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wordshack in the news

Words Are Everything

Published in the newspaper FOCUS on Boomers & Beyond©

By: Staff Reporter

October, 2004

Here is a riddle for you. What do London, England and Stark County, Ohio have in common? If you answered great food, you are wrong. Only Stark County can make that claim. The answer? Both regions are headquarters for WordShack Publishing.

WordShack Publishing began life as a website, posting the work of amateur authors from around the world. Going on-line in 2002, it has quickly become a resource for both authors and readers in more than 120 countries.

Created by Massillon resident, Lynda Blankenship and her British partner, Ben Bernstein, the corporate motto says it all - The author's first step to greatness. "After all, hundreds of thousands of people write as a hobby, but you can't honestly call yourself an author unless someone who doesn't live with you has read your work," Blankenship says.

Ms. Blankenship is constantly amazed at the the horror stories she hears about the publishing business. "We determined never to turn an author away. If someone gives us something to print, we post it on the website. Most of the work found on WordShack is excellent, even the stories written by young authors. We don't decide what the reader gets to read. That is a decision the reader should make. We offer poetry and short stories, fiction, even essays. Now when is the last time you got to read a good essay?"

Mr. Bernstein was quite emphatic that WordShack not have a rejection letter. "We are here to support the author, not discourage them. We have a second motto on our website, '…because words are everything.' We truly believe that a few words can change a life. We never know which words that might be, but it is our goal to see the reader and the author get together. Judging from the reviews our authors receive, readers have found such words. We have created quite a family of authors who we communicate with on a regular basis. Lyn and I both feel very close to each of them and their successes. It is our dream to make their dreams come true."

With those thoughts in mind, the duo took their publishing business one step further this past winter when the first of five books was published.

Blankenship came up with the idea while visiting England last fall. "Ben and I were having dinner and he asked me what we should do next. It just came out of my mouth, we should publish real books."

After returning to Massillon, she looked at the statistics and realized that several authors on the website had built up quite a following. She and Bernstein flew to Scotland to discuss the possibility with Scottish author, Sergio Burns. Bernstein, Blankenship and Burns sounds like a law firm, but as the trio met in a pub, the author voiced his wholehearted encouragement and promised to come up with a collection of short stories for the enterprise.

Soon, they had five books in production. Burns contributed 16 short stories for a book titled Dark Ghosts Rising.Canadian author, Shane Kennedy contributed a book titled Highbinders about a family of Irish/Canadian gunrunners whose corporate motto is, "Your Conflict Is Our Business." Akron resident William Foster, who met Ms. Blankenship at a seminar she conducted at the Stark County Main Library, signed a contract for his Buxton Chase a murder mystery set primarily in the English countryside. Pennsylvania resident, Parke Schaffer was the first to be published with his book, After Shock, a fast paced mystery novel which critics have raved about. The final book came from the widow of the Canton author, Bob Stubenrauch. Before his death in 1998 he had written an auatobiographical novel about his experiences as a combat photographer during WWII. The book titled Cat Thirteen is being called a masterpiece. Bernstein and Blankenship say, "The stories in this book are so compelling, it gives one a whole new perspective of that war. These characters are so real, probably because they did all really exist. The author was unable to contact the individuals and so names had to be changed aand the book written as a novel. This book leaves you proud to be an American, but even prouder to be a human being."

"As we begin the marketing portion of this adventure, we are amazed at the interest our books are engendering. We have had authors doing media interviews on places like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and we have seen announcements of the books on such places as the Yahoo Financial Page. We have been contacted for interviews from as far away as San Diego, Spain and Morocco. It really is all quite amazing to a small girl like myself," Blankenship says.

"I have always said I wasn't sure what to do when I grew up." Blankenship thinks she has found her answer.

You can find information on the books as well as read posted material for free at: or call WordShack Publishing at 330-832-0717.