Multiple award-winning writer Margaret Atwood today announced that she has joined Canadian startup Wattpad to begin sharing a serialized collection of new poems, "Thriller Suite."
“There has been a major shift in the publishing world, and authors need to be aware of digital opportunities. I look forward to exploring the ways Wattpad connects people to reading and writing, and may help give new writers confidence through feedback,” said Atwood. “This is an adventure! I wonder what it will be like to share my writing with a new group of people, many of whom read on their phones? Building new readers and writers is crucial for the writing and reading community: if there are no newer readers, soon there will be no older ones. And, in writing as with everything else, you learn by doing.”
Wattpad offers a broad social entertainment experience around storytelling, as writers share work chapter-by-chapter and readers comment and shape plotlines in real time. The Toronto-based company was awarded Best Overall Startup of 2011 at last year's Canadian Startup Awards.
“Our community of readers and writers are thrilled, especially our poets,” said founder and CEO Allen Lau. “Margaret’s presence on Wattpad really demonstrates what this revolution in story sharing can do. Just imagine what it means for a young aspiring poet to interact with Margaret Atwood! We are so excited to welcome Margaret to Wattpad.”
Wattpad is a mobile, social, eReading platform where nine million readers and writers discover, share and collaborate on stories. Wattpad currently hosts over five million user-generated stories in 25 languages. More than 500,000 new stories and poems are added each month. And the company recently announced funding of $17 million from Khosla Ventures in San Francisco and Union Square Ventures in New York.
It makes sense that Margaret joins a tech startup—despite her age, she is decidedly tech-savvy, and one of the most-followed Canadians on Twitter with well over 300,000 followers (world-famous pop sensation Justin Bieber, with his 24 million followers, excluded that is).