Kensington And Wattpad Team Up For Romance Writing Contest

Today publishing house Kensington announced it is teaming up with popular social platform Wattpad — which encourages users to read, write and share stories — for a writing contest. In "The Write Affair," previously unpublished authors will submit the first 5,000 words of their romance novel and the Wattpad community will vote to select the top 10 best stories. Kensington's team will decide on the winner, who will be awarded a contract with the publisher. The winning manuscript will be published in both digital and print formats under Kensington's new imprint, Zebra Shout.

Wattpad boasts more than 40 million users — who spend about 8 billion minutes per month reading the free stories available in more than 50 languages, mostly on their mobile devices. Breakout star Anna Todd has clocked one billion reads for her One Direction fan fiction, After, which got her a print contract at Simon & Schuster (and about 23 foreign sales) and a movie deal. 

Harlequin ran a similar contest with Wattpad, So You Think You Can Write, in 2013, which focused on New Adult manuscripts. Users helped pick six winners that were ultimately published. 

Submissions open this Friday, and writers have until February 27th to enter. Voting takes place until March 20, with a winner set to be announced on April 13. To enter, go here.