Happy New Year, everyone.

As I reflect on my first year as executive editor with Key Peninsula News, I am flooded with feelings of gratitude and images of wonderment and true community.

That may sound a little cheesy, but please indulge me as I explain.

In my first column last year, I mentioned that I have a long-running journalistic and photojournalistic background and a heart for helping people.

That’s still true. I said that “I’m going to stay low-key and get to know the systems and intricacies of being an editor in your community.” Make that “executive” editor. I am still coming to grips with what that one tiny word really means.

I’m responsible for a mostly all-volunteer staff (our designer, paginator, accountant and ad representatives get paid).

What you hold in your hands is truly a collaboration of dedicated people bent on getting things correct and sharing the news, views and advertisements geared to promote and inform all the citizens who call the Key Peninsula their home.

As the paper’s manager, I have the responsibility of keeping our publication afloat during interesting times.

Although we humbly serve as a nonprofit arm under the Key Peninsula Civic Center, it has been my goal for the publication to be self-supportive in its efforts to serve you.

With the help of our ad representatives, Wendy Kleven and Brett Higgins, and trust from the paper’s publishing board, this has been a great year in my quest.

Walking the fine line between editorial and advertising has been a valued learning experience. I do keep them separate, and always will. Deadlines and financial challenges will always be around the next bend, but I must tip my hat to you all.

Words cannot express how thankful I am for your continued support of this paper.

During 2013, our customers and neighbors have stepped up and donated funds in an effort to continue our mission of keeping your town paper coming to mailboxes throughout the Key. Thank you!

Our team of writers and photographers is growing.

Being volunteers in a medium that some say is shrinking is very unique. All the writers have their talents and favorite types of stories they like to cover. So please continue to send me your story ideas and I will do my best to get them into print and online.

The bonus of being a monthly publication means that we have the time to go deeper with your stories. Our online presence is also helping to expand our coverage.

Since I have been here, our Facebook presence (Facebook.com/KeyPenNews) has nearly doubled. We are using our page in unison with our keypennews.com website to give you breaking news, more photos and some stories that don’t make it into print.

Want to write?

We are still recruiting for the next round of guest columnists, whose one-year term will start after we receive enough submissions.

We are looking for fresh, creative voices and topics relevant to our local readership.

Columnists will be selected by a panel and contribute a column every two to three months; the schedule will depend on the number of finalists.

To be considered, please submit a short biography, a proposal of your column including theme and potential topics and two publication-ready columns (each 750 words or less). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Email your materials to irenet2211@gmail.com.

As this year unfolds, I am hopeful to meet more of you and to share your many stories.

Please feel free to contact me directly with your ideas and concerns. I may be the executive editor, but this is your community and your paper.

To reach Scott, email him at editor@keypennews.com. To help us, please send donations to Key Peninsula News, P.O. Box 3, Vaughn, WA 98394.

Jan. 8 meeting to cover community outreach issues
PSD officials seek feedback