Interview with Lip’s Editor-in-Chief 0 Comments

Interview with Lip’s Editor-in-Chief

It’s less than two weeks until our One Night Stand with Lip magazine! This week we interviewed Editor-in-Chief, Zoya Patel, about the world of writing, indie publishing and Lip.

Why should we read Lip – what makes it so awesome?

Z: There’s not much out there in the Australian media landscape that’s like Lip! We’re an alternative magazine/website for young women that has a feminist slant. Our articles cover everything from feminist debates and opinion, to how to make an exfoliating cream from items in your pantry.

Our writers are from all over the place and have all kinds of opinions – there’s something for everyone! And contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t a vagina-only zone – we have plenty of male readers and contributors, so having a penis doesn’t exclude you from enjoying the mag!

What are you looking for in submissions to Lip?

Z: Interesting, honest, engaging writing is the main focus of our content. Chances are, if you have an idea for an article we’d be interested in publishing it, but good writing is what we’re most interested in.

That said, subject matter is important, and we like articles to be well-considered and on a topic of interest to our main demographic (women aged 25-35). Our full submission guidelines can be found on our website!

Have you got any exciting plans for Lip’s direction in future?

Z: We have a few plans up our collective sleeves, but most importantly we’re trying to find a way to make the magazine sustainable. Currently we don’t receive any funding for the mag, so we run the magazine and website on a volunteer basis, and using whatever funds we raise from events or subscriptions.

Ideally we’d like to be in a position to pay our writers and put the print edition out more frequently, so we’re working on that at the moment!

Why independent publishing?

Z: As a feminist mag, it’s important to us to have strong, interesting, and sometimes controversial content. We like to maintain control over what we publish and prefer not to have to negotiate the demands of a mainstream publisher, or advertisers.

Lip isn’t really about making money, and unfortunately, the magazine industry is very much profits-driven. We’d rather have the freedom to feature new, unpublished writers, explore feminist issues and encourage debate!

Have you got any advice to share with prospective young writers and editors?

Z: Keep writing, submit to lots of different places, be open to criticism and write about what you’re interested in.

As a young person, what do you hope to see in today’s writing industry in Australia? Is there something missing?

Z: I feel like there are very few avenues for young writers to be published and actually receive payment for their work in the current writing industry (I realise the irony of saying this, as the editor of a mag that can’t pay for submissions!). I think one of the great things about Voiceworks is that they offer a fee to writers, which shows that there is value in writing beyond  a byline.

I really hope that in time, there is more funding available to start-up, community based writing organisations like Lip, and other independent publications.

Generally though, I feel like this is an exciting time for writing and media – the internet has made it so easy to connect with people, and to build writing communities. It’s the best time to be a writer, even if it’s a lot harder to make money off it!

Has being a female editor-in-chief ever posed a problem for you in the wider industry?

Z: I feel like my gender hasn’t been too much of a barrier to success, but my age certainly has been. People see me as a 22-year-old girl, editing a magazine, and feel like either Lip must be really trivial, or that I must have gotten the position by fluke.

I’ve had writers take issue with me editing their work because I’m younger than them, and people question my ability a lot!

Any clues to share about your upcoming One Night Stand with Voiceworks?

Z: Oh, that would be telling! But let’s just say, we’re pretty excited, and we think this will be a night to remember, with no awkwardness whatsoever the morning after!

Keep an eye on the Lip page for Voiceworks Editor Kat Muscat’s interview later in the week!

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