Webnovel's author incubation program to buoy amateur creators

The program gives young Singaporean writers a chance to publish their stories and earn from them.

Singapore was the city chosen to launch the Global Author Incubation Program, designed to foster amateur authors to publish online, by the Hong Kong-listed company, China Literature.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was represented at the event, held at the Marina Bay Sands, which promises to give further scope for young Singaporean writers to get their stories published and have the opportunity to earn at the same time.

Gwyneth Low, a second-year NTU student majoring in Multilingual Studies, said the global author incubation program consisted of an online seminar of highly relevant topics such as an introduction to the web novel industry and how to commercialise and promote your novel. “It is immensely helpful in enhancing knowledge of the industry and this is particularly so with marketing web novel. It is wonderful how a work, starting as a web novel or a webcomic, can become something greater by being adapted into animated online or TV series or an audiobook,” she said.

Concurrent with the launch was the presentation of the Webnovel Spiritly Awards, which recognises the best stories published on Webnovel, a global platform for amateur stories. In a glittering prize ceremony, some of the world’s top amateur authors had flown in from as far away as Germany to receive prizes for their works published on Webnovel. Winners included Elyon, XIETIAN. and KazzenIX, who each received the Gold Award and a cash prize of US$10,000. First launched in 2019 in Southeast Asia, WSA has been recognised as an important event in the booming online literature sector.

Webnovel is now working to grow its global base of readers and is translating many stories from Chinese to English and vice versa, making it a truly global and multilingual platform for budding authors to publish on and be seen. One hurdle for budding authors to be published through a traditional publisher is they need to be accepted and published, whereas with Webnovel they can self publish and then be rewarded if their stories gain popularity with readers.

To further enhance the economics of amateur publishing, Webnovel helps young authors grow by providing them with various forms of assistance such as by providing a guaranteed income of US$800 for works that meet certain criteria set by the platform. Authors on the platform can also increase their income through subscription revenue and rewards from readers. The platform also helps unlock authors' creative potential while broadening their vision by guiding them in creating content through the provision of exclusive editing services. 

Webnovel reported that as of June 2021, the platform had brought on board and provided visibility to nearly 190,000 creators from around the globe, many of whom are noteworthy budding authors who are also teachers, doctors or supermarket workers. To cite a few examples, the online author from the Philippines, KazzenlX, once worked as a kindergarten teacher and the female writer from Bangladesh, Flow07, has become economically independent through writing online novels. 

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