Photo by Wattpad.
GBC-Education is thrilled to announce the winners of the #YourStoryIndia contest, piloted through our Global Education Platform (GEP) initiative in collaboration with Wattpad, HP, Twitter, STiR Education, and Teach for India. After launching this past fall as a youth-driven digital writing contest hosted through Wattpad, the writing contest — the largest in the country’s history — has concluded with three grand prize winners. GBC-Education member HP generously provided laptops as the grand prize. The Initiative seeks to engage the private sector in an effort to demonstrate how their core assets may be leveraged for social good.
The contest was originally created as the pilot phase of the GEP, with the goal of promoting tech-driven solutions to foster literacy and empower India’s youth. Participants were encouraged to create hyper-local content, to be published on Wattpad’s storytelling platform so that youth in India would have access to a greater depth of relevant content. Within the contest’s first three months, #YourStoryIndia was able to engage 1.4 million users on Wattpad. Now, Wattpad reports that the contest successfully increased users’ time reading local content by a whopping 77 percent with a 43 percent increase in story uploads to the Wattpad platform, indicating that users found content more engaging, and that their overall literacy was likely improved via the contest.
Candidates’ stories, which fell into one of 15 categories spanning from Romance to Horror and Paranormal, were judged on the writer’s voice, content, and skills. Wattpad opened the polling process up to their broader community in order to narrow down favorites and ultimately selected the three winners.
“I can’t really contain my happiness,” said Wattpad user sneha-pandey upon receiving the news. “I am elated that my book Aches has made it to the winner list would thank all of you for giving it a chance.”
The GEP was launched in 2014 after an exploratory report suggested that a learning model emphasizing increased relevancy of content creation would have the greatest impact on improving local literacy levels. The #YourStoryIndia contest functioned as a pilot phase of the GEP, spearheaded by Director Adam Braun, and launched during the UN General Assembly in 2015. In December, the GEP submitted a report to the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity that detailed five potential next steps to improve upon and scale the initiative.
Check out their stories on Wattpad!
Winners of YourStoryIndia: (In no particular order)