Webnovel, the global online reading platform of China Literature (China Literature Limited 0772.HK), launches its writing contest Webnovel Spirity Awards (WSA 2021), targeting North America on March 31st. The competition will run throughout the year to encourage creative English online original works.

Winners will receive cash prizes of up to $20,000, as well as advertising resources to present their works on screens in Times Square in New York City. In cooperation with Tencent Pictures, the award-winning stories will also have the opportunity to receive further commercial development such as adaptation to other formats including film and TV drama.

The contest marks a new stage for China Literature in the cultivation of original works and IP incubation in overseas markets. It also demonstrates the company’s leading position in the global online reading market, and its ability to continually gain traction in the development of cultural products.

“Our strength is that we can help writers realize their works’ commercial values and offer them monetization opportunities without going through a lengthy publishing process that traditional publishers need,” said Sandra Chen, Head of Webnovel. “We hope to establish a mutually beneficial long-term relationship with writers in North America and build our platform into one of the most trusted in the writers’ community.”

Webnovel debuted its author promotion plan Webnovel Spirity Awards in the Philippines in 2019, aimed at discovering potential authors and supporting them with monetization resources and strategy. In 2020, Webnovel extended a similar contest to writers from all over the world, which received almost 8,000 works. Webnovel has now become home to more than 100,000 authors and 160,000 works, covering diverse content with more than 20 genres including romance, fantasy, sic-fi, realistic fiction, history and horror.

This year, the contest will focus on the North America market to help writers with great potential realize their writing dreams by offering professional writing skill training and promotional resources. Chen hopes to double the number of writers that contribute to Webnovel in the region to about 100,000 in one year.

To achieve this goal, China Literature has teamed up with Tencent Pictures to jointly promote Webnovel’s writing contest in an overseas market for the first time. As an owned subsidiary of Tencent (Tencent Holdings Ltd, 0700.HK), Tencent Pictures has created many successful films and TV dramas adapted from novels originally published on China Literature’s platform.

Tencent’s content business strategy, which places IP development at the core, has proven successful in the Chinese market. “We hope to build a similar platform and business ecosystem in the overseas market,” said Chen.

WSA 2021 will accept original English web novels in 7 main categories favored by local readers, including light novels, first loves, gaming, superheroes, reincarnation, werewolves and vampires, and royal romances. Novels will be judged by the contest organizer and reader representatives in three areas, including content quality, update frequency, and commercial value.

Link to WSA2021: https://wsa.webnovel.com/2021