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wordshack in the news

It's a Chance to Publish Masterpiece

Published in the newspaper The Independent©

By: Lori Williams

June 24, 2002

Words are everything.

That's the corporate motto at WordShack Publishing, a new Web site that offers a forum for amateur authors.

"A lot of people have ideas that are not commercial but are worth sharing," said company CEO Lynda Blankenship of Massillon. "Here, they're not censored by, 'Can we sell it?'" We're democratizing publishing. We want people to have every chance to get their story told."

The site,, offers a mix of prose and poetry. Categories include adventure, children, essay, fiction, history, humor, mystery, poetry, romance, science fiction, short stories, travel, war of peace, and young authors.

"It offers people the first chance to read tomorrow's great writers," Blankenship said.

More than 30 pieces are available on the Web site with new stories posted regularly. Authors and visitors tap into the resource from around the world, including places as far flung as China, Japan, Scotland and Canton, Ohio. Word of mouth - or e-mail - continues to make the site increasingly popular since Blankenship and her English business partner launched the site in February.

"We offer readers an opportunity to read things that have not been put through a commercial filter," Blankenship said. That opportunity piques interest around the world.

"We can see the rest of the world is seeing and feeling the very same things we are," Blankenship pointed out. "Americans are so insular, but through writing we can see a total commonality in human experience. We see viewpoints can be the same in Morocco and Sweden and Massillon. It allows us to think outside our individual box."

WordShack offers a satisfying gallery of words, she added, pointing out that "when 99 percent of everything submitted for publication is rejected, that leaves a huge amount of created work dying somewhere. A really good singer always has an outlet for his talent. Writers sit at the kitchen table and then put their work in the drawer and it never sees the light of day again."

Not anymore.

At WordShack, each story gets a spot for at least three months.

"Just a few words can change a person's life," Blankenship said.

There are "at least 50 reasons" why writers submit their work to the site, she said, but they all have one thing in common.

"We write because we have something to say."

Until July 1, WordShack is waiving the site's nominal posting fee for stories under 5,000 words. Members always receive the benefit of submitting one story for free.

"We always want there to be a way to make it free," she said. "We kind of think of it as a writers' commune."

The site, she added, is not only a jewel for readers looking for something fresh, it encourages people to write.

"One of the best outlets to have is secretly writing," she said. "Writing is just telling a story. If you can talk it, you can write it."