In a major literary win, three online novels created by writers from Pakistan, India, and Thailand have secured the top prize at the WebNovel Spirity Awards 2022 held in Hong Kong this month, besting 90,000 competitors in the three language sections of English, Indonesian, and Thai.
WebNovel is an international portal of China Literature company and a pioneer in the online literature market, being one of the largest online literature platforms. It was launched in May 2017 with the aim of promoting translations of Chinese online novels. A year later, in April 2018, WebNovel started receiving original works from overseas writers.
A report co-released by China Literature and Global Times Research Center reveals that by the end of last year, WebNovel had published translations of nearly 2,900 Chinese online novels. During the same period, the platform also saw the entry of 340,000 overseas online writers who created 500,000 works. Over the last four years, the number of visiting users on WebNovel increased by 8.5 times, reaching around 170 million.
Originally aimed at English-language writers, the WebNovel Spirity Awards or WSA was launched in 2018. Last year, the awards program started receiving works in Indonesian and Thai.
The WSA honors the most exceptional online novels in the genres of fantasy, romance, and sci-fi. The competition received a staggering 90,000 entries from all over the world, and the top three winners for 2022 were Leveling Endlessly With the Strongest System by Crimson_ink from Pakistan, Allure of the Night by ash_knight17 from India, and This Love Doesn’t Have Long Beans by Ninepinta from Thailand.
Crimson_ink’s Leveling Endlessly With the Strongest System is a thrilling fantasy novel that takes readers on a journey through a world of magic, power, and adventure. Ash_knight17’s Allure of the Night is a passionate romance novel that tells the story of a young woman’s journey to find love and her true self. Ninepinta’s This Love Doesn’t Have Long Beans is a heartwarming romance novel that explores the complexities of love and relationships.
These novels are a testament to the growing popularity of online literature, particularly in Asia, and the immense talent of writers from these regions. The WSA is a crucial platform that promotes and recognizes the creativity and ingenuity of writers, providing a space for them to showcase their work and reach a wider audience.
The WebNovel Spirity Awards 2022 winners demonstrate the vibrancy and diversity of the online literature landscape, with writers from different cultures and backgrounds contributing to the growth of the industry. The awards program serves as an inspiration to aspiring writers worldwide, encouraging them to pursue their passion and share their unique voices with the world.
WebNovel, the international portal of China Literature Company, was launched in 2017 to promote translations of Chinese online novels. The platform began receiving original works from overseas writers in 2018. As of last year, WebNovel had run translations of around 2,900 Chinese online novels, and over 340,000 overseas writers had created 500,000 works on the platform. The number of visiting users on WebNovel has increased by 8.5 times over four years, reaching about 170 million.
The primary aim of the WebNovel Spirity Awards is to nurture new overseas writers. According to a report co-released by China Literature and Global Times Research Center, the number of overseas writers has increased at a compound rate of 130 percent since 2018, with people born after 2000 accounting for 37.5 percent and people born between 1995 and 2000 accounting for 29.5 percent.
The average age of winners of the WSA 2022 was 27, and more than 40 percent of the winning writers published their first novel on the platform. The United States, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Britain have the largest number of writers on the platform.
WebNovel offers original works across 15 categories and over 100 subcategories based on themes such as Western or Eastern fantasy, science fiction, urban life, and video games. The influence of Chinese online literature is evident in the original works, with half of the top 10 original works having tags such as “reincarnation,” “system,” and “immortality cultivation,” which are popular Chinese online literature modes. For example, the gold prizewinner, Leveling Endlessly With the Strongest System, combines the elements of the “reincarnation” and “system” modes.
According to the report, readers on WebNovel come from over 200 countries and regions worldwide, with the largest reader group hailing from the United States. Meanwhile, the fastest-growing readership is from Pakistan, and readers born after 1995 make up 75 percent of the total.
WebNovel has translated 2,900 Chinese online novels with themes ranging from immortals, martial arts, fantasy, urban life, to science fiction. Reading Chinese literature online enables overseas readers to learn more about traditional Chinese culture and contemporary China. Last year, words related to “China” appeared over 150,000 times in readers’ comments on the platform. The comments also mentioned Taoism, gourmet food, martial arts, tea art, and panda. The most-mentioned five Chinese cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao, and Hangzhou of Zhejiang province.
At the end of last year, nine Chinese online novels translations had achieved over 100 million views on WebNovel. Full Marks Hidden Marriage: Pick up a Son, Get a Free Husband by Jiongjiongyouyao, a story that depicts a resilient, modern independent woman, is the most viewed Chinese online novel with over 400 million views.
Yang Chen, China Literature’s vice-president and chief editor, said at the WSA 2022 award ceremony that “stories can carry dreams, transcend cultural differences and win more readers, which is the charm of online literature,” regardless of the language in which they are written.
In China, online literature has become a key source of cultural industry, with online novels being adapted into audiobooks, cartoons, TV shows, movies, video games, and other creative cultural products. Similarly, China Literature has been working on adapting original works on WebNovel.
According to the report, 40 percent of the winning works are being adapted into audiobooks, cartoons, films, or TV series, with collaborative teams mainly from the US, UK, India, South Korea, and Thailand.
Online novels can be a way to gain insight into traditional Chinese culture and contemporary China for overseas readers. Translated versions of the 2,900 Chinese online novels include various themes such as immortals, martial arts, fantasy, urban life, and science fiction.
WebNovel, which is the international portal of China Literature company and one of the largest online literature platforms, has run translations of approximately 2,900 Chinese online novels, according to a report recently co-released by China Literature and Global Times Research Center. Over four years, the number of visiting users on WebNovel increased by 8.5 times to about 170 million.
The platform has witnessed the entry of 340,000 overseas online writers who created 500,000 works. The WSA, launched in 2018 and initially aimed at English-language writers, started receiving works in Indonesian and Thai last year, and the three top winners for 2022 were from Pakistan, India, and Thailand.
Readers from over 200 countries and regions around the world frequent WebNovel, with the largest reader group coming from the US and the fastest-growing from Pakistan. Readers born after 1995 account for 75 percent of the total. The original works on the platform can be divided into 15 categories and over 100 subcategories according to themes such as Western or Eastern fantasy, science fiction, urban life, or video games.
In conclusion, the success of WebNovel’s WSA illustrates how online literature can transcend cultural differences and bring together people from different parts of the world.