• Olivia Kate

How Hard Is It to Win a Watty?

Every year, thousands of Wattpad users enter their stories in the Watty awards, Wattpad's in-house contest meant to honor the best of new digital fiction. So what are your odds of taking home the prize? We did the math so you don't have to...



The Key Details

The Wattys are an annual contest run by Wattpad to award stories posted on the platform. The rules and requirements for entry vary by year, but since 2017 winners have been selected by human judges rather than by data science. To answer this question, we'll be looking at data for the 2020 contest period first.



What Are the Odds of Winning a Watty in 2020?

According to a Twitter post from Wattpad HQ, the Wattys had about 40,000 entries in 2020. The awards are set to have 56 winners (5 winners in each of 11 genre categories, plus one Wattpad Books winner). Since Wattpad doesn't release their data for entries by language, we focused these calculations on the English-language contest only.


If 56 books will win out of 40,000 entries, that means 0.14% of entrants will win (ie. 1 in every 714 entries will be a winner).


So your overall odds of winning a Watty this year are 1 in 714.



What Were the Odds of Winning in Previous Years?

This year's odds are actually substantially better than they have been in previous years. Since this is the first year requiring entries to be completed and over 50k words, overall entries are down by 76% since last year. 2020's odds are the best they've been in the past five years.


In 2019, the odds of winning were 1 in 3018. In 2018, the odds were 1 in 6590—the most competitive year in Watty history.


Here's how those break down year by year:


2020

Total Entries: 40,000

Winners: 56

Odds of Winning: 1 in 714 (0.14%)


2019

Total Entries: 169,000

Winners: 56

Odds of Winning: 1 in 3018 (0.033%)


2018

Total Entries: 362,423

Winners: 55

Odds of Winning: 1 in 6590 (0.015%) *Worst Odds


2017

Total Entries: 280,000

Winners: 55

Odds of Winning: 1 in 5091 (0.02%)


2016

Total Entries: 100,000

Winners: 104

Odds of Winning: 1 in 962 (0.104%)


2015

Total Entries: 75,000

Winners: 141

Odds of Winning: 1 in 532 (0.188%)


2014

Total Entries: 14,000

Winners: 162

Odds of Winning: 1 in 86 (1.157%) *Best Odds



So What Does It All Mean?

We're big fans of data and statistics, but there are many things these numbers don't account for. The Wattys are open to 11 languages this year, but our numbers only account for the English entries. Some categories are also likely to be more competitive than others, but Wattpad hasn't released genre-specific data. (While we don't have the data, we would bet on Romance and Young Adult being the most common genres and SciFi being less so.) And while the Wattys used to be a numbers game in years past, the winners are now selected by human judges based on quality, so your odds of winning will likely depend more on the merit of your work versus that of your competition.



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Have you entered the Wattys this year? Share your book title in the comments...

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