New Web site for writers

August 14, 2008 8:55:37 AM PDT
Want to let loose your inner writer and get published? A new Web site is offering beginners and pros alike the chance.

You can pick a subject you want to write about or choose one from the site -- the sky is the limit.

You can also make a quite few pennies for your thoughts. Valerie Zane has just finished writing her first book, "Fake It Till You Make It" and is shopping it around.

Until it comes out in hard-cover, Valerie goes online to get her work published.

"As I was writing my novel I wanted to find new and interesting things to challenge myself and at the same time I felt like I needed people to critique my writing," she said.

She writes articles for It's a Web site that gives users the opportunity to polish their skills or tap their inner writer. Valerie's work ranges from airline safety to pet care.

"You can see different ideas to write about. You can also pick your own topics," Helium founder Mark Ranalli explained. "Our members are your next door neighbors. They're your at home parents. They're your retirees with a life-time of knowledge."

The website publishes articles on gardening, celebrities, politics -- you name it.

To keep a high standard, articles are peer reviewed and ranked based on the quality of writing.

"The individuals with the best insight and the best ability are recognized and rewarded for their work," Ranalli explained.

Right now, the rewards are small, but as the Web site grows, so too will the money paid out.

In addition, Helium partners with publishers looking for freelancers to write on subject like how to buy a pair of jeans. Valerie wrote an article for a trade publication on how to buy shutters.

She got $45 for her efforts and says the work she's doing online is making her a better writer.

The Web site isn't just for writers. It's a site you can click onto if you're just looking for information on something.

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