The mission of New Rivers Press at Minnesota State University Moorhead is to publish and promote enduring contemporary literature and to create academic learning opportunities. New Rivers Press acquires, publishes, and markets high quality, imaginative work from emerging and established writers. We are interested in literary work of every character, but especially in diverse work that's aesthetically challenging and has a social conscience. Our MVP Competition each year (submission period Sept. 15 - Nov. 1) searches for the best new prose and poetry from new and emerging writers (no more than two books published) who are writing in English. During our open submission period each year (April-June), we are interested in reading the best work from writers in all stages of their careers; email queries with a proposal, an artistic bio, a brief selection from the ms. (in the body of the email) and any other pertinent information. We are also interested in finding suitable mss. or anthologies for our Many Minnesotas and New Rivers Abroad series (see below). Founded in New York in 1968 by C.W. “Bill” Truesdale, the not-for-profit New Rivers Press has now published over 330 books.

Book series

New Rivers Press publishes several series of books.
  • American Fiction Anthologies - After an 11-year pause, New Rivers Press has revived its American Fiction anthology series with American Fiction, Volume 11: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, an anthology of stories selected through a national competition. Volume 12 will be published in 2012. The series was originally carried by Birch Lane Press/Carol Publishing Group.
  • American Fiction Series - The American Fiction Series is New Rivers Press’ conduit for publishing fiction outside the Many Voices Project competition. Recent titles include Rachel L. Coyne’s Whiskey Heart.
  • American Poetry Series - The American Poetry Series is New Rivers Press’ vehicle for publishing poetry outside the Many Voices Project competition. Recent titles include Holaday Mason’s Towards the Forest and Lisa Gill's Mortar & Pestle
  • Electronic Book Series - The New Rivers Press Electronic Book Series is an e-book-only series that publishes popular fiction titles with literary value in the genres of Action-adventure, Crime, Detective, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Western, and Inspirational, and all sub-genres within and across those categories, from new and emerging authors.
  • Many Minnesotas Project - The Many Minnesotas Project is a series of anthologies about particular ethnic groups in Minnesota. Most recently, New Rivers published To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, which received the 2007 Midwest Booksellers' Association Honor Award for Poetry and the 2007 WILLA Award for Poetry.
  • Many Voices Project - Since 1981, New Rivers Press has been publishing the work of new and emerging writers through its Many Voices Project competition. The submission period is Sept. 15 through Nov. 1 each year with winners selected in poetry and prose. New Rivers recently concluded screening 2012 submissions for publication in 2013. MVP titles in the 2012 book release include a collection of short stories, Good Things by Nick Knittel, the novel Haints by Clint McCown, and a collection of poetry, And Then, by previous MVP winner Tim Nolan. Our MVP prize winners published in 2012 are The Way of All Flux, a collection of poems by Arizona author Sharon Suzuki-Martinez and It Takes You Over by Minnesota author Nick Healy. Our 2012 collection includes volume 12 of American Fiction, co-edited by Kristen Tsetsi, Bruce Pratt, and Bayard Godsave.
  • New Rivers Abroad Series - New Rivers Press occasionally publishes translations of literary writing from outside the United States in its New Rivers Abroad Series. Recent publications include a collection of contemporary Swedish poetry entitled The Forest of Childhood. The Press continues to seek manuscripts and funding for this series.
Press collaborates with MFA program faculty, students

New Rivers Press also teaches MSUM undergraduate and graduate students the business of publishing, offering the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Publishing at the bachelor’s or master’s level and to work as interns to gain practical experience. The activities of the press and its related curriculum dovetail nicely with the school’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and are also integrated into art and graphic design, English, marketing, mass communications, promotions, and website development classes at MSUM. The book release schedule is matched with the academic calendar.
Each spring semester, graduate and undergraduate students interested in learning about the business of publishing enroll in Practicum in Publishing, part of the university’s Certificate in Publishing offering. Al Davis, professor of English and New Rivers Press senior editor, oversees screening manuscripts for the Many Voices Project contest, while Suzzanne Kelley, managing editor, assists student teams as they edit manuscripts and sees each book through all stages of production. The experience is unique among universities and literary presses and prepares students for additional internships or careers in the publishing industry.
During the semester, student editors and authors work together to improve manuscripts, as necessary, through both structural and substantive edits, using track changes in Microsoft Office Word. The changes are recommendations for the author. Students initiate and complete special projects for New Rivers, including writing and submitting study guides--under the name Tributaries--for New Rivers Press titles, writing and designing a newsletter, contacting authors for sales, developing signage, writing articles for external publications, providing books from the warehouse to the distributor, implementing book sales, writing content for Web pages, and soliciting literary blogs to review and link to New Rivers Press book titles.
Collaborative Design Benefits Press, Students 

Every August, Professor Allen Sheets, Art Director at New Rivers Press, selects several senior art and design students who can meet hard deadlines, communicate clearly, and produce work that isn’t “following whatever trend is happening,” he said, to design New Rivers Press book releases. Some draw cover art, but most adjust and augment their own photos using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
In December, New Rivers Press Director Wayne Gudmundson, Davis, and Kelley select a cover from three proposed designs. By January, work on interiors begins. When the design is finalized, galleys go out in April or May, but improvements may continue over the summer. Printing begins in the fall.
New Rivers Press manages costs by hiring such student designers. While many designers in the market only get to create covers, New Rivers Press designers engage in full book design, which the students can include in their portfolios and resumes upon graduation.
The New Rivers Press design program garnered national attention in 2009 when three of its student designers were selected to receive the American Inhouse Design Award for Excellence, which is sponsored by Graphic Design USA. Ali Eickhoff, Angi Lennington, and Stephanie Thomas each designed one of the Press’ 2008 titles, including the cover and interior pages. Their innovative and eye‐catching designs were selected by Graphic Design USA out of more than 4,000 entries nationwide. Eickhoff designed Bend with the Knees and Other Love Advice from My Father, a collection of short stories by Benjamin Drevlow; Lennington designed Hollow Out, a collection of poetry by Kelsea Habecker; and Thomas designed Slippery Men, a collection of essays by Penelope Schwartz Robinson.
In 2010, MSUM students Lindsay Stokes and Megan McCleary were selected to receive the American Inhouse Design Award for Excellence for the cover and interior designs they produced for the Press' 2009 titles. Stokes won an award for her work on the novella Whiskey Heart by Rachel L. Coyne and McCleary won an award for Interference and Other Stories by Richard Hoffman.
Inner Workings of New Rivers Press Documented in Video
For more information about New Rivers Press at Minnesota State University Moorhead, click the following images to watch Parts 1 and 2 of our informational video at YouTube.
From Humble Beginnings
So Many Rooms Has a House But One Roof, a poetry collection by Margaret Randall, was the first title published by New Rivers Press, printed by Truesdale in November 1968 using an old Chandler & Price letterpress in a Massachusetts barn. The Press moved to Minnesota in 1978 to live among the thriving literary small press community in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since 2001, the Press has been publishing from MSUM.
The university provides space and covers some overhead expenses, but editorial decisions are made independently. Unlike typical university presses, New Rivers Press is not expected to publish academic monographs and faculty publications. Staff, book production and marketing expenses are borne by the Press, which leverages the short run digital printing services of BookMobile with typical print runs of 800 to 1,000 copies. Distribution to libraries and booksellers is handled by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, the premier distributor for literary small presses in the United States.

New Rivers Press is actively partnering with other arts organizations to publish books. The Press worked with the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, to publish a gallery catalog and reappraisal of the sculptor Duane Hanson. The Press also worked with the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing to publishSlippery Men by Penelope Schwartz Robinson, the winner of the Stonecoast Book Prize. Forthcoming, New Rivers Press will publish the winner of Fairfield University’s Fairfield MFA Book Prize. The Press is actively seeking such partnerships.

Advisory Board

New Rivers Press is a not-for-profit literary small press. Wayne Gudmundson, director; Alan Davis, senior editor; and Suzzanne Kelley, managing editor, are responsible for day-to-day operations. Administrative supervisors at Minnesota State University Moorhead include Bette Midgarden, vice president of Academic Affairs; and Tim Borchers, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. The ad hoc Advisory Board includes writers and other members of the literary community as well as others who support the arts.

For academic rights/permissions information, contact:

Frederick T. Courtright
The Permissions Company
47 Seneca Road
P.O. Box 604
Mount Pocono, PA 18344
570.839.7477 - vox
570.839.7448 - fax