2021 Watty Winners: Our Predictions
Wattpad is announcing the winners of their Wattys awards on December 3. But who will take home the win? We've got our 2021 winner predictions.
How We Chose Our Picks
We are not affiliated with Wattpad, so our selections are based on what we have found to be predictors of past winners. Wattpad released a shortlist earlier this month of the semi-finalists they will be selecting from, so we used that as a starting point.
A lot goes into choosing Watty winners, so we looked at a number of factors including quality, writing style, diversity of authors and characters, unique perspective, reader interest, and whether a story was featured in previous Wattpad Editor's picks and highlights. We also looked at whether authors were Wattpad Stars or previous Watty winners, as this tends to influence overall quality. We also selected 5 per category, even though some categories in the past have had six winners.
First Up, Chick Lit!
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Chick Lit category are:
The Popstar and Me by Althea Liu
Recruiting Mr. Darcy by Samreen Ahsan
Sailing West by AJ Arnault
The Sister Zone by Christian Ann Riley
Good Things I'll Never Do Again by WendyGreene11
Author Althea Liu's romance work has resonated with a lot of readers and we wouldn't be surprised if she picked up two Wattys this year, since two of her books have made the shortlist and they're both high quality. But The Popstar and Me seems like a particular standout. AJ Arnault might also pick up a double win, as she too has two great books on the shortlist, though a double-win for either author would be the first in Watty's history.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Romance category are:
Untie the Knot by Flora Nocturna
Hidden Within by Cammie Grace
The Waves of Us by Stephanie Midorii
Kiss the Sky by Marianna Leal
Sinbound by MidnxghtSun
The romance category, as usual, is going to have the most competition. We think Untie the Knot has a solid chance based on how it's been growing in popularity within the Wattpad community. Hidden Within and Waves of Us have both graced the Editor's Choice list and feature minority representation. We could also see Fake it All the Way by Althea Liu showing up on this winners list, but we wonder if Wattpad is willing to award the same author twice in the same Watty year.
Mystery and Thriller
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Mystery & Thriller category are:
Prescient by H. L. Walton
Apex by W1ldFlow3r
Dead if You Do by Kate North
Flytrap by MaskedParkers
The Key to Anchor Lake by Lydia Hephzibah
There were several possible Mysteries and Thrillers on the shortlist this year, but these standouts had unique premises that set them apart (Especially Prescient and The Key to Anchor Lake). We're especially confident in the selection of Wattpad Star and thriller-specialist Kate North's Dead if You Do, which is a Paid Story. Some of these books may end up in the less-competitive Horror category, though we think they're technically better fits here.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Horror category are:
Hollow by Shaun Allan
Emma That is Dead by Darly Jamison
The Haze by Taylor Blake
Make Them Scream by Amy Marie Z
The Reaper of Medford's Bend by Lana S-B
Horror is relatively low-competition in comparison to other categories, but the authors who compete bring strong writing. Paid story Hollow—an eerie LGBTQ+ horror—is a practical shoe-in. It's written by previous Watty winner Shaun Allan, whose specialty is in the dark-and-scary realm. Darly Jamison is also a previous winner who writes for Paid Stories, so another likely candidate. We also expect to see The Haze win, but due to some genre-bending, it could end up in any of several categories.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Science Fiction category are:
Empyrean Iris by Charlie Starr
Overworld by Joseph Evans
100 Yellow Doors by JNicole
The First Guest by Ken Raven
What Comes After by Kingempo
Our predictions include a mix of classic sci-fi reads and a couple different takes on the genre, like JNicole's time-travel romance100 Yellow Doors, since previous winners seem to also follow this trend. We also think Overworld has a good shot of winning, since good Middle Grade novels are rare on Wattpad.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Paranormal category are:
The Problem with Dying by AJ Arnault
Soul Tides by CJ Truz
Cut to the Bone by M. Dalto
Wish by Crystal J. Johnson & Felicity Vaughn
Day After Day by MasonFitzzy
We've predicted two wins for AJ Arnault this year, but we're not sure if Wattpad is willing to give any author two simultaneous wins, so time will tell. We think Paid author and Wattpad Star M. Dalto is due a win, so that pick was an easy one. We also love the unique genie-inspired romance Wish and we'd be surprised if it didn't win something.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Historical Fiction category are:
Before She Ruled by Amelie Rhys
Rivals and Revels by Domi Soto
The Prince and the Spitfire by Darla Cassic
A Solemn Promise by Laura Bell
A Brazen Maiden by Stephanie Rose
Watty's judges often pick at least one Regency Romance (and they're very hot right now), so we think Rivals and Revels is a good bet. Paid story Before She Ruled has been quite popular with readers, so we expect a slot for it as well. Wattpad Star Darla Cassic's entry is also likely to win, as it has been featured by Wattpad editors before and her writing is excellent.
Young Adult (YA)
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Young Adult category are:
The Soulmate Paradox by Alex L. Zachary
Better Than You by Brynn Bunker
Swipe Right by Rachel Rose
His First July by Rebecca Johnpee
(Not So) Innocent Little Lies by LightentheShadows
YA is always a high-competition category for The Wattys, and this year was no exception. We've already featured (Not So) Innocent Little Lies on our YA reading list because it's really great, so we're definitely expecting a win for it. We also think the themes of terminal illness in His First July and young gay romance in The Soulmate Paradox will help them rise above the competition.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the New Adult category are:
Just Press Send by Nikki Pierce
Just For Tonight by Melanie Ann
The Art of Breathing Underwater by David Anderson
Hopeless Romantic by Brynn Bunker
Relative Fiction by Taylor Romagnoli
There are some obvious choices in the New Adult category this year. We had already recommended Nikki Pierce's Just Press Send in the past, and we think it will definitely earn a win. The Art of Breathing Underwater is a fan-favorite with a lot of heart. We're not sure that Wattpad is ready to award the complex of heroin addiction in Relative Fiction, but it has been included on Editor's Picks in the past so it has a decent chance.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Fanfiction category are:
Flytrap by Masked Parkers
The Emotional Children by Emily Betts
Black Blood by somekindofstardust
Royal Pain by AintThatDevine
Ripper: An Indoraptor Story by E. C. Millington
Fanfiction is a tough category to judge because there are so many fandoms and they're not easily compared. We've seen both Flytrap (a Barbara Gordon fic) and Ripper (Jurassic Park) pop up before on official lists, so we like their odds. The Sherlock fanfic The Emotional Children is also a strong contender with a compelling writing style.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Fantasy category are:
Ophidian Eyes by Lord Rat G.
Excalibur's Seven by EbenezerBean
Queen of Fire Blood by Sarah Beth
Thread of Gold by J.K. Maclaren
Till Death Do Us Part by axgirl13
Fantasy has a smaller writing community on Wattpad, but the authors in this category are all of very high quality. We expect Wattys judges to go for unique narratives for the genre, like strong female leads (Till Death Do Us Part) and LGBTQ+ storylines (Excalibur's Seven). And Paid author J.K. Maclaren's Thread of Gold is another solid outing from an author that continues to produce great work on the platform.
Our predictions for this year's Watty winners in the Werewolf category are:
Solar Flare by RianOregon
The Rise of Venus by Lehualani
Playing with Fire by J. Seaford
Seeing Red by H.M. Kraft
Red by June Valentine
The Werewolf category is new for 2021 and we're excited to see several great diverse paranormal stories pop up in the category. Paid story Solar Flare, an LGBTQ+ werewolf romance, seems like a likely winner. Red, a dark retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, has been a fan favorite for a while and its clever writing makes it our top pick. We also heavily expect The Rise of Venus to pick up a win due to its long history of features on official reading lists.
That's the last of our predictions for the 2021 Wattys. We'll follow up on this after the official winners are posted, so check back to see how we did!
[Here it is: Watty's Prediction Roundup - Were We Right?]
Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments...