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Wattpad, the popular storytelling platform, has announced a major overhaul of its creator program, aimed at making it more accessible and writer-friendly. On Thursday, the company unveiled its plans to revamp the Wattpad Creators Program, acknowledging that the previous version was limited in scale and overly complicated. Since its launch last year, the program has successfully paid out almost $3.8 million in stipends to writers, and now Wattpad is committed to adding another $1 million throughout the remaining months of this year.

Initially, the program consisted of different tiers, each with varying requirements based on a writer’s goals. However, with the newly revamped program, Wattpad is shifting towards a single level and experience for all participants. This change aims to streamline the program, allowing writers to focus more on their craft rather than worrying about which tier to aim for.

To be eligible for the program, writers must commit to producing a minimum of 500 words per week and have at least one completed novel-length story of 50,000 words or more in their catalog. Additionally, they must have at least one story in an eligible genre with a minimum number of Engaged Readers. Wattpad defines an Engaged Reader as someone who has spent more than five minutes reading a story within the past year. The required number of Engaged Readers varies based on genres, ranging from 9,000 for general fiction to 100 for horror.

While the new program currently operates on an invite-only basis, Wattpad believes that the new criteria will facilitate the inclusion of more writers. The program also allows writers the flexibility to pause and resume their participation.

Nick Uskoski, Wattpad’s Head of Content and Creator Development, expressed the company’s dedication to breaking down barriers to entry in order to attract a more diverse range of writers. The previous program was limited to just a few hundred writers and offered stipends upon entry. In the revamped program, the company has shifted to a model that rewards stipends for specific writing initiatives.

Alongside these changes, Wattpad is placing greater emphasis on writer education and coaching within the revamped creator program. The original version provided perks primarily to more experienced writers or those with a greater body of work. However, the updated program will grant all writers access to these valuable resources.

Participants in the program will gain access to Wattpad’s editorial response tool, which allows writers to seek guidance from the platform’s in-house editorial team. They will also have access to new tools and resources to aid their growth, along with live editorial coaching and office hours. Furthermore, writers will have the opportunity to attend quarterly meetings where the company will share insights on building a successful career on Wattpad.

“We want to bring the same sense of community, support, and insight found in writing workshops and retreats to the Wattpad Creators Program,” stated Uskoski. “Our goal is not just to be the starting point for writers’ careers but to help them thrive on Wattpad and beyond.”

The new program will introduce limited-term writing initiatives designed to encourage the creation of content in genres that the platform wishes to see more of. The first of these initiatives is a year-long project similar to a Writing Intensive, where stipends will be provided for publishing new chapters on a regular weekly schedule.