Farewell from the Good News Paper . . .
March 9, 2020
To everything there is a season. A time to be born. A time to die. A time to laugh. A time to weep.
This letter bears sad news.
The Good News Paper is ceasing publication, effective immediately. Issue no. 158 (Winter 2019) was our final issue, though at the time we didn’t know it would be.
We suddenly faced a heap of obstacles—finding additional financial resources to cover increasing costs; finding a new printer or redesigning the whole paper; finding a new office manager; and, last but certainly not least, finding a new executive editor.
If it were just one thing, we might keep on. But collectively these obstacles are insurmountable. And did I mention, some of us are getting old and a little bit worn out?
Over these 41 years we were most fortunate that our senior writer and copy editor, Claire Stuart, along with a host of other talented volunteer writers were willing to commit 10 to 20 hours to each quarterly issue. Our production team—Libby Howard (pre-press editor), Melinda Schmitt (senior designer), Ellen Smith (digital image editor), and Steve Altman (executive editor)—devoted just as many hours if not more.
Collectively they created something wholesome and beautiful for our community. And that’s why it was free but not cheap. Each issue was a gem.
After I resigned in June 2017, Steve agreed to serve as editor for three years. He has done a heroic and noble job guiding this communal creation to and beyond its 40th year. We know we can’t fill those shoes again.
Ed Zahniser, my co-conspirator in founding the Good News Paper, and I both agree: The time has come. The publisher, the Shepherdstown Ministerial Association, concurs.
In January 1979 the SMA sensed the potential of showcasing the endearments of this town through a newsprint magazine. We are all grateful for its unwavering support.
Generous and consistent financial donations from readers kept a good thing going over four decades. And that’s why it was free. Thank you.
And thanks to Tom Conant (Studio 105) and John Snyder (HBP) for offering the design services of their respective companies to prepare each issue for the printer over the past 30 years. Thanks as well to Cardinal Creative Agency for creating and hosting our website.
We are all proud of the paper’s history and accomplishments—a legacy of notable and memorable issues full of inspiring essays, poems, stories, and artwork.
We will not let that legacy be lost.
The GNP website has been upgraded to include a searchable archive of nearly all issues (not as quaint as newsprint, but longer lasting). The artwork, much of it in color, appears there as well. Please visit and explore.
The website also includes a comments field. You’re welcome to share your thoughts about the paper. Our volunteer staff will appreciate hearing from you.
The paper’s founding mission statement was announced 41 years ago. We aim to publish the best little good news paper in the known world and give it away free with the hope and a prayer that it will help cultivate a community of love and goodwill among those who fall under its good spell.
Let’s continue to live under that spell—practicing kindness and goodwill toward each other.
Executive Editor Emeritus
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We’d love to hear what The Good News Paper has meant to you, our readers, over the years. Please feel free to leave us a note and let us know your thoughts.