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my lip life: zoya patel, editor-in-chief

I was 15 when I first became involved with lip. My high school encouraged all of its year nine students to complete a work experience placement, and I had decided that I wanted to do something in journalism.

Being Canberra, there really weren’t many opportunities. We have one major newspaper, which doesn’t offer work experience to non-university students, and every other outlet was either boring, or unavailable.

My friend introduced to me lip, which she had been reading for some time. I was amazed that something like it even existed! It was so bold, and sassy and exciting. Although I didn’t end up doing my work experience there, that first introduction sparked what would then become a bit of an obsession.

I subscribed straight away, and emailed Rachel Funari, then editor-in-chief, about submission requirements. Within a few weeks, I had written and submitted my first article, a personal piece about my experiences as a teenage Indian girl, and the differences I faced.

From then, I continued to submit regularly to lip, eventually becoming a columnist in ’07, fiction editor in ’08 and finally editor in January 2010. I credit lip with my ongoing fascination with feminism, and my eventual gender studies major in university.

Lip has always been a challenging, but exciting publication to work for. We’ve faced our fair share of struggles, and I know that personally, most of my growth as a writer has occurred through lip. When I first became editor, I had very little knowledge about how to manage people. My first year was punctuated by mistakes, tears, frustration and a very steep learning curve.

Now, having been editor for almost two years, I can’t believe how much has changed – our website has become the heart and soul of the magazine, we have tons of new staff members as well as our amazing and reliable old hands, a fabulous new creative director, Saini Copp, and our wonderful, godsend of a managing editor, Dunja Nedic. We have tons more readers, and loads more content, and I feel like lip is really achieving what we set out to do – providing intelligent, thoughtful and sassy food for thought for our readers.

Lip inspires me to keep trying in an industry where new publications rarely last past a second issue, and print is becoming more and more of a pipedream. When all is said and done, and despite the hours of work and the months of struggling, how many opportunities does a 21-year-old girl have of editing and running a magazine, and being in charge of something that is culturally potent and important? Lip believed in me, and I will always believe in the magazine.

We need your help now. I know that every time you open a web browser, someone new is asking for your money. I know that you’re probably sick to death of having people guilt trip you into opening your wallet. You may have heard it all before, but we wouldn’t ask unless it was sorely needed. With no advertising in the mag, and no additional sources of funding, lip is created entirely off the back of our blood, sweat and tears, and the funds that we manage to raise through launch parties and mag sales. There are over 800 people who ‘like’ us on facebook, and close to the same number who check our website each day. If every one of you donated $2 we would have more than enough money to bring you the next issue of lip, and the one after that!

Lip means something to me, and I hope it will continue to mean something to many other girls, guys, and culture lovers for years to come. Help us make that hope a certainty.

Donate to lip through Pozible here. Remember, no money will be debited from your account unless we reach our goal of $1000!

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