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A brief summary of the role of Managing Editor at Works in Progress

The Managing Editor of Works in Progress has the ultimate responsibility for getting the paper out each month. The managing editor has lots of responsibility but also the major role in determining the content of the paper: they generate ideas for content, identify and recruit people equipped to write on topics they’re connected to; may themselves write articles; monitor the WIP email portal for submissions with an eye for those that are consistent with WIP’s mission. The managing editor does editing or sends articles out for editing by volunteers (currently there are 2). Experience using google docs and knowing your way around a computer is another basic essential.

The managing editor job as it has been carried out over the history of WIP has responsibility for finalizing copy, writing headlines and organizing articles to send to layout (currently one paid individual with design support from two volunteers). Other tasks involve coordination of proofreading, and with the volunteers who post material online.

It’s a unique opportunity for someone with a significant chunk of discretionary time each month and the ability to devote the last full weekend of each month to the production. It also would be ideal if you were familiar with the paper and cognizant of its mission.  Any interested individual has to be available for the position beginning August 1, 2021.

We hope to find someone who has good connections with social justice and other activist groups in and around Olympia and the South Sound, and a keen interest in the role an alternative free newspaper can play in this community.

If you are interested, please send a letter describing the reasons for your interest, your relevant experience, and your availability (when to start, time available each month). The 5-member Publishing Committee will read letters and follow up with a discussion.

Send the letter as an email attachment to or if you prefer, write to Works in Progress, Box 295, Olympia 98507.

Section editor roles. In an effort to spread some of the responsibility that otherwise falls to the Managing Editor, we are also looking for individuals to fill the role of “section editor” –people who would commit to recruiting articles each month for a selected topic area – local political issues, environmental issues/climate crisis, social justice, etc.  If this position appeals to you, send an email to with the words SECTION EDITOR in the subject line.


About Works in Progress

Works in Progress (WIP) is a community newspaper based in Olympia, Washington and published monthly.  The paper was established by the Thurston County Rainbow Coalition which published the first issue in May 1990. It is written and produced by volunteers; 3000 copies are distributed in over 50 locations in Thurston and nearby counties.

Our mission.  The aim of WIP is to confront injustice and encourage a participatory democracy based on justice in the economic, political,  environmental and social realms and across classes, races and genders.

Governance.  Works in Progress is led by a Publishing Committee consisting of Emily Lardner, Enrique Quintero, Bethany Weidner, Kevin Pestinger and Lori Lively.  Bethany Weidner currently serves as managing editor. Key volunteers are listed on the masthead of each issue of WIP.

How WIP is produced.  WIP depends on a volunteer managing editor, supported by the Publishing Committee, to see to the accomplishment of nearly all organizational, administrative and editorial tasks.  Other volunteers handle layout, website, subscriptions, and distribution.

We rely on members of the community to submit enough content to fill the pages of the paper. We are currently seeking people to volunteer to serve as staff members in order that Works in Progress can continue on a more sustainable basis.

Volunteers.  WIP needs all sorts of people to thrive. To start with, we want people to submit news articles, analyses, reflections, reports of experience, data, drawings, photographs, as well as ideas for any of those things. We also need “regulars” – anyone who will sign up to be part of the WIP cadre as outlined above  — for example, stringers to send in periodic items of interest; distributors to take WIP to various locations each month; activists to handle regular outreach to groups; editors to revise submissions, detail-oriented grammar geeks to do proofreading; and runners to help with the dozens of tasks that go with putting out a newspaper.  If you are interested in any of these areas — or in becoming more involved with the organizational underpinnings of WIP, please contact us at  and tell us about yourself.

How WIP is supported.  First and foremost, WIP depends for survival on the contributions and participation of writers, activists, students, organizers, and other members of the community, broadly defined.  However, essential expenses — primarily printing — must be covered by donations, subscriptions and a few generous advertisers. We also receive support from the Workers’ Defense Fund whose purpose is to strengthen organizations that engage in struggle against the powerful for the empowerment of the powerless.  

Subscription rates.  Annual subscription is $35/year.  Purchase one for yourself or an incarcerated person mailed first class each month.  

Contact WIP.  Online at or via snail mail to:  Works in Progress,  P.O. Box 295, Olympia, WA 98507.

Back issues.  In addition to those searchable on this site, some back issues are available in the Timberland Library System.  Other past issues are archived at the University of Washington Library. You may also find the internet wayback machine to be useful.


  1. Regon Unsoeld July 25, 2017

    Thank you for the valuable service you provide our community! I did notice in the July issue that both the URL and the title of the online article about the Racial Justice Summit incorrectly identify the sponsor as the YMCA when it should be the YWCA. The print headline is correct. The two organizations are often confused, although they are strikingly different in their respective commitments to social and racial justice.

  2. Adriana Carlton November 10, 2017

    Hello, I am reaching out on behalf of another individual. I am searching for someone who can provide details about a thing that used to take place in downtown Olympia called Olympia Bucks or Sound House. Mayby 10 to 15 years ago. Like a bartering system or giftcard system. Thank you in advance.

  3. Kanani Higbee June 10, 2018

    I wish you had a link to Facebook for these articles. I wanted to share the article about incarceration among Hawaiians. It was well written and people need to be aware. I wanted to share it to Maui a Thieves Neighborhood Watch Page. But I will still find a way. Thanks

  4. Rowan Chandler July 10, 2018

    I’m interested in volunteering as a receptionist or general clerical. I’m a disabled faerie and use a mobility service dog. I take the bus and would love to help out. Thanks, Rowan and Riley.

  5. Dave L July 12, 2018

    Ive been a resident of Drexel House’s Veteran Building (Building “C”. Ive lived here for a year now, and most of the contacts I’ve had with people from “The Jungle”, have been resoundingly negative. I say that because some residents of this particular”Jungle”, are not on the best of terms with society (best phrase i could come up with). Ive witnessed drug deals happening outside my window. Ive watched, and called 911, because the residents made drug deals on the first floor of our complex. It is frustrating to call on what are essentially repeat offenders. They’re either yelling at passing cars, yell and scream at nothing at all. The effects and allure of drugs, and as a recovering addict/alcoholic, i get it. As the homeless problem continues, that means more and more people in residence at the jungle. Catholic Community’s Mission Statement and Core Values state how they are committed to our integrity, safety and self reliance, but it falls short of the simplest of Values, and that’s the one about our safety. CCSW Staff are understaffed here. That means we no longer have anyone at our front desk any more. Staffing reasons they say. CCSW Staff talk about losing funding for staffing. How can CCSW possibly live up to the standard, when they dont have the people. But, thats another story.

    There are not many people who frighten me. There is a resident here that spends most of her time in the jungle, then brings the dealers to her window to exchange product for money. I’ve watched it happen many times.

    Enough of that. After reading your article, I feel differently. Yes – there are still drug deals going on. Yes – there are still people who yell and scream. If your article taught me anything, it was to have compassion. I understand addictions. They’re an equal opportunity destroyer. So I read your article. What I learned was that there ARE people who want out. They may be in the minority, but they’re there. Those are the ones I feel compassion for. And empathy. I tell everyone that you’ll find sympathy between shit and syphilis in any dictionary. Empathy says “I am here and I HEAR you”. Those are the most important words in any conversation dealing with empathy. Sympathy says “Oh you poor person. That must have been horrible”. Empathy doesnt. I learned that in recovery. I know there must be those in the junfle who deserve a second, third, forth, etc chance are the ones I’d like to reach or see reached. I have no experience in housing the homeless, but if it means that 1 person is reached, it accomplishes much.

    My background is Law Enforcement for almost 40 years. I was also in rehab twice. Obviously i didnt learn the first time through. So you see, my experiences with homeless camps is when our people are needed to respond. Understandable, but it doesn’t mean i have to look at it thru those eyes any more.

    In closing, I’d like to say that after your article, i feel differently. Every effort needs to be made to save these people. I would suggest helping make better decisions. Advise. Want to get your handa dirty? Go there more often. Not the obligatory visit when the complaints come rolling in. Listen with empathy. Help them escape the wilderness they’re in – with their help. Identify the ones wanting to leave, and help those. I realized early that i cant save every puppy in the pound, and neither can you.

    I would suggest a targeted approach on those wanting to leave. Not everyone there wants to be saved. Its true. Some don’t want to be. I make myself available if you can use someone with my past. I can send a cell phone seperate from this article. I don’t want it posted here

  6. Bethany July 16, 2018

    Dear Dave, WIP would like to publish you letter in our letters column (without the last 3 sentences about your availability. I think the points you make are compelling and represent an unusually positive way to react by someone who is clearly aware of the negatives. I think it would speak to other people, Is that okay with you? Secondly, if you would send your phone contact information to me at, I can provide it confidentially to the organizer at Just Housing so she can contact you about a possible volunteer role.

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