Writing Wednesdays: WattCon 2018 Wrap-Up

Last week I went out to New York for a long weekend for WattCon 2018... and a little sightseeing, too!

I'm uploading a separate post about what New York was like, so in this post I'm going to focus on how WattCon itself went.

So what was WattCon?

WattCon took place in a Marriott hotel in Times Square, NY, this year, and was a weekend-long convention full of panels, workshops, book signings and packed with Wattpaders I was so excited to meet. 

I was invited out to do a panel on The Kissing Booth's journey from Wattpad to paperback to screen, which you can watch right here. The panel was a lot of fun and really interesting - I'm really glad I got to be part of it!

There were some incredible panels the rest of the weekend, too. Everyone was moved by the Era of Own Voices: Writing Diverse Stories, and I loved hearing from some of my faves on The Fountain of Youth: Writing YA.

You can catch up on all the panels from the weekend here on Wattpad's Facebook page. 

Meeting my faves...

Outside of the panels and workshops and book signings, the weekend was peppered with some really surreal moments meeting other Wattpaders. I got to catch up with people I'd already met and meet so many people I feel like I've known for a long time but never spoken to offline before. I could talk your ear off about everyone I got to meet, so I'll just pick out a couple for this post.

I finally got to meet Ali Novak (of 'My Life With the Walter Boys') and Kelly Anne Blount (who wrote 'Captured' and many more) - both of whom are also writers with Komixx Entertainment, the production company who made my novel The Kissing Booth into a Netflix movie. We got to have a really great chat about the whole process and I loved meeting them in real life - at long last!

Jordan Lynde (originally on Wattpad as XxSkater2Girl16xX) was there too, and I honestly fangirled when I met her. A bunch of us were grabbing lunch upstairs in the hotel and she called me over then introduced herself properly - and I'm pretty sure I just gawped at her in awe for a solid minute or two. (Sorry, Jordan!)

Jordan was the reason I found Wattpad - it was one of her stories I heard about from a friend back in 2010 that I went on to read, and joined Wattpad so I could find more stories to read. 

...and meeting some fans!

There were so many writers I really admire I got to meet this weekend - and even stranger was when they congratulated me on my success, or when a few people thanked me for what I've done and how I've inspired them, because I've always seen them as people that I look up to! 

People were excited to meet me, which is a weird feeling I don't think I'll ever get used to. A few people told me how nervous they were to meet me and that's also something I'm not used to. (Trust me, I'm super excited to meet you too.)

It's strange for me to see how The Kissing Booth has had such an impact on Wattpad and its writers. Having people tell me that my success and journey has inspired and driven them could honestly have made me want to cry, and it's strange to be in a place where people... know me? 

Um, am I famous now?

I'd introduce myself to people ("Hi, I'm Beth") and they'd reply, "I know." Or they'd recognise me before I got chance, and everyone there seemed to have heard all about The Kissing Booth, even if they'd not read it. (Though I think pretty much everyone I met had at least watched the movie, and planned to read the book!) 

I've gone from blank looks when people ask what I've written, is it something they might have heard of, to sparks of instant recognition and excited smiles. It's something I never could have imagined happening to me, but honestly, none of it would have been possible without Wattpad. Without Wattpad, The Kissing Booth never would have been seen by anybody except me and my laptop.

Also, people were asking if they could take a photo with me. I experienced a lot of this in Brazil in the summer, but Brazil are so crazy passionate as a fanbase (and I totally love them for it!) so I wasn't exactly expecting it to be like that at Wattcon, too. Not gonna lie, I felt like a total celebrity, and loved every moment of it haha.

What I took away from the weekend

The entire weekend of WattCon felt like a celebration. It was overwhelmingly positive and I came away feeling so inspired! I feel excited about writing, about reading, and that's always a great feeling.

And the other thing I took away from WattCon is just how many incredible writers are out there because of this platform, enjoying their own successes - whether that's by working with brands, getting publishing deals, connecting with other writers, and so much more. It really made me proud to be a part of the Wattpad community - and now I'm just hoping I'll be able to get along to the next WattCon!

Who are some of your favourite Wattpad writers? Have you ever used the platform to share your work? Let me know in the comments below!

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