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Copy of publisher's letter about GWS


Dear GWS Friend,

This is not a letter we want to be writing. After 24 years and 143 issues of Growing Without Schooling, we must announce that this is the last issue we will be publishing.

When John Holt died in 1985, he left most of his estate to Holt Associates. GWS #49, the issue that came out just after his death, explains, "In the past, Holt Associates has lost money every year, and John has made up the deficit with his personal savings. We are now going to have to try to at least break even." In the 16 years since then, Holt Associates has published GWS continuously and carried on John Holt's work in all sorts of ways. But alongside those joys and creative challenges, financial worries have been constant and troubling companions. While thinking up features for the next issue or brainstorming ways to spread our message or planning the next book or conference project, we have continually struggled to pay the bills, to make ends meet. Keeping Holt Associates afloat financially has been a tough job for as long as any of us have been involved with it.

The situation has now reached a point where it is no longer financially viable. Although for years we were able to use John Holt's estate money to make up our losses, that well has run dry and it is clear that we cannot continue to operate at a significant loss every year.

As we know you can imagine, this was a very hard decision to make. On the one hand, we look back at the 16 years since John Holt's death and realize how significant it is that the magazine did keep publishing all that time. On the other hand, we feel deep regret that it cannot continue beyond this point. We have always considered it of the utmost importance to keep GWS going, and we would not be ceasing publication now if we had not explored every viable alternative.

In running an operation like Holt Associates one that is more about spreading ideas than about making money there is always an inherent tension between trying to make information and support available to people who need it and trying to meet the expenses involved in doing that work. Some of the ways we've tried to cut our expenses and increase our income over the years have worked, but ultimately this has not been enough to sustain the entire enterprise.

In one way or another, through writing, speaking, consulting, and other projects, we feel confident that we will carry on John Holt's work. As we have for years, we will continue to be the stewards of John Holt's writing and will work to keep his books in print.

For those who still want to give GWS issues to friends or homeschool resource centers, back issues are available through the FUN Books catalog.

We know that many of you have issues remaining in your subscriptions, and we regret not being able to fulfill this obligation to you. We are grateful to those of you who can consider the balance as a small donation that we can apply to our remaining expenses. For those who feel they cannot make this donation, please request a refund by May 1, 2002 and we will make every effort to issue it.

We will still be receiving postal mail, phone calls, and email at our usual addresses and numbers, so please feel free to be in touch.

Our very best wishes to you,

The Staff of Holt Associates ---

Patrick Farenga, Susannah Sheffer, Meredith Collins, Ginger Fitzsimmons, Mary Maher



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