Grim Oak Shield

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When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, I was devastated.

It had very little to do with fear of dying. I had been through cancer before and I knew what to expect. But unlike before, I lacked health insurance, having been denied coverage due to my pre-existing condition. I knew I was going to accrue a massive medical debt. That knowledge was more stressful than the surgeries and treatment I would go through.

Thankfully, due to authors I call friends as well as all of you, I was able to put together Unfettered, an anthology that helped alleviate that medical debt. It did its job. I promised publicly then that I would pay it forward one day.

That time has come with Grim Oak Shield.

Grim Oak Shield is a non-profit designed specifically to raise money to help authors and artists who find themselves in a similar situation with medical debt. Beginning in 2016, I will publish a new Unfettered anthology every year, with all proceeds from hardcover, ebook, and audiobook going to help others. Other book projects will see a percentage of sales go to the charity of the author’s choosing. Just like Stephen King’s Haven Foundation, Grim Oak Shield will be a safety net for those who need it.

More details are forthcoming about Grim Oak Shield, including the guidelines, submission process, and how monies will be divided every year by the compassionate and committed group sitting on Grim Oak Shield’s board.

Until then, know that you all are a part of this. And I hope to produce more beautiful books in the future to help others in need.

Best Wishes,

Shawn Speakman

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