Redefining Storytelling: A Wattpad Primer

wattpad logo

I have to admit it — I’m a Wattpad newbie. Even though this online story-sharing community has been around since 2006, it’s stayed on the edge of my radar, something I’d always planned to investigate further if I met a lot of teens who were into it. Then, I heard about Anna Todd’s After series and its beginnings as a Wattpad story with one billion — billion! — reads on the site. Clearly, readers were into Wattpad, and I needed to find out more.

In perfect timing, I read on the Hub about YALSA’s Twist Fate Challenge, a partnership with the Connected Learning Alliance, DeviantArt, National Writing Project, and Wattpad. The Feb. 18 webinar, “Storytelling and Making Redefined: Get to Know the Wattpad Community,” is available to view online, and features input from Jing Jing Tan, the Community Engagement Lead at Wattpad, as well as Kassandra Tate, a teen Wattpad user with over 21K readers.

The video is long, but an excellent overview of Wattpad’s features and teen appeal: storytelling that is multi-format, multimedia, and social. (In-line comments and chatty author’s notes erase any space between writer and reader, and comments often influence the direction of a serialized piece.) At 18:43, host (and YALSA president!) Candice Mack asks what type of support educators and libraries can provide to Wattpad users. Kassandra notes Wattpad’s ease of providing feedback and challenge exercises, and Jing Jing points out Wattpad’s untapped potential by educators as a network for consumption, collaboration, and creation. Continue reading Redefining Storytelling: A Wattpad Primer

A Teen Perspective: E-books vs. Print Books

Breaking news – There has been a technological revolution where kindles, e-books, and various online reading apps have taken over the world. Well, not exactly… But with today’s technological advancement it seems as though the popularity of reading books online has dramatically increased. In fact, according to a 2012 survey by Pew Research Center, the average number of books read by a reader of e-book is 24 books compared to 15 books for those who only read print. What makes reading an e-book more popular than reading a print book? I plan to evaluate the pros and cons for both types of books.

A teen perspective: Ebooks vs. Print Books
photo by Flickr user pedrosimoes

There are so many wonderful factors involved with reading a print copy of the book. When I was in elementary school I remember the excitement of going to the bookstore with my mom to purchase more Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones books. The feel of sitting down in the book store, perusing through various books and selecting which ones I wanted to read was just so much fun! Then, when I got home I could curl up on the couch and read for hours; and when I was done I could go back to the bookstore and purchase the next book in the series. Nowadays, I find myself going to the bookstore less frequently. I order paperback copies online, and have the books shipped to my house which is more convenient. But, I do miss the fun trips to the bookstore. Nevertheless – I think that reading paperback books has its own charm and excitement that cannot be replaced by an electronic book. Holding the physical copy of the book in my hands, and flipping each page makes the reading experience so much more real and memorable. For this reason, I personally prefer reading print copy books. Continue reading A Teen Perspective: E-books vs. Print Books

eBooks? No Thanks.


October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Courtney Kilroy from Nebraska.

ereader_picI… am not a fan of ebooks. Never have been, possibly never will be. Why?

If you’re reading this, you must be a dedicated reader. Of anything. Newspapers, magazines, novels, chapter books, graphic novels, manga, et cetera. Why else would you be reading a blog about books?? And if you’re a dedicated reader, you know how exciting it is when your favorite author releases a new book, or when the next issue of your favorite magazine hits the shelves. And the build-up that makes it exciting.

  • The cliffhanger left at the end of the last book.
  • The nine months you waited until the title and sneak peek were released.
  • The additional month you waited until the book actually was available in stores.
  • The drive to the bookstore.
  • The speed-walk to the young-adult fiction aisle.
  • Then… you see it. You hold it in your hands, and you flip through the pages.
  • You have the thing you’ve been waiting for what seems like forever.
  • You check out, and read in the car (unless, of course, you’re driving, in which case you should
    be watching the road).

Does that sound familiar? It does for me. It’s like that with all the books I read, right now. Or
replace the bookstore with a library. Anyway, I feel like you don’t get that with an ebook.

  • The cliffhanger at the end of the last book.
  • The nine months you waited for the title and sneak peek to be released.
  • The additional month you waited until the book was actually available in the iTunes Store.
  • The opening of the iTunes app.
  • The typing of the name of the book into the search bar.
  • The clicking on the book’s icon.
  • The downloading of the book. 1%…2%…3%…

Kind of anticlimactic, don’t you think? Continue reading eBooks? No Thanks.