From the Publisher’s Desk; or It’s time to get excited (and check out our shopping cart for Christmas!)

Rhubarb 38 “The Gender Issue” is at Friesens being printed. It will be mailed by the end of January. It’s the first issue helmed by our new Executive Editor, Berni Friesen. I remain as Publisher, which means it’s my job to raise money and balance budgets and relate to the Mennonite Literary Society Board of which I am also currently President.

Two new calls for submissions are up on our website. There is an interesting conversation currently among us at Rhubarb and the Mennonite Literary Society about how Mennonite is Mennonite enough? We never ask those submitting writing or art for proof of church membership, for example. Even our credit unions have stopped asking. So how do we go about determining the eligibility for accepting work to publish?Rhubarb38-cover

Stay tuned, and weigh in on Facebook. The results will turn up on our new About page on this site which still retains the initial definition.

We are recruiting new Board members as the Mennonite Literary Society is in succession planning mode. I intend to finish my work as Publisher in 2018, the 20th anniversary our first issue published in November 1998. The search notice for Board members and other volunteers will appear on our site in early 2016 and will be led by Korey Dyck, our Board secretary and currently the Director of the Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg. Korey has a strong interest in preserving Mennonite writing, and is actively seeking donations of the papers of Mennonite writers.

I am actively seeking donations, and am in the middle of a letter writing campaign to support publishing activities in 2016. The Mennonite Literary Society is a registered Canadian charity and all donors giving $10.00 or more will be mailed tax-deductible receipts.

Rhubarb is also in the middle of a subscription campaign, as our writers and artists deserve more readers. There is an amazing offer on our website for new subscriptions and renewals for the next four issues.

Our next four issues are R38 The Gender Issue; R39 The Ability Issue; R40 Essays on Mennonite Poetry (Ted Dyck Editor) and 30 Mennonite Poets, an anthology edited by Clarise Foster, that will serve as issue 41, though expected to be published in book format of 148 pages or more. Some of this depends on the donations we receive and the other money we can raise.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.