Interview with NOT DEER MAGAZINE

Hello my avid dark fiction lovers! I have the wonderful distinction of getting to interview NOT DEER MAGAZINE today. You may have heard their buzz on Twitter as they post short but brilliant sparks of dark stories and poems, accompanied by intriguing imagery and compelling titles from submitters to their online publication. Today, we’re talking to editor-in-chief, Rowan, and co-editors, Taylor, and Thandiwe.
  • Introduce yourselves! Who are the brilliant minds behind NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

Rowan: I’m Rowan, the Editor-in-Chief. I write fiction and poetry, primarily about feral women and the rural gothic. I mostly keep the website updated and correspond with contributors, but my favorite part of running the magazine is reading submissions.

Taylor: I’m Taylor. I’m a co-editor. I like poetry. I’ve had work published in a few places and I especially like flash fiction and micropoetry. I write about the way love can rot. I enjoy reading submissions. I also tend to be the primary person running our Twitter. 

​​Thandiwe: I’m Thandiwe, one of the co-editors. I love fantasy and things that verge on the edge of the surreal. I write fiction and poetry circling the ideas of identity and finding one’s place in the world. I run our Instagram but I really love reading for the magazine and creating cover art. 

  • What does the name “Not Deer” stand for?

Rowan: We’re named after my favorite cryptid, the Appalachian Not Deer. 

Taylor: It stands for deer that aren’t normal deer. When the deer aren’t deer, that’s when you know to run.

Thandiwe: There is something seriously wrong with that deer. Is it even a deer? Things are getting twisted and the fog is creeping in.

  • What was your goal in creating NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

Rowan: I saw the need for a literary magazine that specifically made most of its space for marginalized creators. The goal is to be an environment that presents work from creators who are often overlooked when it comes to horror as a genre.

Taylor: We wanted to create a space where creative horror written by women and under-represented voices are spotlighted. So much of modern horror is dominated by men equating violence against women to good horror writing and we wanted a space void of that. Not Deer was Rowan’s idea and Thandiwe and I jumped on. We were all in the same major and are part of a writing group so it was really easy to coordinate.

Thandiwe: When Rowan brought up her plans for a magazine I was super excited. I loved the idea of a more inclusive publication for horror writing and I really want to give a platform for creators who might otherwise be overlooked for not fitting into an expected mold. 

  • Who does NOT DEER MAGAZINE cater to? Who are your ideal readers?

Rowan: An ideal reader would be someone who appreciates the complexities of good horror. I want the work we publish to be read by people who are open to what the genre is or could become.

Taylor: Our ideal readers are people who want to read good writing. I wouldn’t say we cater to a specific demographic. We only publish pieces that we feel move us, and we hope our readers feel moved as well.

Thandiwe: I don’t know that we cater to anyone specifically. If I like the piece and feel that it fits our theme, that’s a good enough reason for me. I want people to enjoy the environment we’ve cultivated through our publications. If someone encounters our corner of the woods and finds it to their liking, they are welcome to stay, if not, then I wish them well on their travels. 

  • Are you currently accepting submissions?

We are accepting rolling submissions almost always and often have contests. See our submission page for more info. 

  • What are some future goals for the magazine?

Rowan: We nominate for the Pushcart Prize and I think it’d be really cool to have one of our contributors win. We’ve published so much excellent work that deserves to be further recognized.

Taylor: Moving forward, we’d love to put out a print issue. We’d like to do a “best of” issue in print and online. We’d also like to continue to do more contests. If we can ever afford to, we’d love to pay contributors.

Thandiwe: I think the contests will be a fun feature in the future and I look forward to coming up with more themes. I’m excited at the prospect of possible print issues. 

  • What are some other projects that you are working on besides the magazine?

Rowan: I’m working on putting together a hybrid anthology of my short fiction and poetry as well as submitting work to other publications in the small press world. 

Taylor: I’m writing a book of short fiction stories right now. I’m reading a lot. I just graduated with my BFA so now that I’m not reading for class, I have time to read for myself.

Thandiwe: I’m currently working on some small short fiction pieces and poetry. Writing more personal non-fiction might be something I’d like to get into moving forward.

  • Where can people go to find out more information about NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

See our website, our Instagram, or our Twitter for more info. 

  • Is there anything else people should know about the magazine?

We have merch! We are on Redbubble and sell things like stickers, mugs, and tote bags. They’re very cute and the art is done by two of our close friends! 

Well, there you have it! Submit to NOT DEER MAGAZINE today! You can find all of their links below!

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Until next time,

Kat

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