The International Writers Magazine: Farewell
Farewell to Hacks, a tech guru
Hackwriters has been a true inspiration the world-over. It has provided an intellectual platform for writers from west to east, north to south who believe in the written word, at a time when its monopolized by cerebral elites who understand writing from a tunneled, non-dimensional approach.
A Farewell to Hacks
Its niche lay in its open source content, allowing just about anybody to try his hand across a wide span of genre from the cultural, literary and political to the opinionated and travel pieces that came from all over the world.
www.hackwriters.com started off on the Post-Graduate Writing Programme at Falmouth 1999 University College before migrating to the University of Portsmouth in 2002. It developed into an award-wining website, gaining the recognition of many in the industry. Began as a site for students who wanted to nurture their journalistic skills, it very quickly became much more than that and found a readership worldwide. That was due to its ability to capture the imagination of writers and allow them to express their meanderings, thoughts, ideas and literary feelings to a reading public that was no longer constrained by geographical boundaries.
Under the editorship of Sam North, a well-established novelist who taught at Falmouth and Portsmouth University, the website diversified its content, expressing an extraordinary ability pool together writers who wanted to share their experiences of accounts written from the grass-roots upwards. It expanded to book and film reviews, essays that had potential into developing into full scale novels.
My relationship with Hackwriters begun in 2006/2007 when I posted my first article on Reading in Aqaba. It was that started the ball rolling, with articles accepted from me on a monthly basis. I immediately found the website a "technological friend", an online guru, to post articles at a time when it was very difficult to post anywhere else in spite of the proliferation of websites all over the world.
Aside from blogs and personal blogs, I had been finding and still find today that online website have a highly opinionated view of themselves, developing a rigid view about accepting online content.
Although the situation is changing today, Hackwriters was writer-friendly from the start. This month it will cease to continue. By the end of December 2011, it will no longer have a presence in the cyber-world of the Internet.
Reason: As with many websites, it can no longer operate because of lack of funding. As readers and writers we tend to think website operate on their own out of thin air.
But the truth of the matter these websites need a large amount of money to maintain running costs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If there is no readily available income then the site vanishes out of cyber space.
With Hackwriters it is particularly heart-aching because of the hundreds and hundreds of articles that have been written over the 10 or so years (over 7000). Just disappearing forever from the online screen simply because of grimy money, and/or lack of funding!
I know you may say this is the real world where money is needed, but I can't help and feel readers and writers, and including myself, should at times adopt a less selfish attitude and pay a little bit out of their own pocket! What some may heard be seeing.
Hackwriters has been a golden opportunity for many, indeed the online era is a technological opportunity for freedom of speech, intellectual expression, exchange of ideas, thoughts and beliefs. It is there to be grabbed and made use of.
Websites bring people together from all parts of the world for the first time to engage in a constructive dialogue and cut across cultural borders and divides. We really should not take the closure of one, two, three or four websites lightly because these are chances and valuable opportunities. Our aim should not be to help put a nail in their coffins.
As of January, 2012, www.hackwriters.com becomes a vacant space, as it has never existed—an end of a rich, unique and extraordinary era in writing will have demised.
© Marwan Asmar Dec 16th
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*Editor's Note: It is however digitally archived at the British Library in London