Volume VII, No. 4, Summer 1980

The Bittersweet Experience Continues

For the last few months there have been many stories circulating concerning the continued publication of Bittersweet. Now that next year, at least, is assured, I thought the readers might want to know some of the problems.

Bittersweet has always been self-supporting. With the exception of the yearly financial aid from the Missouri Arts Council in the form of subscriptions of the magazine to some Missouri libraries, we have raised the money needed for equipment, mileage, telephone, supplies, printing, postage, advertising, repairs, and student and other labor from subscriptions and sales of magazines. As we had the income we bought new equipment or added more color to the magazine. We even a couple times paid the wages of two different assistants who came in two-three hours a day to help go on interviews with the staff, work on promotion or other story work.

It has been obvious for a long time that there needed to be two advisors, not only to share the tremendous work load, but also to assure that one adult can carry on the program if the other leaves. The kind of qualified English teacher we would want would be way beyond Bittersweet's ability to pay. In fact, last year we had to dismiss our part-time assistant after one semester because we ran out of money.

Therefore, this year, knowing that we had no teacher who would assume the job, I recommended the program stop since I felt I could not continue longer under the existing work load. The staff also voted to stop rather than cut quality or number of issues. But the BITTERSWEET, INC. board of directors voted to try to find a way to continue without reducing the quality in any way, and as a first step asked the Lebanon School Board for help. The help needed was a full-time assistant and more working space for the students. As it is now, I teach my other classes in the same room as Bittersweet.

In the April meeting the School Board voted to pay one-half the expenses of a full-time assistant, with the understanding that BITTERSWEET, INC. will provide the rest. We have a committee headed by Bittersweet Board Member, Dalton Wright, to find ways of raising the money. Also, our principal, Robert Duncan, is trying to arrange space in our crowded school building for me to teach my other classes, thus allowing a bit more room for Bittersweet. We thought of a temporary building but that expense is also beyond us.

We here at Bittersweet are working hard to sell more magazines and books to raise what we can, but we need help. Perhaps you know of others who would like our publications. Since BITTERSWEET, INC. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt business, any donations are tax-deductible and gratefully accepted.

We appreciated the interest shown during the past few months of indecision by many of our Missouri readers, who upon hearing of the publicity that Bittersweet might stop, wrote in asking what they could do. If you want to help, spread the word about Bittersweet. We can use more subscribers. The Lebanon School Board is helping us and we hope you continue to help us, for we can't do it alone anymore.



Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

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