Twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, by universe comes to stop as a new issue of North Dakota Quarterly streaks across the sky. Suddenly, I’m managing the editing and production workflow for 90-100 pieces of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction carefully selected by genre editors. These go to copy editing and get organized into a volume before heading to typesetting. Once the volume is typeset it comes back to me and I circulate to my authors as page proofs. They almost always fine little mistakes and these all have to go back to the publisher for final revisions.
This process is time consuming and exhausting, but also very rewarding. The back-and-forth with authors reminds me of the often-intense personal and emotional investment in creative work of all kinds. The genuine excitement – even among seasoned authors – to get their work to our audience is invigorating and reminds me to take the time to enjoy my own creative work. There’s nothing more fun than opening my inbox and seeing a new issue of NDQ is alive.
One of the final steps in the production process is selecting a cover design for the new issue. Part of the charm of editorial board is that almost all the designs proposed by our publisher find some enthusiasm. As many as there are editors, there are preferences.
Here are the three finalists for the cover of the upcoming issue. All feature a photograph from our art editor, Ryan Stander.
NDQ relies on our outstanding contributors, editors, and subscribers to thrive. If you’re interested, please consider submitting to NDQ, subscribing, or downloading our previous volume for free. For some content from NDQ 86.1/2, click here, and for a preview of 86.3/4, click here.