The 2023 Vocal Reverb and Yearly Leaderboard

A Year in Review: Commemorating 2023's growth, challenges, stories, and voices

By Justin @ VocalPublished 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read

This week's Leaderboard looks a little different. We're fashionably late to the 2024 party, and we know it — blame it on a bit too much coffee or perhaps a few too many attempts at perfecting that Villanelle Challenge.

We're ready to rewind the tape on what made Vocal reverb in 2023. Why "Reverb," you ask? At Vocal, we aim to amplify voices and storytelling, elevating the art of individual creative expression. "Reverb" perfectly captures this essence – suggesting both an echo and reflection. It's not just a recap; it's a reverberation of our shared narrative. We've reflected on our evolution, curated some juicy stats, and compiled our first Yearly Leaderboard (and don't worry — we'll resume the regular weekly leaderboard for both this past week and the upcoming week in our next Leaderboard!).

So let’s take a moment to toast to Vocal's growth, most unique stories, Challenges, conversations, and the incredible community that made 2023 Vocal's best year yet. Grab your favorite beverage, settle into your comfiest writing nook, and let the highlights of '23 inspire your most magical 2024.

A Year of Growth

In the spirit of constant evolution, we updated the platform to amplify your Vocal experience:

New Features: Comments sparked engaging discussions. Notifications and the activity feed kept us up-to-date. Top Story badges highlighted outstanding work, beyond the time on the homepage. The Latest Stories feed kept us on the pulse. The launch of the Vocal store filled with merch let us show off our Vocal pride and made achieving Top Story wearable. And the highly anticipated Vocal+ Fiction Awards Anthology finally reached the hands of our creators.

New Resources for Engagement: Creator Chat and Raise Your Voice fostered connections that brought creators together, as well as the Vocal team. The Weekly Leaderboard showcased legacy and rising talent. The Book Club sparked thought-provoking discussion. Discord became our virtual hangout.

New Challenges: From the prestigious Vocal Writing Awards to the exploration of new writing forms like senryu, limericks, and villanelles, the 2023 Challenges were.. challenging!

New Communities: Based on the suggestions of our creators, we launched 8 new communities. Chapters, Writers, Critique, BookClub, History, Humor, Art, and Men added new depths to our community library. Our creators love to write about writing, but History was the most popular new community, with nearly 6,000 stories published.

First Reg CF: 2023 was also the launch of Vocal's Reg CF. We want to express our gratitude for the overwhelming support we've received during Vocal’s Reg CF Community Round and extend a heartfelt thank you to all who now proudly hold a stake in Vocal. If owning a piece of Vocal piques your interest, there is still time to participate. To delve into the details and learn more, please visit here or attend the Vocal Community Investment Round Webinar on January 16th at 2:00PM ET. Thank you for being part of Vocal's journey — your support fuels our shared success.

2023 by the Numbers

Let's let the numbers do the talking. Here are some of the stats that marked this year.

Most Popular Challenge (highest number of submissions): Passing Ships with 3,818 submissions

Most Addictive Challenge (highest average number of submissions per creator): Time Capsule Haiku with 3.1 submissions per creator who entered

Most Discussed Challenge Submissions:

  1. "From a Secret Admirer" by Dana Crandell in the Epistolary Challenge
  2. "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" by Caroline Jane in the If Walls Could Talk Challenge
  3. "Hey Universe" by HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward) in the Passing Ships Challenge

Top 3 Communities:

  1. Poets
  2. Fiction
  3. Education

Content Insights

From personal battles in poetry to cultural explorations in fiction and practical guides in education, our community delved into diverse themes.

Top Forms of Poetry:

  • Haiku
  • Sonnets
  • Limericks
  • Free Verse

Most Popular Themes in Poetry:

  • Personal Struggles and Battles
  • Narratives and Vignettes
  • Lists as Poetic Devices
  • Metaphorical Imagery
  • Love

Most Popular Themes in Fiction:

  • Series
  • Cultural Stories
  • Short Forms: Microfiction and Short Stories
  • Creative Crossovers (Blending of Genres)
  • Topical and Timely
  • Fantasy and Escape
  • Intrigue and Crime
  • Emotional and Relationship Dynamics

Most Popular Themes in Education:

  • Cryptocurrency Trading
  • Practical Guides and Reviews
  • Nature and Travel

Yearly Leaderboard - 2023

Raise a glass to those who left the biggest footprint on 2023 on Vocal. In this version of our Leaderboard, we allowed creators to place only once across all of the categories. Since this is an annual roundup, creators are permitted to have placed in the previous weekly leaderboard in the same category.

Creator of the Year

We'd like to give a special shout out to Dharrsheena Raja Segarran, our inaugural Creator of the Year, for placing first organically in nearly all of the eligible categories. Active creators like Dharrsheena make our platform so incredible.

🏆 Winner

🥇 First Place ($50 Bonus + Free Year of Vocal+): Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

Most Discussed Stories

Here are the top stories that have sparked the most comments with their engaged readers this year.

🏆 Winners

🥇 First Place ($20 Bonus): "Cacoethes" by Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

🥈 Second Place ($10 Bonus): "Marshmallows, how deeply I despise thee" by Donna Renee

🥉 Third Place ($5 Bonus): "Thru the Eyes of Ruby" by Naomi Gold

Popular Stories with the Most Likes

These are the stories that captured hearts (literally) and commanded admiration this year.

🏆 Winners

🥇 First Place ($20 Bonus): "Biscuit" by Dana Crandell

🥈 Second Place ($10 Bonus): "love unconditional" by Heather Hubler

🥉 Third Place ($5 Bonus): "The Next Big Thing" by L.C. Schäfer

Most Subscribed to Creators

These creators built a following and gained the most new subscribers this year.

🏆 Winners

🥇 First Place ($20 Bonus): HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)

🥈 Second Place ($10 Bonus): Cathy holmes

🥉 Third Place ($5 Bonus): Starlight Tucker

Most Supportive Commenters

The pillars of our community dialogue, these creators left the most comments this year.

🥇 First Place ($20 Bonus): Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock

🥈 Second Place ($10 Bonus): Babs Iverson

🥉 Third Place ($5 Bonus): Paul Stewart

Emerging Creators

These creators joined Vocal in 2023 and made their presence felt with the stories that had the most combined likes and comments.

🥇 First Place ($20 Bonus): Kristen Balyeat for "Smoke Signal Rising"

🥈 Second Place ($10 Bonus): Emma Kate Coleman for "Why the Vocal Community Scares Me"

🥉 Third Place ($5 Bonus): Roy Stevens for "What Kind of Monsters"

Each winner will receive a well-deserved bonus in their Vocal Wallets within the next 72 hours.

Your Personal Vocal Reverb

Keep an eye on your inbox – we're sending over a special email with a customized Instagram graphic that highlights your standout achievements from 2023 on Vocal within the next 48 hours. Whether you share it on social or frame it, it's a little something to celebrate your creative brilliance. We couldn't do it without you!

Get more reads and grow your audience by sharing your Vocal Reverb on Instagram. Here's how to share:

  1. Save the Vocal Reverb instagram graphic on your mobile phone by pressing it and hitting save.
  2. Upload the saved image to your Instagram Story.
  3. Copy the link to your Vocal profile and add it to your Instagram Story by clicking the smiling face sticky note symbol. This will make the link clickable.
  4. Make sure you tag @vocal_creators in your story to be reposted and expand your reach to the larger Vocal community.

As we begin this new year, gratitude fills our hearts for every creator, reader, and supporter who shaped Vocal in 2023. We're beyond thrilled about what lies ahead in 2024. Cheers to the stories and poems yet to be written, and to continued growth, connection, and new heights on Vocal. 🥂 Let us know in the comments what you want to see on Vocal this year.


About the Creator

Justin @ Vocal

Founder/CEO of Vocal. COO/President of Creatd ($CRTD), the parent company of the Vocal platform.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (55)

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  • Jeremygames4 months ago

    congrats everyone!

  • Raymond G. Taylor4 months ago

    Congratulations to all the outstanding creators of 2023 ❤️

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    Late to party. Well done everyone and thank you, Vocal!

  • Mariann Carroll4 months ago

    Justin @Vocal, this reverb is a hit 🥰🎉🎉🎉🎉Thank you. Everyone is proud to share their Vocal Reverb on Facebook and Instagram. This also the most read Top Story of the month 🥰💕❤️. Will we be getting Challenges every two weeks or every month?

  • Starlight Tucker4 months ago

    This was such a pleasant surprise to see this first lovely week of 2024!!! Thank you for the love Vocal!! It motivated me to get back on my story :)

  • Jonah ldemudia4 months ago

    Congrats to our winners and happy 2024.

  • Novel Allen4 months ago

    Great work guys..Dharrsheena, so deserving. Best of the new year to everyone.

  • Tiffany Gordon 5 months ago

    YAY! Way 2 Go Shee Shee! Happy 2024 Everyone & congrats to all on the list!

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    This is so awesome! Congrats to everyone on this list! Loved seeing each of your names up there. Dharrsheena is so deserving of this recognition—she's absolutely the best! I'm so grateful for the placement on the emerging creators board! Thank you!!!!!! This year of sharing and reading on Vocal has been incredible! I am forever changed because of it.

  • This was such a cool post! Congrats to all and big congratulations to Dharrsheena who absolutely deserves Creator of the Year. Her work is always so splendid and she's such a supportive writer. Here's to 2024!

  • The Dani Writer5 months ago

    Oh wows! This was awesome! Congratulations to all those who were formally recognized! I smiled to see so many familiar faces. Overjoyed to see Dharrsheena nominated for the first Vocal Creator of the Year. She is the REAL DEAL and she earned that! Vocal Reverb. Wondrous concept and brill execution! To MORE writing! YAYS!

  • ROCK 5 months ago

    What exciting accomplishments and a big shout out " Hooray, hurrah!" to all the winners in a variety of categories. I am loving the positive outlook for 2024! Cheers to all who contributed and continue to develop the Vocal+ with reader sign ups, also!

  • Adam 5 months ago

    Congratulations to all !!!❤️❤️

  • R.C. Taylor5 months ago

    Beautiful to see! Special shout out to Dharrsheena! Well earned <3

  • Addison M5 months ago

    Creator of the year to Dharrsheena, that is awesome! She is so active and uplifting I'm very happy to see her as creator of the year. Couldn't have chosen better.

  • Morgana Miller5 months ago

    Aw very cool, congrats everyone!

  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    Thank you, Justin @Vocal. Vocal is truly a great writing platform. I like the changes. Look forward to seeing vocal evolve in the coming years. ❤️🥳🏆Congratulations to all the winners !!!

  • Leslie Writes5 months ago

    Congrats on a successful 2023, Vocal! Love what you did with this recap! 🤩 Excellent pic for creator of the year. Dharrsheena is the best! 💖

  • Shirley Belk5 months ago

    Great update and Congratulations to our dear Dharrsheena!!!

  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    Congratulations Dharrsheena Raja Segarran ❤️❤️❤️❤️🥳🥳🥳

  • Natasha Collazo5 months ago

    Ive been apart of vocal for about three years and all these changes have encouraged me to get more involved. So around September I decided to dive in and take advantage of this awesome platform! Vocal is such a unique place, and the evolution of the features have really only gotten better. This is easily my fav of the writing communities out there. Thanks Justin ❤️

  • Lori Melton5 months ago

    I’m just happy Vocal exists! I haven’t written in way too long! But my primary goal for 2024 is to dive in fiercely and write! I’ve made many friends here and been inspired by so many talented writers! THANK YOU VOCAL TEAM for keeping and growing such an amazing platform! I’ll be coming in hot really soon! Lol

  • Test5 months ago

    I want to see me as a winner or runner-up for the crime fiction challenge. ✨ Hey, you asked. 😃 Congratulations to every 🏆, and creator.

  • This was simply amazing and super fun to read!

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