Bonus Material: Martha Stewart as a Prison Publishing Guru

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

In the United States, Martha Stewart was once the regarded as a lifestyle diva, a doyenne of good taste. But her reputation was besmirched when in 2004 she served a five-month prison term while her appeal was still pending on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements to federal investigators. In October 2004, she reported to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia, where Wahida Clark, author of Thug Lovin’ (who contributes our main story today) was also serving her sentence.

During that time Stewart offered a business seminar to the inmates and, as Wahida Clark recalls in this interview, she met with Stewart to discuss her business plan for establishing a publishing company.

“She spent just about all her time in the library,” says Clark of Stewart. “I went to the library one evening, gave her the business plan, and a couple of days later, we sat down and she gave me some “secret tips,” told me the plans looked good and to go forth.”

What those secret tips were, Clark is keeping to herself. But they obviously worked: Clark has launched her own publishing house to publish other “street” authors. The first titles from W. Clark Publishing appeared this year and include Trust No Man by Cash, Karma by Tash Hawthorne and Cheetah by Missy Jackson.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.