When a magazine describes itself as “the anti-Cosmo”, you know it means business. When its slogan is simply “think about it”, you know it really means business.
Lipmag is an independent magazine based in Melbourne that aims to deliver intelligent and stimulating content to counter the superficial drivel – excuse the bluntness – often presented by commercial women’s mags like Cosmo. Geared primarily toward an audience of young women, the pages of Lip boast a vibrant array of creative indie chicks and their endeavours. As the website states, Lip offers a “fresh outlook on feminism, and enough sass to shock the fainthearted”.
That’s not to say it wards off males with a devious boy-germ deterrent, though. Lip wholeheartedly encourages EVERYONE to think about feminism and the important role it continues to hold in society. It prides itself on its ability to cater to a fanbase with a very diverse range of thoughts, opinions, views and styles.
This year marks the beginning of Lip’s Rachel Funari Prize For Fiction, which hopes to become an annual themed competition for short fiction. Named in honour of the magazine’s founding editor Rachel Funari, who sadly went missing during a holiday to Tasmania in 2011, the competition theme is ‘Herstory’ – a play on the word ‘history’ which aims to encourage tales of female triumph and tribulation. Rachel was a much-respected member of Melbourne’s literary and feminist communities, and widely known as a determined and passionate soul. To dedicate the creative, insightful fiction of fresh new writers is just a small gesture toward her memory.
Lip subeditor Amy Nicholls-Diver says the team was floored by the massive response to the competition.
“We had well over 100 entries, from as young as 13 to a lady in her 80s!” Amy said. “The majority of entrants were women, but there was a good representation of male authors as well, which reflects what Lip is all about.”
The panel of judges, made up of Lip chief editors as well as local personalities Kat Muscat and Clementine Ford, was faced with a tough task when it came to sifting through a stack of very high quality submissions and narrowing it down to a top ten. Nonetheless, decisions have been made and victors secretly nominated. Prizes are rumoured to include libraries of Australian contemporary literature and opportunities to work with members of the publishing community, as well as monetary rewards.
Announcements, presentations and readings are set to be made at a special event on May 18th at Loop Bar, in Melbourne’s CBD. Any and all aficionados of great new literature (and tasty little cupcakes, word has it) are more than welcome to attend, and are fully urged to bring friends and stick around for a few sneaky drinks afterward. All Lip asks is a gold coin donation at the door to support the magazine’s future endeavours, as it is a non-profit enterprise and its ace little team of staff and contributors are all volunteers.
Official proceedings – that is, the award presentations and readings from the winners and judges – are due to kick off at 6:15pm, so those of you who are prone to tardiness are encouraged to aim for a 5:30-6:00 arrival.
May 18th is also the launch party for Lip’s most recent print edition, Issue 23, which includes features on marriage equality, the Dandy Warhols and female orgasms; interviews with cool lady people such as writer Emily Macguire, artist Effie Dee and seamstress Katie Szabo, and covers issues of baby dilemmas and unsolicited sex. With an impressive twenty pages up over previous editions, Issue 23 is oozing with juicy, genuine content.
So if you’re ever in the mood for some intelligence and sass (and really, that should be all of the time), hit ‘like’ on Facebook for a regular fix of honesty, variety and real life. You can also pick up a hardcopy of Issue 23 from Brunswick St Bookstore or Polyester Books in Fitzroy, online, and of course at the launch.
Furthermore, Lip is always on the lookout for new recruits – especially university students – to generate insightful and intriguing content over a range of sections including news, reviews, culture, and general opinion. There are also regular interviews and promotions, so stay in the loop via Facebook.
A final message from Amy Nicholls-Diver to anyone looking to submit writing to any kind of mag, journal, or anthology: “My advice is to keep trying, even if you get knocked back. You will find somewhere that loves your crazy, kooky style eventually. There’s no shortage of amazing zines and journals out there. If you’re passionate about writing, and you have something to say, keep saying it til someone listens.”
Wise words. Think about it.