Content Guidelines

Updated -

ABOUT WATTPAD CONTENT

At Wattpad we love stories. Everyday, we work to put more stories out in the world and connect you with ones that you want to read. Our goal is to be facilitators, not gatekeepers, for your content experience.

Wattpad welcomes more than 20 million unique users who read, connect and write; it’s a diverse global community of all ages and we’re honoured you’re here. We want to create a comfortable place for everyone and part of that includes ensuring that all members are fully aware of the type of content that they are reading before they dive in. That’s why we encourage writers to rate their stories as they see fit and reserve the right to override these ratings as needed.

Further, stories that glorify unethical or illegal activities or anything illegal do not serve the Wattpad experience or community and these stories will be removed. Don’t worry! The types of content we’re referring to here is extreme, not appropriate for our community and generally won’t be missed.

Here’s an outline of prohibited content. We are, flat out, not going to allow any content that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially offensive, or otherwise inappropriate. If you upload any of this type of content, you can be sure we will remove it.

If you come across the following content, please submit for review.

Prohibited Content:

  • Hate speech - Don’t actively promote hatred against individuals or groups, on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
  • Abuse and cyber-bullying - We aim to create a safe community on Wattpad - no abuse or cyber-bullying allowed! Be kind and treat others as you would want to be treated.
  • Pedophilia - Zero tolerance.
  • Pornography - Any explicit content with the sole purpose of intending to arouse will be removed.
  • Rape/non-consensual sex - Glorification of an illegal act will be removed.
  • Self-harm and suicide - Don’t post content that encourages or supports any type of self-harm and suicide. We aim to create a positive community that facilitates support, recovery and awareness but never glorifies harmful activities.
  • Any other inappropriate or illegal content

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL

If you want to add a story to Wattpad, make sure you wrote it, you own the rights to it, or you have received permission to upload it from the person who does own the rights. If you are a copyright holder and believe any user submitted content that infringes on your copyright, let us know here or by email at report@wattpad.com. Include a reference to the copyrighted work and contact information for the person who is authorized to act on behalf of the owner. We investigate these claims as quickly as we can.

CONTENT RATINGS

We are working towards a system over the next few months that will make some changes to the way we rate content, particularly the language will change from R rated content to Mature content suitable for 18+. We encourage you, the writers, to self rate the stories you have uploaded as well as put a warning on content with mature themes. We also appreciate it when you report any stories that you feel are inappropriately rated.

Currently, our stories are rated as follows:

G - This story is suitable for readers of all ages. There are no drugs or sexually explicit content mentioned in the story. There is no nudity and body parts are not described in a sexual way. There is minimal swearing and violence is not described in great detail. Language may sometimes be impolite, but does not use expressions that would not be found in common, everyday conversation (ie. "What the Hell" and "Screw off" are okay if used rarely).

PG - A story rated PG might not be appropriate for young children. Romantic situations may be described with some details, though anything explicit is left to the reader's imagination. There may be more violent and scary scenes than would be found in a G story. Wounds and injuries may be described with some graphic explanations. Generally, the story will include some mature themes, characters and actions. Descriptions of drug use, if included, are vague. Occasionally, characters may use light swear words in frustration but not very often.

PG-13 - Includes mature stories that may include occasional scenes of a lightly sexual or violent nature. There might be mention of drug use or abuse and other mature themes that could be inappropriate for younger readers. Characters use more mature language and swearing. Sexual scenes are described with some details. Stories rated PG-13 may also contain some graphic descriptions of violence and injury and reveal darker and more mature motives behind characters' actions than is appropriate for younger readers.

18+ (currently R) - The content of the story is considered "adult". Mature themes including violence, sexuality, strong language and substance abuse can be included, but must be used to drive forth the story plot rather than to sensationalize it. R rated content may include stories that touch upon or refer to themes such as: serious drug use, prostitution, sex, suicide, and all types of abuse. Please note that graphic or exploitative depictions of any of the preceding may result in your story being removed from Wattpad and/or may make it unavailable in promotion/search. This policy applies to textual content as well as any images and videos associated with a story.

CONTENT CATEGORIES

Romance
With love as a driving force, a romance is a form of fiction that traces the growing relationship between two individuals, and oftentimes, the struggle to reconcile their differences or their pasts. The protagonists typically undergo personal development, equally challenged and changed by their beloved.

Example: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Fantasy
Fantasy is a form of fiction which takes place within an alternative world - an imaginary realm wherein magical and supernatural forces pervade. Fantasy stories explore archetypal truths and experiences of an ordinary protagonist, as he or she embarks on an extraordinary quest. Legendary, mythological, and folkloric traditions characterise the genre, thus fantasy stories are often rife with dragons, trolls, wizards, and knights. Typically, fantasy deals with universal themes, such as the struggle of good against evil or the struggle of an individual against society.

Example: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Paranormal
Paranormal is a form of fiction that occurs in a modern-day setting, but contains creatures or happenings that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding or “normal” human experience. Paranormal stories often explore a human protagonist within a paranormal world, as well as their encounter with paranormal beings or individuals with paranormal abilities, such as ghosts, angels, vampires, werewolves, clairvoyants, or telekinetics.

Examples: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

Horror
Horror is a form of fiction that intends to scare or disturb through a protagonist’s experience with an uncanny or menacing force. Horror evokes an emotional, psychological, or physical response (i.e., fear) within the reader and intrudes on a reader’s comfort level. Horror stories usually involve a protagonist’s confrontation with the unknown and the malevolent aspects of humanity, as well as the unsettling realisation that human knowledge is limited.

Example: The Shining by Stephen King

Historical Fiction
Historical fiction usually recounts a famed event of the past or a memorable, recognizable period time period as experienced by fictional characters, but may also describe a historical figure (in their perceived likeness) that must deal with a variety of imagined situations. Historical fiction attempts to accurately capture the essence of history and realise as fully as possible the way the world once was. Striving for plausibility and authenticity, historical fiction allows the reader to both live and learn history, often showcasing political or social issues of the time.

Examples: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.

Fan Fiction
Fanfiction is writing that remixes characters, places, or plots from existing narratives to tell new, original stories. Existing narratives could mean things like popular books, tv shows, movies, games, comics, or plays. Some types of fanfiction even cast real people as characters in the stories. Fanfiction can expand the story world (like sending Katniss into the 76th Hunger Games) or can take known characters in completely new directions (like having Katniss battle it out with Pikachu).

Example: When You're Strange by insertwittynamehere.

PopFic
PopFic is a form of fiction whose subject matter focuses on celebrities or popular culture re-imagined in new and creative ways. The characters in the stories are real people set into imagined situations.

Example: Marcel by _smilelikeniall.

Short Story
Short stories are works of brief narrative prose, which usually focus on a limited number of characters and a single, decisive plot incident. Significantly shorter and more compact than novels, short stories leave the reader with a snapshot or slice of life.

Example: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe.

Spiritual
Spiritual fiction often involves a protagonist who embarks on a journey of self-reflection and self-actualisation, which includes spiritual, although not necessarily religious, experiences. Spiritual fiction nourishes the soul, captivates the emotions, and attempts to explain existential questions such as why are we here, what is the meaning of life, and what happens when we die.

Example: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Classics
Classics are stories written over 100 years ago that stand the test of time as works of high literary merit and artistic qualities. Classics are universally appealing to readers and their themes endure and resonate in contemporary society. Classics are also traditionally accepted as influential in shaping culture.

Examples: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Emma by Jane Austen.

Science Fiction
Science Fiction typically revolves around a futuristic or space-age world wherein imaginative scientific and technological innovations are possible within the story’s established laws of nature. Science Fiction deals with the consequences and impact of science (actual or imagined) on individual and societal levels, and often includes advanced devices, such as time-machines, or other life forms, such as aliens.

Examples: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

Humor
Humor stories seek to entertain and amuse with fun, fancy, or ridiculousness, while simultaneously constructing a narrative that resonates with the reader. Sometimes these works take the form of Satire, wherein a story that may seem serious on the surface is carrying out a tongue-in-cheek critique of some cultural or societal element.

Example: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Mystery / Thriller:
Mystery stories feature a protagonist who investigates a crime, problem, puzzle, or some sort of unknown. The protagonist, whether an actual detective or an amateur, often struggles to achieve his or her goals and endures various psychological and physical obstacles, but gradually deduces the solution through facts, logic, and working backwards. These stories encourage the reader to actively engage in solving the mystery for themselves and require the reader to pay careful attention to clues, suspects, and evidence presented in order to intellectually satisfy.

Example: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

While thriller stories also focus on uncovering mysteries, they move at a faster pace and are driven by action, tension, excitement, and violence. Thriller stories are often quite sensational, and involve larger-scale criminal offenses with higher stakes, such as conspiracy or espionage. Thrillers also include dangerous situations which the protagonist endures while trying to solve the greater problem.

Example: Casino Royale by Sir Ian Fleming.

Action / Adventure
Risk, danger, and excitement inform adventure fiction, which focuses on a particular challenge, quest, or journey which the protagonist, or hero, must undertake and successfully complete. Adventure fiction includes a villain or other antagonistic forces which the hero thwarts with wits and ingenuity, rather than violence.

Example: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

Teen Fiction
Teen Fiction traces the ins, outs, ups and downs of growing up through the emotional, physical, and social experiences of a teenaged or young adult protagonist with which readers identify. Teen Fiction often takes place within a high school setting and may serve as a “coming-of-age” story, documenting the awkwardness of adolescence and the challenge of coping with difficult social issues.

Examples: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Poetry
As William Wordsworth said, poetry is “the spontaneous outflow of powerful feelings.” Indeed, poetry employs rhythm, language, rhetorical devices, and figures of speech to convey an imaginative, emotional experience. Poetry contrasts with prose, or everyday writing, and often uses elaborate diction and figurative language which conceals deeper meaning.

Example: Fire and Ice by Robert Frost.

Vampire
Vampire fiction concerns itself primarily with the subject of vampires who feed on living creatures in order to survive. While vampires were traditionally horrific and villainous, modern interpretations often reimagine the fanged bloodsuckers as more nuanced and complex entities. Vampire fiction usually deals with the human protagonist’s encounter with a vampire, their romantic relationship with a vampire, or his or her transformation into a vampire themselves. Other conflicts may include vampire-hunting or drama within the vampire coven.

Example: Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Werewolf
Werewolf fiction concerns itself primarily with the subject of werewolves or other human/beast forms from folklore and monster myths. Werewolf fiction often focuses on lycanthropy - the supernatural transformation of a human into a wolf - and its repercussions, but may also include associated drama within the hierarchy of the pack and the struggle for the protagonist to repress primal impulses and bestial urges.

General Fiction
General Fiction, sometimes called contemporary fiction, focuses on the everyday experiences and conflicts of a protagonist, usually an adult, with detailed characterisation and background. General Fiction is intended for older readers and has more mature themes.

Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction is writing that is factually accurate and focuses on real events, people, and experiences. Diaries, journals, biographies, and travelogues are all examples of non-fiction, but any writing that presents actual events in an imaginative way also qualifies.

Example: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

Others
Not every work of writing easily slots into these categories, and we are fully aware that these content categories may need to change over time. Until they do, we have included an “Other” category to capture writing that lives outside these defined genres.

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