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    Caitlin, Wattpad’s Engagement Manager, tells us all about the recent Wattpad writer meetup in Toronto:

    What do you get when you combine a sunny Fall afternoon, a room full of talented writers, and one of the country’s most celebrated literary figures? Why, the first ever Wattpad Writer Meetup, of course! 



    On Sunday September 23rd, in amongst the hustle and bustle of the popular Toronto literary festival, Word on the Street, the Wattpad team welcomed a group of hand-selected professional and amateur writers for one very special event. Taking place in the sun-splashed solarium at Regis College on the University of Toronto campus, the Wattpad Writer Meetup was one of the most highly anticipated events taking place in and around the festival and (even with the threat of storms in the forecast) the turnout was even better than we had expected!


    After a brief meet-and-greet with the Wattpad team (and, of course, after nibbling on a generous spread of delicious sandwiches and yummy cupcakes!) the room full of eager attendees turned their attention to the guest of honour, Giller Prize winner Dr. Vincent Lam.

    Speaking enthusiastically about his journey as a Canadian writer, as well as his ventures into online writing and his time on Wattpad, Dr. Lam both captivated and entertained the audience with his honesty and openness about the realities faced by the everyday writer living in a world of changing media. 

    “Wattpad is exciting because there is the opportunity to create content with depth.” - Dr. Vincent Lam


    The Wattpad team spent time discussing our Wattpad Writer Program, speaking in detail about the perks of allowing us to feature their works for the Wattpad community. Hands were shook, cards were exchanged, and preparations for getting started with Wattpad were well underway as we walked them to the door and said our goodbyes (and handed out free Wattpad tees!). 



    A great success by any measure, a wonderful afternoon was had by all!

    Join us at the next Wattpad Writer Meetup in New York this month! Find out how to meet your next million readers.


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    Check out some photos of our orange booth and 2nd Toronto User Meetup at Word on the Street, Sept. 23rd 2012!

    User Meetup at Regis College in Toronto:


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    Wattpad Podcast: A Japanese Tale By An American Author

    Listen to our podcast interview with DH Cermeno, author of “Rising Sunsets” on Wattpad. We talk about the inspiration behind his story of an American teacher in Japan and the reception that his work has gotten from critics and readers. Find out why so many people have become devoted fans of his book!

    Read his stories for free on Wattpad


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Dan DeBono, author of fantasy adventure “A Book of The Lands: The One Who Would Be King,” on his favorite fantasy novels:

    Note: I am not a fan of “top” lists … of all kinds. I find them to be ultra subjective and this list is no different, so at the very least I left the word “top” out of it. And why seven? Well, five was too short and everyone does a top ten!

    1) A Spell For Chameleon by Piers Anthony (First of the Xanth Series - 1977).

    I LOVE this book (and the following Xanth novels). I was very young when I read it and it left a big impression (I’d say similar to what the Potter series did for more recent younger readers). The concept was so different from the books I had read up to that point – and not just different, but great and different! I love Bink – he’ll always be one of my favorite characters. He is the most powerful un-powerful character around (you’ll have to read it to discover why).

    There is also a personal reason it is one of my favorites. Several years after reading the Xanth novels, I was a feature writer at the daily newspaper where Piers Anthony’s daughter also worked in Central Florida. A few years before, my wife and I moved from Michigan to Florida, and purely by coincidence, we landed very near Piers’ residence. Being such a fan of the Xanth series, I thought I had an “in” (in terms of getting a response), so I decided to write him. We started a many-year, occasional letter-writing relationship. At the time, my fiction writing was mainly comics and short stories, but then I took a job writing investment-education features that took me in a different direction (and location) for years. I stopped writing fiction altogether and made a good living “on the dark side.”

    Years later, I decided to write fiction again and wrote Piers several more letters. He always responded (I still find that a big deal - I’m sure he received truckloads of letters over the years). He read my manuscript, and sent me back his thoughts and a few notes and gave me a pretty good quote (Piers is the type who “doesn’t like to give quotes to just anyone” - his words, so I was happy). So, I will always be thankful for that in addition to the many hours of enjoyment from his Xanth series – the first two in particular.

    I heard Warner Brothers bought the rights for a film (to be directed by Chris Palmer), but it is on hold now … bad economy strikes again!

    I wholeheartedly recommend these books to any and all fans of fantasy…

    Publisher Synopsis: Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled—where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn’t find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn’t find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave…

    2) The Fabulous Riverboat by the late, great Philip José Farmer. (Second book of the Riverworld Series - 1971)

    I like to read historical fiction and Farmer expertly mixed historical fiction with fantasy – two great birds with one fantastic stone!

    How clever for Farmer to give us a tale with a resurrected Mark Twain (Sam Clemens) travel with the crew of a Viking ship along with his new friend, Joe Miller, a polite but fearsome prehistoric Hominid. Riverworld is a strange place where Earth’s dead wake up – they are resurrected – but for what purpose?

    This is one of those books that sounds like it could be a bit too strange, but it is totally engrossing; I could not put it down! I love the way he utilizes real historical characters and does a great job at creating a verisimilitude – you do believe these people are the real deal …

    Note: I did not like the TV adaptations of this series – and to anyone who liked them that did not read the books, you will LOVE them if you like that stuff!

    3) Dragondrums By Anne McCaffrey (Third novel in second Pern series- 1979).

    I enjoyed the entire Pern series – some more than others – but Dragondrums will always hold a special place. My mom bought it for me as a stocking stuffer for Christmas in 1979 and I had no idea what it was. I found it to be so much different than other fantasies and science fiction stories I was gobbling up at the time.

    It also is a book with a more personal aspect. I was so taken with Pern (despite reading it out of sequence), I wrote Ann and, to my surprise, she wrote me a wonderful letter. I had included a short story – which was not that great – and she wrote back that she enjoyed it and for me to keep writing. I was very young and very impressionable and this did leave quite the impression! Ann is an example of another great person undoubtedly inundated with fan letters who took the time to be kind to some kid … we could use a lot more like her.

    4) LOTR by J.R.R. Tolkien (Entire series, but my favorite to read was The Two Towers - 1954).

    What else can be said about LOTR? It is FANTASTIC. Buy it, borrow it or ste – no, don’t steal it, it’s easy enough to pick up at any library!

    5) Sword Of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks (Elfstones was my favorite – 1982).

    Brooks began writing this epic in 1967 and didn’t finish until 1975 - a long time but well worth it! His world is akin to Tolkien’s, but “lighter” – more accessible for younger readers for sure. I have read all the Shannara books, and found some to be much better than others and I think the first two to be far and away the best. My One Who Would Be King novel most resembles the world of Shannara and those books certainly were a huge influence. When I set out to write that one, I didn’t want “something different,” “unique,” etc. I wanted to continue what I think is a fantastic tradition (if I find something I LOVE to eat, I don’t try it once then always look for something different – eventually I’ll come back because I want MORE!).

    Being somewhat adventurous and outdoorsy, I love Menion Leah – I find I associate with him closer than virtually any other character in fantasy. I should also note that I love The Brothers Hildebrandt covers – THAT is the embodiment of fantasy for me!

    6) MythAdventures (or Myth Adventures) by Robert Lynn Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye (Began in 1978 and continues through present).

    I won’t pick a single favorite with this series – so many are so good. With characters like: Skeeve, Ahz, Gleep, Massha, Guido, Nunzio, Don Bruce, Chumley, Tananda, and Bunny, how can you miss … er … Mys?

    I think this is the most humorous fantasy series of all time – by a wide margin. READ THEM!

    NOTE: After reading his first few books, I figured Asprin to be the funniest guy you’d meet at a party and happy-go-lucky, but he was plagued by writer’s block and took FOREVER (so it seemed to me) to put out his book. I would impatiently await a new novel, then see this skinny, little book and groan – I wanted more! But, they were always worth the wait – so well done …

    7) The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny (1970-1991 - 10 novels & short stories. My favorite are the 5 narrated by Corwin).

    The Amber stories take place in two “true” worlds: Amber, and the Courts of Chaos. Other worlds, including our Earth, are “shadows” between the two worlds. Royals of Amber can travel through these shadows.

    This is such an excellent series – Corwin is one of the all-time-great fantasy anti-heroes. Read ALL of these!

    Note To Harry The Potter Fans I’ve Certainly Offended (By Excluding These Hugely Popular Titles): While I found the first and second Potter books to be great, I would not include them in even a “Top 10 List.” Why? Go read ANY 40 popular fantasy books form the past 50 years and tell me Potter is still your favorite. In my own experience, I find that most people who say the Potter books are “the best ever” are young and/or have read fewer than 5 other fantasy novels – just too small of a “universe” to make that determination! Obviously, it’s all subjective, but that is like saying Butter Pecan is the best ice cream in the world, when you’ve only sampled Butter Pecan and vanilla – it very well may be your fav, but you need to try more!

    Read “A Book of The Lands: The One Who Would Be King” on Wattpad!

    The goblin horde has arrived! Djar’s parents have been murdered, his city is occupied and things look worse every day. But there is one small hope: If only he can reach the sorceress Dymorla. The only trouble is, she already has a plan of her own, and it includes snatching a boy from an alternate plane (Earth), and animating an army of zombies to pose as a group of un-dead heroes to fool a powerful group of warrior priests into helping.

    Now what could go wrong with that?

    Dan’s first novel - in paperback and eBook - and now FREE in entirety only for Wattpad Readers!

    NOTE: Glossary at end of story.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Qwantu Amaru, author of horror-thriller One Blood

    For the record, I never set out to write a book about family curses or any other type of curse for that matter. Still, as the characters of One Blood revealed themselves to me (writers don’t actually create characters, they hide in the shadows and you have to go into dark places and shine bright lights to unveil them), I learned just how deep went the rabbit hole. Suddenly, I was researching Louisiana in the early 1800’s and cross-referencing this with the emergence of the Haitian influence on the state. Did you know, by the way, that between the 1790s and 1809, large numbers of Haitians of African descent migrated to Louisiana?

    I just happened to have grown up in a city, Lake Charles, Louisiana, which received its first influx of African slaves in the early 1800s via a French pirate named Jean Lafitte who is generally revered by Louisianans. It was actually during the annual Contraband Day’s festival (a celebration of Lafitte) that I met David Duke, the former KKK grand-wizard and then candidate for governor. When my brain made these connections, the Lafitte curse was born and One Blood became the story you can read right here on Wattpad.

    Curses are tricky and really have to be true to their origin stories to be fully effective. Still, they are wonderfully fun to write. With that, I give you my top 5 family curses in fiction (spoiler alert: if you haven’t read these yet, hopefully I won’t ruin the books for you!)!

    5. The fukú americanus curse from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – In the novel, a fukú is a curse that came to Antilles, DR when the Europeans arrived on the islands. The narrator, Yunior, asserts that fukú is “real as s$#!” and that the Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina had a direct relationship with fukú; even using it to explain both Trujillo’s and John F. Kennedy’s demises and the subsequent dark cloud that has hung over the latter’s family. The book is about Oscar de León, and how his family is cursed. Fukú is a curse of your people, of love, and of New Jersey. Oscar is describes as a fat ghetto nerd and an outcast everywhere he goes – the one Dominican teenager in all New Jersey who can’t find someone willing to take his virginity. He spends the majority of the novel looking for a woman who will love him back. I was drawn in by the Caribbean origin of the curse, and its manifestation in the contemporary life of a Dominican immigrant, as well as how this unique story was infused with a supernatural undercurrent that propels everything forward.


    4.
      The Avada Kedavra (Killing) Curse – Harry Potter –While there is not a true-to-life family curse in the Potter series, one can make an argument that Voldemort’s many attempts to block the prophesy of the half-blood prince from manifesting by using the Killing Curse, which theretofore had succeeded all but twice, put the burden of prophesy and curse on young Potter. Voldemort finally succeeds in cursing Harry in the forest clearing only to be defeated by Harry’s ultimate sacrifice. Did you know that the Killing Curse was invented during the early middle ages, by Dark witches or wizards – created primarily as a means of quickly and efficiently slaying one’s opponent in a duel? I love epic tales of good versus evil and it doesn’t get much more epic than Harry Potter! 

    3. The Toussaint Family Curse – The Good House – In Sacajawea, Washington, during the 1920’s, Marie Toussaint and her young daughter, Desiree, were the only black residents in the all-white Washington state town. With her common law Native American husband John, the Toussaints lived in one of the grandest house in Sacajawea, known to the town folks as, The Good House. Marie was a nurse and the high priestess of an African religion that was taught to her by her grandmother. In 1929, Marie exorcised a demon from the body of a young white girl. The demon, seeking revenge, placed a curse on Marie’s family bloodline. The sins of the grandmother will be visited upon the granddaughter. Angela Toussaint leaves the homestead of her late grandmother after her only son, Corey’s suicide. It is there that she Angela must return to face the evil force her grandmother unleashed. When I first read The Good House, it was the truest depiction of Vodun that I had read at that time and inspired me to dig much deeper for One Blood. If it weren’t for Tananarive Due, my novel may have never seen the light of day!


    2. The Curse of the Mayfair Witches – The Witching Hour – The first book in the Mayfair Witches series, The Witching Hour introduces the fictional Mayfair family of New Orleans. This is a secretive and deeply connected family, where a death of one strengthens the others with his/her knowledge. One Mayfair witch per generation is also designated to receive the powers of “the man,” known as Lasher. Lasher gives the witches gifts, excites them, and protects them. He may be all these things, but he is also a curse and a plague on the family. Lasher has reigned over the family for centuries until the heir to the cursed Mayfair fortune and estranged daughter of the catatonic Dierdre Mayfair, Rowan, returns home, learns of her family’s sordid history and resolves to stop Lasher with the help of the newly psychic Michael Curry. Easily my favorite of Anne Rice’s works, The Witching Hour inspired the epic nature of my own novel.  

    1. The Monster’s Curse – Frankenstein –Mary Shelley’s masterpiece is about so many things: man’s reach exceeding his grasp, the destructive effects of industrialization, the morality and ethics of science, the dangers of obsession, the redemptive power of love; but it is the curse at the heart of the story that first ignited my desire to write. Frankenstein is the cautionary tale of Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant Swiss scientist who discovers the secret of bringing inanimate things to life, eventually creating a human-like monster which proceeds to ruin his life – promising to kill everyone he loves until Frankenstein creates a mate for him. Shelley actually wrote the story one murky night in 1816 (at the age of 19!) when her husband, Lord Byron, challenged a group of writers to see who could write the best ghost story. Did you know that within a few years of Frankenstein’s publication, nearly all of those involved met untimely deaths? Cursed, maybe? The most amazing thing about this novel is how it has remained relevant after all this time. And as long as technology, scientific discovery, power, greed, and capitalism exist, it will remain so. But if you’re like me, Frankenstein is much simpler than all this. It’s the first time I fell in love with a monster!

    I hope you enjoyed this list and I truly hope you enjoy my spin on the generational curse in One Blood!

    Read One Blood on Wattpad!

    One Blood is about a supernatural curse tormenting a group of people unaware of their hidden connections.

    Prepare to lose sleep as you journey through this award-winning Horror/Thriller novel with an ending you won’t see coming!


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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 20 (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 17Week 18, and Week 19!)

    One mistake many writers make is that they don’t spend enough time re-reading their own work, looking for ways to make it better.

    It’s tempting when you’ve written a first draft to send it straight to a publisher or editor, believing perhaps that they’ll do all the editorial work. Posting your first draft on Wattpad is one way to get feedback, but it isn’t the way for you to get the best feedback from your readers. Your first reader should be you. Later on, invite other readers to give you new ideas, but first read your work over at least THREE TIMES yourself.

    Reading with an editorial eye is fun and rewarding. And it will make you a better writer. Honest.

    There are two main stages to editing. The macro stage and the micro.

    The macro stage is when you think about the big picture. You need to read the entire piece asking yourself WHAT IS THIS STORY ABOUT and then ruthlessly cutting anything that doesn’t help you answer that question. This is when you remove characters who don’t work, when you add entire scenes because you realize you need them, and when you make sure the tense and the voice is consistent and working for your book.

    I have rewritten many of my own manuscripts entirely from scratch after a macro read. It’s hard to accept you need to begin again, but sometimes when you take a good hard look at your book you realize a complete rewrite is needed. Turns out that once you’ve decided to actually do it, the rewrite can be much easier and more fun than you could ever imagine.

    The micro stage of editing involves thinking about the little details, every paragraph, line, word and punctuation moment in the text. Spelling, grammar, smooth dialogue, consistency of character, good scene transitions… there are so many micro edits that a writer can do, it would take pages to list them all. During this workshop we’ve looked at a couple of key micro edits. Last week we looked at avoiding clichés and in this final week on ‘Fixes For Your Fiction’ we’re going to think about one very easy fiction fix. Improving our verbs.

    Here’s a short example written with weak verbs: I went to the shop. I got a chocolate bar. I was hungry.

    Here’s a rewrite with stronger verbs. I staggered to the shop and begged for a chocolate bar.

    This one sentence conveys so much more about character and emotion when I use stronger verbs. Think of the verbs as the muscles that keep your writing powerful. It’s one more of the many, many ways you can hone and improve your writing by editing. Don’t be put off by the hard work of rewriting – I’ve actually learned to find it fun and an essential part of writing the stories I want to tell.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    I wish I could remember where I got this prompt, but the author escapes my mind. Regardless, it’s a great way for you to discover stronger verbs, which will help you write strong, muscular fiction.

    Write a list of all the verbs you can think of connected with cooking. Using as many of these verbs as possible, write a scene of up to 400 words set in a kitchen. Notice how the strong verbs really enliven your writing.

    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 workshop starting next week:

    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 Brittany Geragotelis (“BrittTheBookSlayer” on Wattpad), author of “Life’s a Witch,” “The Abby Diaries,” and the newly published “What The Spell”:

    Hey there twitches!

    I’m so beyond excited to share some news with you.

    First off, as most of you know, in January of 2011, I began to upload an original story here on Wattpad called LIFE’S A WITCH. And within a year, you made it one of the most-read stories on the site. This was especially amazing, because it shows the power that we have as individuals to decide for ourselves what we want to read.

    Well, guess what? Your voices were heard and because of your support and enthusiasm for my little book about a teen witch (twitch, get it?) who takes on an ancient evil and changes the course of history, LAW was picked up by a major publisher! This brings me to why I’m here. Since I got my start here on Wattpad, my publishers are releasing the prequel to LAW, called WHAT THE SPELL? in 3 e-installments before we publish it in hardback in January. And the first of the installments is out TODAY!!! Yep, that’s right! For just .99 cents, you can read the first hundred pages of WTS? on your e-readers. So, let your voices be heard once again, by buying your copy today (and if you can’t purchase it, no worries…you can still do your part by telling your friends and family about it on Facebook, Twitter and here on Wattpad).

    Next, if you’re thinking, “I didn’t read LAW and I’m just not sure I want to pay .99 cents to check out another witch book,” you’re in luck. Because I’ve uploaded a short story based on another one of the characters from WHAT THE SPELL? that will give you an overview of what you’ll get with the prequel, without giving away everything that happens in the book. THE ABBY DIARIES is free for all who want to read it, exclusively here on Wattpad! But the freebies don’t end there…you can also read the first two chapters of WHAT THE SPELL here.

    Lastly, in WHAT THE SPELL? my main character, Brooklyn, gives herself a magical makeover once she comes into her witchy powers…and I’m doing the same thing over on my YouTube channel! In celebration of the e-launch of the book, we’re doing a series of magical makeovers online to show you how to get the various character’s looks. We’ve even re-created celebrity looks like Khloe Kardashian and Ke$ha. The vids are super fun and we’ll be holding a contest soon, where you can enter to win a $100 gift certificate to Sephora, so be sure to check it out!

    So, that’s what’s going on with me! I hope you’ll continue to support me by buying your copy today and remember, you have the power to turn the publishing world upside down. Be sure to use it. 

    Thank you for everything!

    :)
    Britt


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  • 10/10/12--10:30: I Love Writing; Now What?
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Lia Fairchild, author of the mystery thriller “Vigil Annie”:

    “Writing is my life.” Chances are if you’re reading this, then you’ve uttered these words at least once in the last year. You’ve discovered putting pen to paper (or rather text to screen these days) is like breathing in oxygen, filling you with life. Maybe it started out being just for fun, or maybe it was a healing process for life’s troubles. Whatever the reason, you’ve found yourself allocating more and more time to it. But what is the next step if you want to share your writing with the world? Where do you go from here? For every person that answer is different, but I’d like to offer a bit of general advice that I hope will apply to any lover of writing.

    Continue below for do’s and don’ts on Social Media, Publishing, Reviews & Other Feedback, and Scheduling Your Time.

    SOCIAL MEDIA:

    DO

    Use outlets like Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing etc., to connect with readers and fellow authors to learn more about your craft, find support, and get tips for publishing and marketing your writing.  Post information about your book where acceptable and with caution on the frequency of posts.

    DON’T

    Don’t spend too much time getting caught up in endless debates, posting your book to a myriad of book pages and groups, complain about reader feedback or condemn other authors for their decisions.

    PUBLISHING:

    DO

    Review all your options before making any decisions. Getting an agent, pursuing a publishing contract, and self-publishing are all options worth pursuing. You may even consider doing more than one. Whatever you decide, make sure your book is ready before putting it out there for all to see.

    DON’T

    Don’t base your decisions on what others are doing. Don’t rush it because you’re anxious. It’s worth repeating, especially if you are self-publishing; your manuscript must be polished. A professional editor can prevent those nasty reviews about mistakes in your book.

    REVIEWS AND OTHER READER FEEDBACK

    DO

    Take in initial feedback and reaction to your book. Consider what they’ve said and see if you agree.

    DON’T

    Don’t let bad reviews bring you down. Everyone has their opinion and ever best seller out there has one star reviews. And most importantly, don’t comment or contact a reviewer if you disagree with their assessment. They’re entitled to it.

    SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

    DO

    Make time for both writing and reading above all else. As Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  Marketing and social media, as mentioned before, are great for connecting and learning. But, your writing is what should sell your book. If people love it, they will make sure word gets around.

    DON’T

    Don’t overdo it. Filling each day with too many tasks can be stressful and make your writing time feel rushed. Remember all this is because you want to do what you love.

     Lia Fairchild is a writer and author. Her new thriller, Vigil Annie is currently available on Wattpad. For more books by Lia Fairchild visit her Amazon author page. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

    Read “Vigil Annie” on Wattpad:

    Annie Crawford is an ex-cop living a double life. After her fiancé is murdered and she is left for dead, she’s desperate and seeking vengeance. She turns to a vigilante agency headed by a man with his own secrets. Annie must work for them as they investigate the murder and help her find the answers she needs.

    Now working on the wrong side of the law, Annie’s life has one purpose: justice. Justice for her fiancé and for the city she lives in. But as Annie’s strength grows, the agency struggles to control her, putting everyone involved at risk. And the deeper Annie sinks into this new life the more she fears she may never return.


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    Aisling’s Summer Diary: Fan Fiction Contest:

    Enter Aisling Diary’s fan fiction contest before October 30th! Click here for more info.


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    Yes, there is! You can use the Meebo chat bar on wattpad.com to chat with your fans and people you have fanned. Happy Wattpadding!


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Teddy Jacobs, author of teen fiction “Wicked Hungry.

    He talks abouthis top four movies and shows featuring werewolves or vampires:

    1. Teen Wolf is a guilty pleasure. I discovered the MTV show after writing “Wicked Hungry”, and love the way an “ordinary” high school athlete becomes a superhuman. Also, how daring is it to have a show where the main character is a lacrosse player?  

    2. Twilight. The first film. Love it or hate it. Find it campy, unintentionally funny, or unbearably moving. But. The baseball scene. Rocks. 

    3. The Underworld series. Kate Beckinsale in leather, kicking ass. But most of all, Bill Nighy as Viktor, the oldest, most coldblooded (and hippest) vampire of them all. 

    4. Being Human. The BBC series, not the American one. Characters you care about, violence you believe – all in the context of real and very scary hungers.  

    What do all these television series and films share? A certain hipness, a certain amount of campy cheesiness we can laugh at, and characters. Characters we can care about. And action. Lots of action. Emotion. Lots of emotion. Often, hot, furious passion-fueled action faced with cold ruthlessness.

    All stewed together into one hot mess.  That can be enjoyed on so many levels. As comfort food, or fuel for laughter, or to take the viewer on a roller-coaster of action-filled and emotionally-charged adventure.

     Or, at the best of times, all three at once.

    Read “Wicked Hungry” on Wattpad:

    Stanley Hoff has it hard. His overprotective mom thinks she’s a witch who can see people’s auras; Stanley himself is getting hairier by the minute, his teeth ache, and the moon above him makes him want to howl and growl.

    But things are not going to get any easier.

    After a confrontation with a high school bully brings unwanted fame, Stanley’s childhood crush Meredith invites him to her Halloween party. Which would be more than fine, except his friend Karen has broken up with her boyfriend and wants to be more than friends. But when Karen turns allergic to sunlight, Stanley has to ask himself, is Karen interested in Stanley as a boyfriend, or as… food?


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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?

    Enter Vanessa Rose Lee’s cover design contest before October 31st!


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    KICKSTART YOUR WRITING: TRYING NEW THINGS TO FUEL YOUR WRITING

    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 21 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out the previous weeks, starting with Week 1)

    We’ve looked at many tools for writing fiction over the last twenty weeks, but the next five weeks are for all sorts of writers, not just fiction writers. For those of you who (think you!) write only fiction, I want you to try some of these other ways of writing to challenge yourself and inform your fiction writing. For the poets, these five workshops will give you a chance to practice forms you may not know as intimately. For non-fiction writers, these workshops are intended to push you outside the box so you go forward in your non-fiction with new eyes.

    The idea behind these exercises is that by trying new things as a writer, you help yourself look at what you’ve already been doing in new ways. By doing this, you breathe life into something that isn’t working, you fire up your creativity, and you have fun with words.

    Having fun with your writing is the best way to reconnect with it. And maybe along the way you’ll discover you’re a far more diverse writer than you knew.   

    The first thing I want you to try is called a FOUND POEM. Here’s a definition from poets.org: 

    Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

    A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

    That means, basically, that you take a text, or multiple texts, and reword the original into a poem by adding line breaks. Here are some more instructions if it needs to be clearer: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/found-poetry.html

    Traditionally, you use any text that is not your own. But some of you Wattpadders might like to mix it up and use one of your already written scenes to turn into a poem.

    The best thing about found poetry is that it reminds you words are everywhere, ideas are in the most unlikely places and inspiration can come from something as simple as a line break.

    Here’s a short found poem I tried using my bulletin board at home:

    To replace this screw, drop

    in for an inspection

    at the youth resource centre

    gift certificate upon receipt

    there is nothing so lonely

    just fix it entirely

    let’s go.

    Even if this feels like something that you’ll never do again, try it this week and see what ends up on the page. Share your work on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    This week’s writing prompt:

    This week I want you to write a found poem using either a text that you find (as in a traditional found poem) or using one of your pieces of fiction/non-fiction/poems reshaped.

    If you’re stuck and want a text to use, please use this text from my local art gallery’s newest exhibit. Use as much or as little as you like:

    Petroleum, in its extraction, distribution, utility, economics, and social, political, and environmental impacts, defines our contemporary world. Yet, in the developed countries that consume it most, it remains a strangely invisible substance, evident primarily at the clean and bright gas stations dotting our city streets and highways. In his fascinating account of international petroleum industry operations, Crude World, journalist Peter Maass argues that in North America oil is invisible most of the time, but “like gravity, it influences everything we do.”

    Beneath a Petroliferous Moon is a survey of artistic responses to the petroleum industry by 11 artists living and working around the world. The exhibition brings visibility to an array of aspects of this most important commodity, which in Canada is typically “extracted, refined, shipped, and poured into your gas tank with few people seeing it.” (Maass) While some artists focus on petroleum’s environmental impacts, others choose to respond to its social significance, its modern history, or the awe-inspiring visuals of the industry’s infrastructure and detritus. The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1940 poem by Pablo Neruda, “Standard Oil Co.,” which describes effects of the oil industry in Central America.

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


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post by Tristi Pinkston, author of contemporary teen fiction “Turning Pages”:

    My new young adult novel Turning Pages is about a girl named Addie who works at the library as a way to cope with the grief of losing her father. She has a crush on her best friend’s brother, but things don’t exactly work out, and she finds true love with a very unlikely person. A modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s classics, Turning Pages will make you laugh, make you cry, (or so I’m told) and make you believe in love.

    What advice would a librarian offer about finding love? Let’s take a look …

    Sometimes you have to go somewhere new to meet someone new. Christy by Catherine Marshall is one of my favorite books of all time. Christy leaves her nice home to become a teacher in the poorest part of Appalachia. As she learns to love the children for their sweet spirits and ignore their not-so-sweet smells, her heart is opened to lots of things—including romance. Going new places and having new experiences is a great way to find love.

    Sometimes love grows out of respect. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King was a totally imaginative read for me. A young girl meets Sherlock Holmes in his later years and they become friends because of their mutual interest in bees. As she grows up, though, their relationship changes quite a bit. When you respect someone first, and then fall in love, it’s great because it means you can always respect that person you love, and the two really should go together.

    Sometimes love comes when you least expect it. Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my favorite books ever, and arguably the best retelling of Beauty and the Beast on the market. Beauty wasn’t beautiful—and the enchanted castle didn’t have singing tea kettles. Sigh … I think I need to go read this one again. This book shows us that no matter what our circumstances, we can still find someone to love—yes, even if we’re locked in a dungeon or something like that.

    And more than just sometimes, opposites attract. The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters proves that yes, an uptight, prim and proper lady from a genteel British home can fall head-over-heels for a dashing rake of an archaeologist. We shouldn’t discount someone just because they seem totally opposite from us.

    Sure, books are made up—but they can still teach us great lessons about love in real life. Keep your mind open, be willing to have new adventures, and enjoy every minute of it!

    You can learn more about Tristi Pinkston on her website or her blog. 

          

    Read “Turning Pages” on Wattpad! 

    With his pride and her prejudice, what could possibly go wrong?

    When the arrogant Blake Hansen steals Addie Preston’s promotion at the library, he pretty much rubs her nose in it. But Addie, who dreams of being a full-fledged librarian, decides to stick it out. She loves surrounding herself with books and keeping her father’s memory alive in the building where they spent so much time together.

    Soon, Addie learns that her beloved library will be torn down to make room for a larger facility, and she has to make a choice. Fight, or let go?

    To complicate things, she finds herself attracted to Blake, who is engaged to someone else. Will Blake and Addie ever resolve their differences?


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Sarah Selecky, creator of the “Story Is A State of Mind” e-course on writing. “Story Is A State of Mind” is one of the sponsors of Wattpad’s Atty Awards poetry contest. 

    Having second thoughts about entering that writing contest? Sarah offers some advice and encouragement:

    I’ve entered (and lost) a lot of writing contests over the years, but there are two that I’ve never forgotten: one was judged by Aimee Bender, and one was judged by Margaret Atwood.

    Why were they unforgettable?

    Because they gave me the opportunity to write for a writer I loved. In order to submit to the contest, I had to write something that I was willing to show Aimee Bender. I had to write a story that I could show Margaret Atwood!

    Good lord.

    The Importance of Writing Contests? Continue below.

    And that’s the real reason writing contests are so important. Yeah, there’s a shot of competition, and that turns some writers on. The prize might be a much-needed chunk of cash, feedback from a prestigious mentor, or a scholarship to a valuable writing program. Of course, the deadline is also good – it makes sure you get something written.

    But the pressure of writing something and showing it to a writer you respect? That’s an electrolyte pack for your words.

    It demands that you write something outstanding. It makes you push your limits. You sit down at your desk and get in the zone more easily than before (thank you, deadline). Then you write something unlike anything else you’ve written.

    Because this time, someone important is going to read it. If you’re very lucky, your piece might even be a literary descendant of the judge’s work. And the contest gives you a chance to send it back to the source.

    What if the judge doesn’t recognize it?

    What if the judge does recognize it?

    Scary!

    So use your nervousness to your advantage. Instead of backing down and skipping the contest because it freaks you out, try this: feel intimidated while you’re writing.

    This will help you take risks in your work that you won’t take if you’re feeling cozy and comfortable.

    I didn’t win either one of those unforgettable contests. I don’t know if my stories even reached Aimee Bender or Margaret Atwood. But I do know that I made a breakthrough in each of the stories I sent out. I’m a better writer now because I took the risk.

    Margaret Atwood is judging the Attys. She doesn’t do that sort of thing very often. My advice to you: go for it.

    The Atty Awards ends October 31st. Go ahead, submit your poetry!


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    Join us at the next writer meetup in NYC this October!


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    To change your profile picture on Wattpad, go to your profile page and click on “Edit.” When you’re taken to the page below (screenshot), click on “Change” under your profile photo. Just upload a new picture, and you’re good to go!


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    4 Books in 3 Years: Insights From An Aspiring Writer

    Listen to our discussion with Jake Vander Ark, author of The Blank Canvas series on Wattpad. After working in the film industry for a number of years, Jake is now tackling the challenge of becoming a successful novelist. We talk about his unique writing process and how to keep going as a struggling writer in the digital age. Learn more about fundraising and what it takes to finish four novels in three years!

    Read his stories on Wattpad


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    Why I Write, a post by Wattpadder Cristian Mihai.

    Read his stories on Wattpad!


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  • 10/18/12--05:25: Inventions To Hope For
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post by Bill Gourgey, author of “Glide,” on sci-fi inventions we all wish were real. Watch out for the release of his sequel, “Glide 2: New Logic”.

    How many times has your cell phone died and left you stranded? Ever found yourself looking around the room and wishing you’d chosen a different outfit? What about that frustrating feeling of remembering someone’s face but not their name? Or staring at yourself in the mirror and wondering what it would be like to have the perfect body? Ever had such a bad day that nowhere on Earth seemed far enough away? 

    Oh, the woes of being human. Isn’t it ironic that such intelligent beings are so prone to error? Lucky for us, we have our technologies and inventions to prop us up when our physiology lets us down. Here are some of the cool new technologies to look out for over the coming decade or so, inventions that might seem like science fiction today, but will be as commonplace tomorrow as…as a cell phone!

    No-charge-required Devices

    Will there ever be a time when our electronic devices are so efficient that they will never need an external charge? Wysips, a French company, thinks so. They have developed a transparent photovoltaic film that sits on top of a cell phone’s display, protecting its surface while charging the phone. The company hopes that future versions of the technology will charge the device so fast it will be able to work almost indefinitely. As battery efficiencies improve, and solar cell yields increase, it’s only a matter of time before the photovoltaic film is built into the display and you’ll never have to charge your phone again. And, what’s good for the phone is good for the tablet, and laptop, and so on. Unless you’re a vampire—the Anne Rice kind not the Stephanie Meyer kind—and can’t bear the sun. But then, you’d have a whole different set of problems to solve, like how to blend in…

    Programmable Clothing

    [Via CuteCircuit News]

    …for the vampires (and mortals) among us, a change of clothes is just an upload away. Clothes have always been a leading means of personal expression, and perhaps nothing in the world of emblematic clothes rules our wardrobes like the trusty old T-shirt emblazoned with a favorite band, character, drawing, or just a pithy phrase to capture our mood. Most of us have a pile of old Tees that are just too memorable to get rid of, but too worn out to wear. It won’t be long, however, before that collection is resurrected and reduced to one. In the near future (very near), one T-shirt is all it will take. One Tee to rule them all, one Tee to find them, one Tee to bring them all…OK, I’m a shameless Lord of the Rings fan. But Tolkien might not have appreciated the ingenuity of his countrymen at London-based Cute Circuit, who have developed a T-shirt OS—that’s right, a T-shirt Operating System! Presumably, this new OS will allow you to upload just about whatever imagery you want to your T-shirt, with the ability to change it dynamically throughout the day. How real is it? Check it out for yourself at Cute Circuit’s website. Since first generation OS’s are notoriously error prone and hackable, I might wait for a later generation. After all, who would want their T-shirt hacked right in the middle of a ___ (fill in the blank for any number of awkward moments)…

    Internet-enabled Contact Lenses

    [Illustration by Kagan McLeod via Daily Beast]

    Illustration by Kagan McLeod via Daily Beast

    …but if your T-shirt did get hacked in the middle of a final exam and your mind went blank with embarrassment, no worries, you might be one of the lucky few who could rely on your internet-enabled contact lenses to present you with the answers. I’ll admit, this invention’s a little far out there, but not that far out. Consider Google’s Goggle announcement, which intends to bring us fully internet-enabled glasses in the very near future. What’s more, the famed physicist Michio Kaku reports in his book, The Physics of the Future (a must-read for gadget lovers), that internet contact lenses will be possible sometime in the next two decades. These contacts will recognize people’s faces and display information about them. What’s to say they won’t recognize exam questions and display the answers? Prelims and Finals just got a whole lot easier! Well, not yet. So keep those noses to the grindstones because very few of us can get by on our good looks…

    Cosmetic Gene Sequencing

    [Image from Life Technologies website]

    ..or can we? It’s hard to believe that we might someday choose the features of our children, Brave-New-World-style, but according to the NY Times (In Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future), “With a steep drop in the costs of sequencing and an explosion of research on genes, medical experts expect that genetic analyses of cancers will become routine.” And if we can spot and analyze the genetic markers for cancers, we can certainly spot the genetic markers for big teeth, or acne, or greasy hair, or (look in the mirror…no don’t!). Already, companies like Life Technologies and Illumina have built Desktop DNA Sequencers that allow doctors to sequence genes right on their desktops. While the accuracy rate needs to improve dramatically before we can successfully resequence a genome and not end up looking like Frankenstein, there is much progress being made and it won’t be long before Congress is debating the ethics of cosmetic gene sequencing. The thought of Congress debating anything makes me want to put them all on a permanent recess to a galaxy far, far away…  

    Planetary Getaway

    …which might not be so ridiculous. It was hard to miss the big 2012 debut of Planetary Resources, a company funded by Google billionaires and advised by James Cameron of Avatar fame. And so I present to you another technology—asteroid mining—that might seem like a twinkle in some investor’s eye, but my guess is these guys will get somewhere in a hurry.  Billionaires like to remain billionaires in their lifetimes (immortality is another invention topic for another day) and so the promise of big returns must be evident. Even if it’s a few decades away, whatever space vessel is used to transport Bruce Willis-style astronauts (Armageddon) to nearby asteroids will surely be available for tourists. Pandora anyone?

    While some of these technologies may be hard to imagine as anything but far out science, they are all being researched today and are in some stage of commercial development. How quickly they’ll make it to market in the form of viable products is anyone’s guess; but hey, who in the 1950s would have imagined that we’d all be walking around using cell phones with more logic packed into them than NASA’s entire space program? Alright, who besides Gene Roddenberry?

    Bill Gourgey is a native of Washington, DC. He writes fiction and poetry. His first novel, Glide, tells the tale of a legendary inventor who struggles to contain the fallout when the dark side of his world-saving invention is exposed. The sequel to Glide will be available soon. You can buy Glide online or read it on Wattpad.


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