So, for anyone interested and confused, I think I deciphered their weird new thing for ongoing stories:
If your story is still not completed by Wattys submission date, you can submit it as an ongoing story. But there’s a catch.
There’s always a catch.
First, to able to submit it as an ongoing story at all, your story must be published before June 19, 2023, or on June 19, 2023. I looked through people’s comments and Wattpad’s answers, but it sounds like the first date of publication of your ongoing story can be any date. It can be an old story from 2016 if you wanted to do that.
Second, you have to consistently add more than 500 + words every week 80% of the time until the Shortlist is announced on October 16, 2023. However, by the submission date of the Wattys (August 8, 2023), your ongoing story must have at least 20k words on top of having been consistent with updates.
The safest way to go about this, I think, is to just add 500 + words almost every week until you get 20k words by the time of submission. After that, you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t complete the story before the Shortlist is announced. I think this rule is to show to the judges that the story is ongoing.
Third, your story, by the time of Wattys submission (August 8, 2023), has to have 20k words or more and must not be marked as complete (Understandable, right? You’re submitting an ongoing story).
I think the strategy would be to choose a story that you haven’t published yet, but that you have written already, and divide it up into 500 + word sections. Each week, you just add that bit to your story until you get to 20k words.
I saw Wattpad say that it is fine to split already-written, not-yet-published chapters into chunks of words and then add them each week. It’s not cheating the system.
Note: an ongoing story can be part of a series.
If I find out new things, I’ll add it here.
While this is nice, it sounds like a risk of your time if you choose to use an older, ongoing story instead of doing like ONC and writing a new story, updating it every week.
Because if you finish the story before submission (August 8, 2023), you won’t be able to enter it as a completed story if the story was published a long time ago. A completed story must be first published at least from Jan. 2021 (nothing new, right?). I suppose you could unpublish and republish it. But it’s still risky of your time.
You’ll really need to think and pick the right story.
I think I got this right.
Feel free to add anything, and chat about the ongoing stories for the Wattys 2023, or the Wattys in general.
Idk if I’m going to enter this year. I might. Idk. But the ongoing stories thing sounds like a stressful risk, in my opinion. Updating 500 + words weekly to meet the 20k word mark, then submit to the Wattys ongoing stories, and then continue consistent updates until October 16…
Still sounds stressful.
Idk yet if the ongoing stories form will ask for a summary or not. I hope not.