Jamaican Daneil Campbell tops global storytelling platform

TWENTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Jamaican fiction writer Daneil Campbell has captured the attention of more than 150,000 readers with her story, Beauty and The Jamaican Don on the popular online reading platform Wattpad .

Going by the username notepadgirl96, Campbell is now ranked as the number one new author on Wattpad, a global website and app for writers to publish new, user-generated stories — thereby connecting readers and writers through the power of story.

It is among the world’s most-loved social storytelling platforms with a global community of more than 90 million readers and 665 million story uploads in total.

Campbell’s submission, set in Kingston, Jamaica, is the thrilling love story of Dylan and Abby, who hail from opposing socio-economic backgrounds.

Dylan is the wealthy and spoiled son of an incarcerated “don” who hails from the community of Grant’s Pen, while Abby is a quiet yet friendly young woman who moved to Kingston from a humble home in rural Jamaica.

The two meet by chance and are instantly drawn to each other — but their differences in values, attitudes and lifestyle pose a massive threat to their relationship.

Based on the wild success of the story, Campbell has shared that she will be making it a trilogy and has already started working on completing the collection.

She noted that the inspiration to write the story came from personal experiences as well as the need to provide readers with a much-needed escape from the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Over time, my experiences from travelling internationally and living in Jamaica gave me a plethora of ideas for writing. Fiction offers readers the opportunity to grow their capacity for empathy, through the characters. They see the world from new perspectives,” said Campbell.

“Life is complicated, more so now in a pandemic. Stories like mine offer an exciting escape and alternative entertainment for resolutions we no longer have,” she added.

Campbell noted that her passion for writing began in the second grade with a national story writing competition which she entered while attending Grateful Hill Primary and Infant School in St Catherine.

“My teacher at the time, Mr Bartlett, told my parents that my literacy and comprehension skills exceeded those of my peers. He suggested I enter a national story writing competition, ‘LitsKids’, where all the applicants were required to write stories about the rain,” said Campbell, who submitted her entry and placed third.

“The winner was two grades above me; my parents were so proud. I received a small trophy, which they still keep. I’ve always been an avid reader but that early experience ignited my love for writing fiction,” exclaimed Campbell.

More than 1,000 original Wattpad stories have been published, produced, or adapted to TV or film. The company also has a direct publishing division, Wattpad Books, which helps place Wattpad stories on bookshelves everywhere.

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