22 Jun 2013

BirdLife International partners with Wattpad in innovative digital storytelling project

By Martin Fowlie

BirdLife International and online social reading and writing community Wattpad are celebrating the special place birds have always had, and will continue to have in storytelling and literature. Wattpad, an online community of over 16 million digital readers and writers, has compiled a collection of featured stories about endangered and threatened birds. The project is working to demonstrate that storytelling can inspire change and bring awareness. Through a collection of 15 commissioned and 60 additional curated stories and poems, this global project is bringing attention to birds in need by creatively casting them across a diverse array of genres including science fiction, romance, paranormal and poetry.

Wattpad writers of all ages have applied a local lens to the conservation issues that impact their lives. “This is a very unique way for BirdLife to reach a new generation. Our community is made up of people from over 200 countries and many of them are reading on their mobile devices”, said Wattpad CEO Allen Lau. “Just as Wattpad’s readers and writers know no borders, neither do birds.

The stories in our collection reflect writers’ local habitat, are written in their native tongue, and feature birds that inspire their culture.” “How fitting to reconnect birds and messages and words, via the global "cloud," in the here and now!” said Margaret Atwood, Honorary President of BirdLife's Rare Bird Club. “By sharing stories about birds and flying, we're delving down into our own ancient symbolisms about birds – one of which means hope.”