The Death of Wattpad Stars
Wattpad is killing off its famous Wattpad Stars program for writers in favor of a new system built to reward its most successful creators.
Wattpad Stars Face The End of an Era
On June 30th, Wattpad announced its brand new Wattpad Creators program for nurturing successful writers on the platform. Currently offered in English, there are plans to roll out the program in Spanish-speaking areas and the Philippines soon. However, many wondered what the news meant for its existing program, Wattpad Stars.
Launched in 2015, Wattpad Stars is an invite-only opportunity for writers whose content met certain engagement requirements and word minimums, and whose writing met quality standards when reviewed by Wattpad staff. Creators selected for the program receive a star badge on their public profile, additional editorial and marketing support from staff, and special consideration for Wattpad's other opportunities with Paid, Studios, and more.
But shortly after the launch of Creators, it was announced that Stars (at least its English-language version) was officially shutting down. The news is somewhat predictable, since it follows months of uncertainty surrounding the program. The formal Wattpad Stars directory hasn't been updated since 2019 and existing Stars members have reported minimal communication and lackluster support from Wattpad staff.
In April, one star* posted on Twitter:
"Does anyone know if Wattpad Stars still exists? Asking for me. I am in Wattpad Stars and the crickets have continued through these 6 weeks... Stars used to include regular newsletters, updates, writing opportunities, an active Discord, sometimes perks, etc."
In May, another top-performing Star* wrote:
"It's my 12-year anniversary on Wattpad this month. Funnily enough, it feels less familiar than ever. Can definitely feel a distance growing between Wattpad and writers as the years go on."
Another Star and Watty winner*, whose book reached off-Wattpad success, added:
"I've basically left Wattpad. It's a shell of its former sense. You can't do anything now. I feel bad be they helped me so much with [my book] and I want the best to happen to them but I honestly feel like it'll go worse."
*We've omitted Stars' names and book titles since Wattpad limits what participants can talk about and we don't want to single these authors out.
This new program is part of a broader push toward a focus on original, long-form stories and monetizable content—which means a shift away from fanfiction and books with fewer engaged readers.
Several current Stars have already joined Creators, including writers Kate Marchant, Althea Liu, and Caroline Richardson. Most of the Wattpad Creators participants at launch were authors who had previously been announced as "Wattpad Exclusive Authors"in October of 2021.
Since Wattpad announced the closing of the Stars program, current Stars have been relatively quiet on social media. As the Creators program moves out of its beta phase, we expect to see more Stars join, but we could also see another mass exodus, depending on whether existing Stars trust in Wattpad's ability to run this new program better than its previous one.
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