It's My Job: Rundquist finds literary passion at New Rivers Press
MOORHEAD - As managing editor of New Rivers Press, Nayt Rundquist has his fingers on every part of the process of publishing a book.
MOORHEAD – As managing editor of New Rivers Press, Nayt Rundquist has his fingers on every part of the process of publishing a book.
"I kind of think of it like the guys in the park who play six games of chess at the same time," Rundquist said. "They just go back and forth. That's kinda how I feel, just constantly running around and doing different things."
He edits manuscripts, coordinates with authors and designers, and stays in contact with printers and distributors. It's his job to make sure everybody else is doing their job.
Because New Rivers Press is a teaching press on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead, he also teaches two publishing courses. Most of the staff are students. Publishing students do the first rounds of edits on the books, and this year a group of graphic design students are designing the covers.
The press publishes about six books a year. Its most recent publication, "Horsefever" by Lee Hope, was released in February. The next round of releases for New Rivers will be in September, October and November.
The press has an open submissions period beginning Friday, April 1. It accepts submissions of book-length collections of poetry and literary novels. Submissions can be made at newriverspress.submittable.com.
What makes New Rivers Press unique compared to other independent presses?
We are a teaching press. So everything has a student hand in it. Students do the editing. Students do the design of the covers and the interiors. Even though students aren't selecting the works, they're working on them and learning. There are very few presses in the country that do that.
Is working with literary works and poetry a passion of yours, or is that a side effect of the job?
It wasn't. I was a hardcore sci-fi/fantasy guy before I came to the press. I thought I would hate it, but I don't. I love it. It's a passion of mine now, but it wasn't when I came to the press. It has opened my eyes to the merits of literary fiction and poetry.
Was running an independent press a goal of yours?
Actually, yes. I took the intro to publishing course in 2013 and I fell in love with the world of publishing and I said, "I'm gonna start my own press one day." My plan was to graduate and start a press, but then this came along and I thought, "Well, I can wait a while and figure out the world a bit more here before I try to do anything on my own." So it's been a goal for a few years.
Do you have any big goals for the press and what you want to do with it?
We've been around forever, but we're kind of unknown in the publishing world. There are certain people who very much know who we are, but we're not as well-known as Coffee House or Milkweed or Graywolf in the cities. Getting us out there a bit more. Becoming a bigger name like I think we can be. They're about the same size as we are.
What: New Rivers Press
Where: 1104 7th Ave. S., Moorhead
Hours: 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
Contact: (218) 477-5870
To submit an idea for "It's My Job," e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org