As of July, 2015, Nayt Rundquist has been the new Managing Editor of New Rivers Press. He succeeds Suzzanne Kelley, (with whom I had the pleasure of working last year,) who before him had been Managing Editor since 2009.
Nayt is a recent graduate of MSUM’s Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program (now no longer offered.) He specialized in fiction, and with both pride and humor told me that his thesis, which was a fantasy novel that he wrote, is one of the largest theses contained in the Weld Hall Library.
He is also a recipient of MSUM’s Certificate in Publishing and it is through this program that he first became involved with New Rivers Press. As a student, Nayt was put on the Book Team for Rachel Coyne’s novel, The Patron Saint of Lost Comfort Lake, which was released by New Rivers Press last spring. Later on, he was made the “Production Intern” for Madelon Sprengnether’s Great River Road. And just last spring he took on the role of “Assistant Production Editor” for all NRP books to be released this fall. “Suzzanne liked to give me fancy titles for everything I did,” he joked.
And now he finds himself with the title of Managing Editor, a position that has so far enjoyed immensely but which has also presented him with many challenges. “Summer was hectic,” he confessed, “but now I feel like I’m catching up.” Nayt said that for the most part, his biggest concern now is acclimating to his new responsibilities and making sure not to forget anything. There are a lot of things going on at NRP right now. Nayt is most excited for our October Book Launch events, as well as working with our new authors.
Nayt has also taken over the publishing courses previously taught by Suzzanne. “My first degree was in education, and I love it.” Nayt has had 6 years’ worth of teaching experience in middle school, high school, and college classrooms.
When I asked him if he could tell me any interesting or fun facts about himself he leaned back, pondered deeply for a moment, then said, “I once toured China for two weeks as a musician.” At my incredulity he explained that he wasn’t some crazy rock and roll vagabond (but he purposefully tells the story vaguely because it’s more fun that way) but that the trip was with his college choir.
Nayt has also had experience working with MSUM’s literary magazine Red Weather for the past three years both as an Editor and Managing Editor.
As far as his hobbies… “My entire life is books!” he proclaimed. “Reading, writing, teaching, editing.” At that moment, he noticed a certain book on the table with a hand sewn spine from NRP’s recent book binding workshop. “I even make them!” However, we both agreed that books are really all anyone needs in their life.
Nayt has so far brought much dedication and enthusiasm to New Rivers Press and the future looks bright. I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing him good luck in his new position as Managing Editor.