America’s Top 100 Scientists according to a Time magazine poll. 

    “The beauty of the living world I was trying to save,” she wrote in a letter to a friend in 1962, “has always been uppermost in my mind — that, and anger at the senseless, brutish things that were being done. I have felt bound by a solemn obligation to do what I could — if I didn’t at least try I could never be happy again in nature. But now I can believe that I have at least helped a little. It would be unrealistic to believe one book could bring a complete change.” 

    A Naturalist Is Born 

    Born May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pa., Carson graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) in 1929, studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her master’s degree in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932. While attending the university, she wrote for the Baltimore Sun. 

    She began a 15-year career in federal service as a scientist and editor in 1936 and rose to become editor-in-chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

    Her first book, “Under the Sea Wind” (Oxford University Press 1941), was published just before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Lost in the tide of war, the book was largely overlooked. 

    Her next book, “The Sea Around Us” (Oxford University Press 1951), was first serialized in The New Yorker, and caused such a stir that it became a bestseller when finally printed. It was followed by “The Edge of the Sea” (Houghton Mifflin Company 1955) and then by “Silent Spring” (Houghton Mifflin Company 1962). 

    As early as 1945, Carson had become alarmed by government abuse of chemical pesticides (such as DDT) and pest-control programs that poisoned with little regard for the welfare of other animals. 

    “The more I learned about the use of pesticides, the more appalled I became,” Carson recalled. “I realized that here was the material for a book. What I discovered was that everything which meant most to me as a naturalist was being threatened, and that nothing I could do would be more important.” 

    Carson eloquently penned her dire warnings in “Silent Spring”: “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings … Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change … There was a strange stillness … The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices.” 

    In a vile attack to undermine Carson, chemical companies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had only increased public awareness. “Silent Spring” became a bestseller and is regarded as the cornerstone of the new environmentalism. Sense of Wonder Carson died in 1964 at the age of 56 following a long struggle with breast cancer, but her enduring love and wonder for the universe — and her ability to provoke the same sense in others — was posthumously published in New York. 

    “The Sense of Wonder,” by Carson with photographs by Charles Pratt (Harper & Row 1965), encourages adults to endow every child with “a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.” Her narrative charts a path for adults and children to take together on a journey of discovery — the same path she took with her grandnephew, Roger, to whom the book is dedicated. 

    In her book, “The Sense of Wonder,” Carson encourages parents and other adults to overcome their sense of inadequacy when confronting the complex natural world and instead concentrating on how they “feel” instead of what they “know.” 

    “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in,” she writes. “It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” 

    What are you waiting for? Go outside and reawaken your own sense of wonder.

    Read Madeline Sloane’s “Distracted” on Wattpad:

    Stephen Spence is just another assignment for Erin Andersen, a D.C. book editor who specializes in motivating authors. Spence has missed one too many deadlines, but Erin doesn’t think its writer’s block. She thinks the media darling is self-absorbed and lazy, spending too much time partying with bimbos on his boat.

    Erin travels to his Outer Bank’s home for a writing-intensive workshop, but Spence has other plans. He’s sailing to the Florida Keys for some undeserved R&R. Determined to keep him on task, Erin has no choice but to work as crew aboard his luxury catamaran. Her mission to keep him on track is next to impossible because this sexy guy is easily distracted.

    Fun in the sun is fine, but Erin has a job to do and it isn’t getting done at the beach. She whisks Spence away to her family farm in Eaton, Pennsylvania, where she can control the situation. Or can she? To her dismay, Erin learns distraction is contagious and the foolish compromises she makes are costly.

    The first novel in the “Women of Eaton” romance series, “Distracted” introduces readers to Eaton, a fictional, idyllic town tucked away in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Other books in the series are “East of Eaton” and “West Wind.” The second series, “Secrets of Eaton” consists of thrillers “Consequence,” “Incandescent” and “Dead Line.” The third series is the spooky “Mysteries of Eaton” and consists of “Charnel House,” “Well of the Dead” and “Forgotten.”


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    Wattpad was co-founded by Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Say hi to them on Wattpad and check out what they’re reading and writing: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ivanyuenhttp://www.wattpad.com/user/allenlau.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from C.J. Archer, author of historical ghost romance “The Medium,” on the long and tough path to publishing:

    Journeys are supposed to be fun. There’s the thrill of anticipation as you pack, organize tours, and decide how many medieval castles you can visit in a week. Then the journey itself finally arrives and even the airport feels like an exotic palace that you want to explore. Of course the destination itself is the best part, relegating the packing and airport experiences to mere “meh” status.

    If you’re a writer, you probably get where I’m going with this analogy. Writing novels and getting published is like that long-awaited overseas holiday that you’ve saved up for, and talked about for many years. Both take preparation, planning, and perseverance.

    I live in Australia. We’re used to long flights if we want to go anywhere more exotic than New Zealand. Perhaps that’s why my fifteen plus years as an unpublished writer was something I simply accepted at the time. Yes, you read that right. I wrote for more than fifteen years and completed dozens of full-length manuscripts before I got published. I entered writing contests, won some and bombed out in others. I landed an agent, then the Global Financial Crisis hit and the agent oh-so-politely severed ties. There’s a reason why that word “severed” sounds so brutal, so final. I felt like my writing career had ended before it had really begun.

    I stopped writing.

    Then the publishing landscape didn’t so much shift as erupt. It became possible to make ebooks available for sale at very little cost. Frustrated and depressed, I entered the self-publishing world with some manuscripts that I thought were pretty good. Even after re-reading them years after writing THE END, I thought they were better than okay. And hadn’t that agent liked them once too?

    Something strange happened after I put those books up for sale. People bought them. They wrote reviews and emailed me to tell me they liked them and asking when the next book was due out. Even stranger, I had an editor contact me. If you’ve been in the publishing game awhile, you’ll know that editors rarely contact authors. It’s always been the other way round. Not anymore. Writers now have options. Doors that were once shut have opened.

    I’m now a happily “hybrid” author which means I have a publisher for some books and I release others myself. THE MEDIUM is one I self-published. Finally I’m enjoying the destination after all those years of preparation.

    But it took over fifteen years and dozens of manuscripts for me to get to this point. I don’t begrudge a single one of those years. Sure, some authors make it with their first book, but they’re a rare breed and you’ll have more luck getting struck by lightening than joining their ranks.

    Seriously. You can’t go on a trip of a lifetime without doing the hard yards first. You need to pack or you’ll be stranded in a foreign country without clean underwear. You need to download maps, book your flights, and get to the airport before you can board the plane. You need to be prepared.

    It’s the same with writing. Learn how to construct a good story. Study books you love, analyze them, then sit at the keyboard and spin a tale that YOU love. When you feel you’re ready, get some feedback, and this is where Wattpad is brilliant. See what readers respond to, or don’t. Find other writers in the forums who are at a similar level and swap stories to critique. Grow as writers together.

    Above all, embrace the preparation as being a necessary part of the journey. It may feel like a long flight, but unless you turn around when you get to the airport, you WILL get there. 

    - CJ Archer

    Read The Medium on Wattpad!

    Seventeen year-old spirit medium Emily Chambers has a problem. Actually, she has several. As if seeing dead people isn’t a big enough social disadvantage, she also has to contend with an escaped demon and a handsome ghost with a secret past. And then there’s the question of her parentage. Being born an entire year after her father’s death (yes, a year) and without the pale skin of other respectable English ladies, Emily is as much a mystery as the dead boy assigned to her.

    Jacob Beaufort’s spirit has been unable to crossover since his death several months ago. It might have something to do with the fact he was murdered. Or it might not. All he knows is, he has been assigned by the Otherworld’s administrators to a girl named Emily. A girl who can see and touch him. A girl who released a shape-shifting demon into the mortal realm. Together they must send the demon back before it wreaks havoc on London. It should be a simple assignment, but they soon learn there’s nothing simple when a live girl and a dead boy fall in love.

    THE MEDIUM is the first book in the Emily Chambers Spirit Medium trilogy.


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  • 09/26/12--09:42: The Karada comes to Wattpad
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Carrie Cutforth-Young, part of the creative team behind “The Karada”, an upcoming TV series.

    All your Fates” is the prequel adventure to the upcoming TV series, available ONLY ON WATTPAD!

    A new serialized novel is kicking off today on Wattpad. Check it out here!

    Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you had made different choices? What if you hadn’t ordered that egg salad sandwich all those years ago? Would your dream of becoming President of the United States been that much closer to reality?

    All those things – the little choices you make – those things impact your fate in this life. And every decision you make creates another reality. That’s what consequences are: new splits in reality.

    The Karada graphic novel.

    THE KARADA: It’s the name of the multiverse where every decision you make creates two parallel realities. One for what was and one for what could have been. In one, you are happily married with two kids; in another, you are a washed out ex-rock singer. And it all came down to whether or not you took that first cigarette.

    That is how reality is supposed to operate: when everything is in working order. But what happens when the multiverse begins to break down, fray at the edges, and the walls the separate our realities thin and bleed?

    How would you react if one day, everything you considered fact was suddenly only fragments of your imagination? What if your twelve year-old brother suddenly never existed or one day you woke up next to a stranger who claims he’s your husband? Or you opened up your closet and all your clothes had inexplicably turned goth?

      

    Tom and James, part of the team behind The Karada.

    It was just over year ago that myself, Tom Liljeholm and Jim Martin and a handful of other creative began to explore the story world of the The Karada, a supernatural thriller/character-driven TV series about the collapse of the multiverse where the heroine is suddenly faced with consequences of decisions she has never made.

    While the television show is still a ways off yet, we couldn’t keep from releasing content to the public any longer. We love our characters too much too keep them hidden from the world, and therefore it is with our pleasure we’ve created All Your Fates, our prequel novel, that explains how the multiverse got to be in such a precarious situation in the first place. It is the story of David Blunt, who, after being rebuffed by the girl of his dreams, seeks the feisty Emma Gossett out to redeem himself in all her other realities…giving himself second, third, and forth chances (and so on) at true love. Or at least that’s the plan. David is bound to get it right sooner or later! Right? But not if the smooth-as-cream-cheese Gabriel, who is David’s foil in every way, has anything to do with it. And there’s just something about that guy…I dunno…he rubs David the wrong way. Maybe it’s because this Gabriel guy rubs Emma in all the right ways.

    Tom, Jim and I met through the transmedia experience Conspiracy for Good in the summer of 2010. Tom had produced the Alternate Reality Game and Jim was also a writer/producer on the production, being an assistant for Tim Kring on NBC’S Heroes at the time. And I was their hardcore fan and player. Throughout the Conspiracy for Good experience, I interacted with the fictional characters both Tom and Jim and others had designed and managed: through email, twitter, phone, IRC chats and even face to face meetings during crazy immersive spectacular live events in which fiction blended with reality. And Tom and Jim got to like the cut of my jib in the process.

    So together we are bringing a little bit of that special blend of fiction & reality magic to All Your Fates as well. The novel will not be an Alternative Reality Game; however…we do have some fun Easter eggs out there IN THE WILD…so while you read, be sure to pay attention to special clues that will lead to bonus content online or who knows…I even received a bouquet of flowers from one of Conspiracy for Good’s characters…so you never know what surprises we have in store. In fact, a little bird told me we even have a special little something something to go along with the first chapter. But you’ll have to look for it!!! Good luck and bonne chance.

    Carrie Cutforth-Young

    Read “All Your Fates” on Wattpad!

    They say in life there are no second chances. But what if you had blown it with the girl of your dreams? What would you do knowing that she was out there, in other realities, realities you hadn’t screwed up? That kind of thing could really mess you up… and it could make you do some crazy.

    Down-on-his-luck David Blunt is as loser as a loser you can get; recently kicked out of school and fired from his dead end job, David’s been squatting in his flop-house apartment, avoiding his landlord and subsisting on stale fortune cookies and cheap street meat for weeks. But when David reads a fortune that predicts an epic future for him, he starts to think that his luck is about to change.

    Emma Gossett is a spirited world traveller full of wanderlust, and who never stays put in one place long enough to form any attachments. Her lovable and eccentric Gran insists this is because she was hidden from the Norns as a babe to keep them from naming Emma’s fate, a fable Emma puts little faith in. But when Emma meets David, her faith in reality is shaken to the core. Does this rambling cynical romantic hold the answer to the prevailing sense of déjà vu she’s been feeling lately? Or is it just something else, as her new and mysteriously sensual acquaintance Gabriel insists? Perhaps he holds the key to the mysterious sensations she has felt of living another life alongside her own.

    All Your Fates is the prequel novel to the upcoming TV experience The Karada, a drama series that will be a high-quality supernatural thriller about Emma’s struggle to navigate collapsing realities and figure out what is going on with both David’s and your help. Created and written by Jim Martin (who has worked on and written for the TV show Heroes), Tom Liljeholm (who produced the Alternate Reality Game for Conspiracy for Good), and Carrie Cutforth-Young (who weaves magic while you sleep), with special contributions of too many fantastic writers to mention here.


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    This past Sunday, we met all sorts of readers and writers in Toronto at the Word on the Street festival in Queen’s Park!

    To spread the Wattpad love, we asked non-Wattpadders to create a new account on Wattpad and be entered into a draw for a Nexus 7 Android tablet. Congrats to our lucky winner, scottewan! Enjoy reading and writing on Wattpad using your brand new mobile device.

    Don’t forget to check out Wattpad’s Featured Stories for some of our team’s favourite hand-picked reads.


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    If you’re using Wattpad on iOS , just click on the Create tab. On  Android, click on the orange “W”; a drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Create” and start writing your story!


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Baker Lawley, author of the young adult novel “This Is The Play,” on the ways sidekicks and secondary characters can rock your writing:

    I’d had the idea for my novel, This Is The Play, for a long time.  There’d be a guy in love with a girl, and the guy was going to spread his grandfather’s ashes.

    While I was writing the first two chapters about this guy and this girl, I was really digging them, but there needed to be another element, a further spark.  Maybe I didn’t know this consciously, but I could feel it.

    So, when my main character Lewis’s car broke down, he texted his best friend to come pick them up.  And up drove Shoe, the perfect sidekick, who blurted out something about zombies and shot the story full of adrenaline.  Really, the book wouldn’t have been possible without Shoe.

    [Image Source]

    They say that writing is sometimes 90% magic, and for me, Shoe was that magic.  I can’t claim to have created him in a stroke of brilliance; he just drove up in his truck, ready to go.  It’s like the story itself invented him.

    In fact, Shoe became so important that he actually gains main character status in Book Two of the Such Sweet Sorrow Trilogy that I’m currently writing.  (So far, it’s titled The Show Must Go On.  Look for it here on Wattpad!)

    Shoe’s appearance got me thinking about sidekicks, or secondary characters, or whatever you want to call them.  They’re fantastic and really necessary in good stories.  For my day job, I’m a professor at a college where I teach creative writing, and in my classes I don’t really see young writers using sidekicks all that often.  It’s too bad, because sidekicks are really awesome.

    What is it about sidekicks that gives them such awesomeness?  So far I’ve figured out four things.  First: their stake in the story is different than the main characters.  So, they can do things and take chances the main characters never would.  Because of that, we get the second awesome thing: sidekicks are catalysts for action.  When they do things, they drive the story ahead at warp speed.

    But they also add in layers of meaning.  Because, third: sidekicks put the actions of the main characters into perspective.  They can react and speak and contrast feelings that make us readers understand the trouble of the story more deeply.  And, fourth and finally, sidekicks usually shoulder the burden of the subplots (think Han Solo falling in love with Princess Leia).  Need a subplot?  Get a sidekick.

    Sounds good, I hope.  It’s even better if we look at sidekicks in action.  Here’s my list of the Five Most Awesome Sidekicks in all of Storyland.

    [Image via TheMarySue]

    5. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley

    Harry Potter gets the glory (and the titles of the books), but really, would they be the same without these two?  Hermione’s smarts and Ron’s groundedness save the day over and over.  Plus, they’re the love subplot we’re cheering for along the way.  Without these two, Stephen King would never have been able to say, “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

    [Image Source]

    4. Watson from Sherlock Holmes

    Because who can actually relate to Sherlock Holmes?  As readers, we’re like Watson, amazed and astounded and kind of in shock at Sherlock’s erratic genius.  But Watson’s the one who’s smart enough to see Homes for what he is and explain him to the world, and that’s the real genius.

    3.  Phoebe Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye

    Holden’s little sister is, for my money, one of the most overlooked and undervalued sidekicks in all stories.  Who is Holden’s rock when his world is collapsing?  Who keeps his secret that he’s snuck home and is kicked out of school again?  Who puts on Holden’s red hunting hat, to take on the role of that catcher in the rye while she rides on the carousel?  Phoebe.  Caulfield.  That’s who.

    2. Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby

    Anybody who’s ever been in any English class that read Gatsby has discussed how the narrator, Nick, isn’t really much of a character.  He doesn’t do anything, he just observes.  But I say no to that idea.  Look at how Nick guides the story with his beautiful descriptions, like this one of the novel’s namesake: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning -”

    (And he doesn’t finish the sentence, because he doesn’t need to, because it’s too perfect to, because it says it all already.)

    1. Chewbacca

    I have to put the Wookie at #1 because he’d rip my arms off otherwise.  Plus, I do a very good Chewie imitation and needed to mention that somehow.  But seriously, look at what the big furball brings to Star Wars: comic relief, physical attacks, fierce loyalty, intimidation, his own language, sharpshooting and flying skills, raw emotion, hugs, a taste for raw meat, good looks…  Chewbacca is like the Swiss Army Knife of sidekicks.

    What about y’all?  How have you used sidekicks in your stories?  Who are some of your favorite sidekicks in the great world of stories?

    Read “This Is The Play” on Wattpad!

    Lewis Champion is in love—total, hopeless, unrequited love—with Jubilee Marshfield. Which is complicated, because she’s his best friend.

    And even though his other best friend Shoe, and his awesome grandfather, Paps, are both rooting for him, Lewis can’t get up the courage to tell her how he feels. He’s always been a wallflower, watching people and making theories rather than acting on his feelings.

    In a last-ditch effort for her affection, Lewis acts in a play alongside his two friends, and he discovers a talent hidden within himself.

    But when Paps suddenly dies and leaves in his will a most mysterious task for Lewis, he must find a way to follow through. And along the way, he discovers the secrets of stories, the courage to say what he feels, and a whole new meaning to the word “acting.”

    The only question is, will his best friend feel the same way, or will he lose her when he tells her?

    Baker Lawley, the award-winning author of THE BATTLE HYMN BLUES, spins a tale of love, drama, and friendship and a good old-fashioned road trip along the way. THIS IS THE PLAY is a fun ride on the meaning of acting and the way stories and plays help us make sense of the things we act on.


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    WATTPAD BRINGS YOU A GUEST POST FROM HEATHER JENNINGS, AUTHOR OF BEAT GIRL

    Hi everyone! I’m Heather and I’m beatgirlworld on Wattpad.

    First of all, I want to thank you guys for over 200K reads on my book on Wattpad and for over 1 Million views on YouTube!

    I’m sorry for the music on the background, I was getting myself ready for a sound check. 

    For those of you who don’t know my story, it’s basically about following your dreams and never giving up… The problem is when your dreams are not that clear to you. You see, recently my life went through a big turmoil. My mother died and I went to live with my father and my stepbrother. My mom was Claudia Jennings the renowned pianist and I’ve been following her footsteps since I was three. I’ve been studying harder and I’m only a few months away from fulfilling my dream of getting into Juilliard. Playing the piano makes me happy and keeps Mom’s memories alive.

    My stepbrother shares my passion for music – against my father’s will – and seems to understand what I’ve been through. Mike is into Dance Music and dreams of being the next David Guetta and because of him, I met Toby. Toby owns a record store and a DJ agency and he introduced me to the exciting world of Underground raves. You know the story: girl meets boy, boy introduces girl to something new and girl’s life changes forever.

    Continue below to see Beat Girl’s new video where she answers interview questions from Wattpad!

    So, when I lost my scholarship I thought I could learn how to DJ and win some cash performing in clubs at night so I could pay for Juilliard while practising piano during the day.

    In between these two lives, I have to learn how to live with my new family, fight the ferocious competition at school, survive the rivalry of the other DJs and try to get my own headline gig.

    To celebrate my book’s 200K reads, Wattpad asked me to do an interview. Hope you like it!

     If you’re interested in my story, you can download the full novel on Amazon and iBookStore. My movie is also coming out real soon and there’s a Beat Girl game also on the rise.
    So, please fan me so you won’t miss any news and I’ll see you around on Wattpad

    Cheers, 

    Heather


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  • 10/01/12--08:37: Don't Break that Spell!
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from D.L. Mackenzie, author of The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum:

    Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons 

    Let’s say you’re watching a film, another Robin Hood remake, perhaps.  That rascal, the Sheriff of Nottingham, is pursuing the Merry Men through Sherwood Forest as night falls.  Undeterred, he pulls out his trusty night vision goggles, paints Robin with a laser range finder, and takes him out with guided munitions.

    Eh?  What’s that?  Night vision goggles and laser range finders don’t belong in that story, right?  Of course they don’t, because they don’t belong in that time.  This kind of anachronism, or chronological inconsistency, can spoil fiction writing as surely as it would spoil a movie.

    The best part of fiction is becoming immersed in another reality, but when an author carelessly drops an anachronism into the story, the spell is broken.  You snap back to the present, to reality, cursing softly at the oafish author who let you down.  There are some circumstances when purposeful anachronisms can work, but unintentional anachronisms will nearly always break the spell.

    For the writer, getting the historical aspects of a story accurate can be a daunting task.  Say you’re writing a story set in the ancient Mayan civilization. One of your characters is a high priest with a predilection for wearing silk robes.  But not so fast!  As matter of historical fact, silk was unknown in Mesoamerica until centuries after the collapse of the Mayans.  So, why is your character prancing around in clothes that can’t exist?

    Here comes the big question:  Who cares?  Really, how many of your readers will know that your priest couldn’t possibly wear silk robes?  Maybe a handful.  Maybe none at all.  It’s tempting to fall into this trap, gambling on your readers not knowing or caring about all those arguably insignificant bits of obscure history.  But really, if the silk is truly just an insignificant bit of obscure history, why mention it at all?  Why not set your story in Terre Haute, Indiana and dispense with all those irrelevant trappings of a lost civilization?

    The reason is that the setting presumably adds texture to the story, and the perspectives of an unfamiliar culture can permit the writer to tell a story that would be impossible to tell otherwise.  The bottom line is that if a historical setting is important to the story, it’s important to get it right.  Do your research, but use a light touch.  It’s a fine line between adding authenticity to your stories and bogging them down in trivia.  Trust that all of those seemingly unimportant details will eventually help you construct a convincing, true-to-life setting for your characters to inhabit.

    Often as not, your research will open your eyes to new possibilities, new storylines, and new motivations for your characters.  You will understand your characters better because you will understand their world better.  Your stories will take on an intangible quality that cannot fail to draw your readers into your spellbinding new world: the ring of truth.

    Read “The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum” on Wattpad!

    The Magnetron Chronicles, Volume 1 

    Phineas Magnetron is an eccentric Nineteenth Century inventor blessed with a strange gift he doesn’t completely understand. As a former soldier and current member of the Hogalum Society, an inscrutable secret organization of crime fighting adventurers, Phineas is no stranger to peril and derring-do. But when the Society founder dies, Phineas embarks on a daring and improbable caper to bring the good doctor’s greatest dream to fruition posthumously. In the process, he not only horrifies his Society brothers, but unearths a haunting and compelling mystery.

    About The Magnetron Chronicles:

    The Magnetron Chronicles is a serialized steampunk tale told in the grandiose style of Jules Verne, but with satirical Twainian wit. Chapter by chapter, the story builds as quirky new characters join the fray and perplexing new mysteries and situations arise. Traveling the globe, Phineas Magnetron and his Hogalum Society encounter suspicious policemen, mentally ill criminals, wood-craving aliens, a witch doctor, a mad oracle, and a cross-dressing female matador, among many others. However, this “steam dream team” always manages to triumph over impossible odds and improbable obstacles as they preserve order in a disorderly world.

    More information: http://themagnetronchronicles.blogspot.com


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    TAKE IT TO A NEW LEVEL: FIXES FOR YOUR FICTION

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 19 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15, Week 16, Week 17 and Week 18!)

    This week’s fix for our fiction is all about clichés. Most Wattpadders have good writing sense and know to avoid clichés like the plague. But sometimes clichés aren’t quite as obvious as they first appear. Sometimes, we think we’re not using a cliché when in fact, we are.

    Last week, for Workshop 18, the text I wrote was this:

    Maggie sits in her room, flicking through the paper. She turns the page and sees Emily’s photo. Emily who she met the first day of school. Her best friend. She remembers the argument they had yesterday. The terrible things she said.

                Maggie jumps up and runs to the kitchen. “Mom,” she shouts. “Mom, where are you? Emily’s dead.” Maggie feels the tears running down her face. She can’t stop crying.

    At the end, I mentioned that it was full of clichés. Now, the clichés aren’t as obvious as cool as a cucumber, or hot as the sun, but there are at least four clichés if we look carefully.

    Maggie sits in her room, flicking through the paper. She turns the page and sees Emily’s photo. Emily who she met the first day of school. Her best friend. She remembers the argument they had yesterday. The terrible things she said.

                Maggie jumped up and ran to the kitchen. “Mom,” she shouts. “Mom, where are you? Emily’s dead.” Maggie feels the tears running down her face. She can’t stop crying.

    I’ve highlighted in bold moments in the text which seem like sentences I’ve read before, sentences which could appear in many books, sentences which are unoriginal and uninspiring. How many times have you read of tears running down someone’s cheeks? How many times have you seen the word grouping the terrible things she said? How about flicking through the paper?

    Instead of making imaginative leaps in my language, I’m making assumptions and guesses about how my character would behave based on writing I’ve read by other writers. I’m not pushing myself to really think about the scene with Maggie as she sees the photograph of her dead best friend.

    I need to imagine the world through Maggie’s eyes. I need to take on her character and find her voice.

    The way I deal with paragraphs riddled with clichés is to re-read everything, making note of overused phrases. I look for clichés and then I take the time to rewrite them. Finding something original to say takes more than one draft.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    Write 500 words using this sentence as the first line:

    The news was bad.

    Try to use your own original words and thoughts, even if it means hunting for the second or third sentence that comes to mind rather than the first.

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.

    Commit to your writing by joining in this and the following workshop:

    Oct 15th-Nov 12th: Kickstart Your Writing - Trying New Things To Fuel Your Writing


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    Beach Party Girls Cover Contest:

    Do you LOVE cover design? Have you ever dreamed of seeing your artwork on an actual print copy of a book?

    Well then I, Vanessa Rose Lee, may be able to use your help! I am looking for talented Wattpadders to help design the front and back cover of my new book Beach Party Girls, the sequel to The Beauty Queen and the School Nerd! 

    So dig out the last of your summer inspiration and post your designs for me, between now and October 31st, and I may choose your work to be featured on the official print version of my next book!

    For more information, please read the full rules and regulations here and then enter by posting your cover designs on the Beach Party Girls Cover Contest board!

    This contest is open to ALL Wattpad users! And don’t forget to check out The Beauty Queen and the School Nerd, now available on the Wattpad Featured List!


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