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Published February 14 2017

Beginnings and Ends

by Peter Biľak

Today WTW turns four. At the same time we would like to announce that the issue 10 will be our last.

‘In my beginning is my end’ — T. S. Eliot

Everything that has a beginning must also have an ending. This is a simple truism, but sometimes planning endings is trickier than planning beginnings. As we approach Works That Work Issue 10, which will come out at the end of the year, we would like to announce that the next two issues will be our last.

The first issue of WTW was launched exactly four year ago, on 14 February, 2013. Since then we have come a long way: we’ve built an international readership that participates enthusiastically in the magazine’s operations by contributing material, helping with distribution and giving financial support by paying for the subscriptions. In four years we are a stable organisation, covering all our own expenses, paying all contributors, and functioning independently of advertiser influence (we welcome and appreciate our advertisers, but have limited ads to 4% of the content), which is no small feat in publishing today.

So why close up shop now? There are several reasons. First, I believe that it is much better to choose to end on a high note, rather than be forced to end when you run out of ideas. Secondly, I also think that this is as good as it can get. We’ve given it our best shot, and I don’t think the magazine will improve much more if it continues. Finally, finding the right end will open up possibilities for new projects for all the people involved. WTW has been one of the most exciting project that I have been involved in, but also one of the most time-consuming. I have a stack of books next to my bed that I haven’t had time to read since starting the magazine. I can’t wait to have the time to read them.

The hardest work was to get the project off the ground in a difficult period for the publishing industry, and perhaps it is a shame to close up after having come so far. I feel I’ve done what I could. Perhaps I could look to sell the magazine (this is not something I’ve seriously considered, as I can’t imagine anyone putting the same amount of energy into the project, with the same commitment to our readership). But rest assured that while the printed magazine will end with No.10 in November, 2017, the project will continue in other forms. Last year we announced our first documentary film, which will come out soon. There is a possibility that new film projects will come out based on the magazine research. There is a possibility that the magazine will reincarnate in a different form, perhaps an exhibition, or a book.

It has been a exhilarating ride, and I am extremely grateful to be part of it. Thank you.

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