Last Day to Enter Contest!

There’s still time to enter the contest! Submit your writing by midnight EST (USA) tonight to Winners to be announced later….


IT’S CONTEST TIME! (Make sure to read the full post!)

That’s right. HIP Literary Magazine is going to run it’s VERY FIRST CONTEST.

Submissions are open now through September 30th, US, EST.

Please email all submissions to

The categories are as follows:

-Creative Nonfiction (no more than 1 piece with a seven page maximum)

-Poetry (no more than 3 poems with a 7 page maximum total, NOT per piece)

– Fiction (no more than 1 piece with a 7 page maximum)

– Flash Fiction (no more than 3 pieces with a 7 page maximum total, NOT per piece)

– One Act Play (no more than 1 piece with a 15 page maximum- think short)

Each category shall be judged separately with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place being awarded to each category. In cases where there is a conflict of interest, an anonymous outside judge shall be the deciding party. Applicants may submit in multiple categories, if they so choose, but must follow the above guidelines.

1ST PLACE PRIZE: Publication of the winning selection along with a spotlight interview to be published alongside the piece. You will also receive a certificate in the mail.

2ND PLACE PRIZE: Publication of the selection.

3RD PLACE PRIZE: Honorable mention on the site with possible publication in the future.

Any submissions are eligible for future publication in HIP Literary Magazine and thus NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS are allowed in the contest.

For further questions, details, etc. please contact Allie Coker-Schwimmer at

We’re also holding our VERY FIRST HIP LIFE CONTEST!

Think you have what it takes to win an argument, woo a crowd, or persuade those curmudgeons? Send us your best debate piece or review!

Submissions are open now through September 30th, US, EST.

Please email all submissions to

The categories are as follows:

– Persuasive/Topical Article/Op-Ed (no more than 1 piece with a seven page maximum)

– Review (Book, Movie, Music, Travel, etc.) (no more than 1 piece with a 7 page maximum)

Each category shall be judged separately with 1st and 2nd place being awarded to each category. In cases where there is a conflict of interest, an anonymous outside judge shall be the deciding party. Applicants may submit ONLY in one category, and may not submit more than one review.

1ST PLACE PRIZE: Publication of the winning selection along with a spotlight interview to be published alongside the piece.

2ND PLACE PRIZE: Publication of the selection.

Any submissions are eligible for future publication in HIP Literary Magazine and thus NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS are allowed in the contest.

For further questions, details, etc. please contact Allie Coker-Schwimmer at


Allie “The Editor” Coker-Schwimmer

Spotlight on Children’s Author Laura Numeroff

Raise your hand if you read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie in your childhood. Great! Now if you haven’t read it, you really should! Even if you’re 40. And a motorcyclist. Because it’s not only one of my personal favorites, but very applicable to everyday life.

Laura Numeroff says:

I write because when I was a little girl, growing up in Brooklyn, I fell deeply in love with books and the library.  I used to beg my librarian to let me take out more than the weekly limit- I literally consumed children’s books like a very hungry carnivore!  My favorites from when I was five until this very day remain Eloise by Kay Thompson and Stuart Little by E.B. White.  And when I was nine I swore I wanted to make others feel as amazing as I did when I read great books.  I started writing and illustrating back then as a child,  then went to Pratt Institute. I took a class in writing and illustrating for children and sold my first book before I graduated.  Of course, it was a bumpy road after that, but then I wrote If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and that changed everything… writing is my life. Simple as that.”

I find my inspiration in my deep love of animals- also a relic from my childhood. Perhaps I owe my current success to my mother who wouldn’t let me have a pet!!  I’ve always found the innocence and ‘self-interest’ of animals touching and hilarious– and let’s face it- children love animals too!   So, animals are a great subject for children’s books.  And they are so much fun to write, watch and illustrate doing strange and silly things that children also do.  My cats inspire me and basically all animals inspire me. Even Guinea pigs!”

Multimedia Poetry by Mak Ogundipe

There’s no rest for the wicked.

We have been cursed to toil under a hot sun with soil that yields not,  and seasons where effort is all but waste,

Our sweat mix with tears to irrigate a harsh and arid soil yet all that is returned is the kicking up of dust!

Who will relieve us of our suffering, from whence will our Oasis come? With haste!

Before we perish from dried throats and empty bellies, I entreat the sky to please rain down on me.

Is it not written that “it rains on the just and the unjust?”

So why have I been forgotten, why are the rays of the unforgiving Sun the only thing that rain upon my head?!

Yes, there’s no rest for the wicked, not a single wink. The only rest we’ll find is when we’re dead.

But there is peace for the righteous.

Those who have been called according to God’s purpose and promises, trusting in the truth of His word that will never be void,

Our prayers are seasoned with the sweet scents of praise that please his ear and fill up His nose with incense.

We rely on the comforter, the teacher, the Holy Spirit to cultivate the fruits of Peace and Love within,

And to flood our cistern with a “river of living water” that quenches all thirst forever!

Is it not written that “we are more than conquerors in Christ?”

So why do you falter, why do you fear oh heart of mine? My God is not a man that he should fail, nor a charlatan that he reneges on a promise.

Though the soil may be dry, the rain will come. I will be still and know you are God.

Mak Ogundipe is just a guy born in Africa, raised in America, and trying to find his way back home amongst the stars.

***Mak Ogundipe nor HIP Literary Magazine claim to hold any rights regarding the Youtube links.

Quite Literally by Mike Price (fiction)


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then call AAA; you’re stuck.
He who hesitates is lost. He’s up at the courtesy counter bawling his eyes out and can’t seem to remember his name. He’s about four-foot-nothin’, brown-and-brown, and if nobody claims him in the next five minutes, we’re gonna blue-light him.
Long before revenge became so popular, a gentleman by the name of Jesus-something-or-other waltzed around the middle east asking folks to turn the other cheek. One little known tidbit of trivia; he also had something to do with the invention of the dark room, but never took credit.
What does queer as a three dollar bill mean? I’ve never even seen a three dollar bill. Whose picture is on it?
Officially, you can only be considered dead as a doornail if your brain stops while getting hammered; I looked it up.
An apple a day might very well keep the doctor away, but, from experience, I know for a fact that a large garter snake works much better on elementary school teachers.
Haste makes waste. Slow down and hold it.
Recent studies have shown that 98.4% of all pennies are located on the ground. These same studies have led researchers to come to the conclusion that
by the year 2012 the sidewalks of most major metropolitan areas will be comprised primarily of copper.
Does anybody besides my Aunt Dorothy even care that a penny saved is a
penny earned?
That goes without saying. I got nothin’ here.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The sissies carry the beer.
Some people eat like a pig. Others eat like horses. Some peck away like birds. Sometimes pigs eat like horses but never like birds. Birds never eat like horses and eat like pigs only on major Jewish holidays. Horses? They eat everything—birds, pigs, brussel sprouts—everything.
Following extensive behavioral research in conjunction with the UCLA veterinary clinic, I have made the decision to get two or three more jobs and work like a dog for the rest of my life. I don’t know–it looks pretty easy.
My old girlfriend is as pretty as a picture. A picture of oatmeal. With raisins.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Presence, on the other hand, and in the proper company, may often lead to the heart doing a few cartwheels on the lawn, and with pretty good form at that.
If ignorance is bliss why am I so depressed lately? I’ve been playing dumb for a number of years now and, frankly, I’m starting to get a bit antsy. I’ve decided to give this naïve act one last shot but if I’m not feeling pretty damned blissful in about a week or so, I’m going to start paying attention again.
Opportunity knocks but once. Then it rings the doorbell. Sometimes it tries to jimmy the lock. But if you wait long enough, you won’t have to buy anything, and opportunity will eventually go home and crash in front of the tube, just like the rest of us.
If, by chance, you happen to live next door to a discount dry cleaning joint, you do not have to look before you leap.
I will not be hornswoggled. I’m very firm on that. It sounds bad.
Cervantes, who once said, “There is no proverb that is not true,” got up early every Saturday morning to watch Gumby. True.
A few years ago one of my best friends lost his life while serving his country. There was a big lawsuit. The jurors went back and forth for days, unable to get together on more than two or three thoughts in a row. Finally, it was official: my buddy served on a hung jury. It was sad. He had a lovely wife and a couple of kids.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Translation? Aw, what the hell, I’m here…
I read an article in the dentist’s office the other day which claimed that, in the months of July and August, it is actually cooler in Barstow and Baker than it is in Hades. I don’t recall where Hades is. It must be hotter than hell in Hades.
To whoever keeps letting the cat out of bag: clean it up already. Ish.
Pssst. McGarrett. Over here. Yeah, y’know that proof you were looking for? It’s not in the pudding. Oh, one more thing; Chin Ho went home to take a shower.
If you’ve ever seen anyone three sheets to the wind you can no doubt appreciate why there is no such thing as getting four sheets to the wind.
A winner never quits and a quitter never wins. And one of them drinks a helluva lot of Lite beer but I can never remember which one it is.
If money is the root of all evil, is it really such a great idea to let our conscience’ be our guides?
There is nothing slower than molasses in January. I know this because, when Aunt Dorothy isn’t saving pennies, she likes to bake cookies in the snow.
What you don’t know can’t hurt you. I say, “I dunno,” all the time and I still seem to get dinged up quite a bit.
A brief historical note: every time Teddy Roosevelt whispered something to his wife, all his top aides in the administration took off.
Don took Stephie to the drive-in. Stephie said she didn’t like the movie at all and promptly confessed all her sexual fantasies to Don, who graciously forgave her on the spot. Again and again Don forgave Stephie. Then he forgot where he put her number. Forgive and forget…
It was Ben Franklin who said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” A little known fact: ol’ Ben never dated any woman more than once.
And, of course, the ends justify the means. And you know what that means…
…yeah, neither do I.
Widely published in literary journals, Michael Price has been writing fiction for over 30 years. He earned his BA in Theater from the University of Minnesota in 1980 and performed his own one-man one-act play “No Change of Address” to considerable acclaim at the 2011 MN Fringe Festival.


Vivisector by Alex Neumann (nonfiction)

“The letter is?”

“Can you read the top line?”
“I think it’s an A”, maybe, if you were closer I could tell.
“How about now?” Could be an A? I’m still not sure…is it, “An A?”
“What’s the next line?”
“C…C…is it a C?” Sigh, “The next one, please?”
“C…F?”, “No”. I can’t see the chart, although he’s barely a foot away.

I can’t see his face.
“I can’t see anything.”
“Okay, follow me.”

“Optic Neuritis” – The nerve’s inflamed; Optic ability is lost.


Terrified, like a child and curled up in that same position.
In these same white sheets.
Between white walls, my eyes glaze as they mutter, incoherent.

My breath is stifled by the density of the air; I can’t breathe, I can’t think, I can’t run and I am held there, by alien cords, machine gun noise and metallic shards.
In masks, they come for me; light green, light blue and cold, caring eyes. I feel like a sinner viewing God – as if it were possible that it could be me and no one else.

And if it were true that God vivisects, I could believe it at this moment; at this uncaring, unworthy moment as they grasp me into place and test impracticality.

I never knew that salvation could be so loud – like grinding rocks, like smashing glass against a brick, like thunderstorms and drills, like roadwork.
This measurement is voyeuristic – with machines, they see inside me.

“MRI” – Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Using magnets to creates images, sections of the human body. Used to study tissue; nerves.


“Stay still – don’t move, don’t shake and don’t move.”
“Hold your knees.”

She holds my hand as the tears run slow down my cheeks; downpour. They lift my shirt from the back, feeling along my vertebrae as I brace myself for what’s to come.

“This will hurt” – the needle seems too big; my breathing too shallow.
“Hold still.”

The only thing that grounds me here is the way her eyes grip mine – she’s seen this all too many times, and it’s always just procedure. But the needle seems too big: metal grinding its way past bone is so unnatural it’s blinding, yet I can’t seem to close my eyes.

The quiet voices surrounding are a discussion of what’s gone wrong; “Try again”, “Shouldn’t be taking this much -”

“- effort, one more try”.

The angel’s blue-gray eyes hold mine as I watch the world in fragments; I can’t piece this together, it’s not making sense.

So I hold the angel’s hand in hopeful distance, waiting for the pain to end; those white-hot flashes between my spine.

“Anesthesiologist” – Drugs; an application of anesthetics. Specialist.


Those unreal scents of a sterilized hell are still choking me; though I neglect to admit it. Bile rises in my throat each and every time I think of the specifics; an errant cord, displaced veins and a rich, royal blue.
Staining me, erasing me.
I never knew a colour could mean ‘sick’.

The chalk-white smiles of multi-coloured angels flash uncertainty from every corner; comforting me with a twinkling, silver needle. And I’ll need their sickening liquids; I need their short-burst pains, because they’ll help me when I’m older, when I need it.

Whenever I’m still there, I’ll be haunted by the whispers; aversion and quick glances, muttered voices, cautious smiles. I’ll wait in stiff discomfort as the air travels condensed by their domestos-flavoured linoleum, their cleaner-than-heaven bathrooms.

I’ll wait, watching red-puffed eyes and swollen throats, knowing this could go back to that, knowing paradise never lasts.

“Che⋅mo⋅ther⋅a⋅py” – Toxic chemicals; used in treatment upon disease-producing microorganisms


These days, I breathe like I can’t: like my throat is filled with sponges. Like I can’t seem to pull oxygen through my lips, or move it past my lungs. And lately I walk like I expect to fall, just waiting for disaster. Because I can’t accept that everything’s not dangerous, I don’t see anything. If life were more predictable, I could be alright; but as it is, I cover my eyes whenever I’m afraid.

I’m always hiding.

Because I don’t want to see what’s coming, I keep tracking backward to what’s been: I can’t move past the past, or through the future. I guard against what I don’t know, because I know it can’t be good – nothing unexpected will ever end well for me.

Because what’s behind me navigates what’s in front.

If I cough, it could be cancer; unexplained bruising is always leukemia. If my chest hurts, then my heart’s failing: next time, I won’t wake up.

This isn’t overreacting: I’ve learned from my mistakes. This time, I’ll know what to expect; when I can’t move, I’ll know the reasons.

‘Cautious’ – Tentative or restrained; guarded


Tomorrow, God will stare through me across more-than-sterile benches; to analyze the way I move, to measure each and every defect.

Every weakness.

So I’ll fumble blindly towards an end, wishing that the smell of ‘clean’ would push away; it makes me sick, to feel the air slide gracefully through my lungs.
Losing every part of me, I’ll stumble away from feeling human; more like a mouse in a cage, fed pellets to perform. And I’ll know that though it passes, every time this numbness hits me it leeches away another part of me.

The sections of life were never more clear-cut than this.

Bleeding curiosity, His blue eyes take notes on the ways I exist – never good enough, too far from perfection and grasping for an edge to hold on to.
How I wish I had something to hold on to.
“God”: One that is worshipped, idealized; believed in.
“Sclerosis”: Scarring. “Multiple Sclerosis”: Many scars.

‘Hospital’ sounds so clinical.

So imagine if one day you wake up blind, not understanding why the world got covered in a white fuzz overnight. Like you’re drunk without drinking; when you stumble.
Three days ago I knew how to walk.

This is a temporary thing; because the angels know their job, and they can fix things that get broken.
Or, scarred.

If you look at the scan, you can see white patches.

Born in 1990, Alexandra Neumann published her first novella at the age of sixteen. (Second Glance, 2006). Now studying her BA in Professional & Creative Writing at Deakin University, Alex’s main goal is to be published again by the age of 25. Although she was diagnosed with a severe case of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis at the age of fourteen, she does not let this get in the way of her writing. Her prose piece ‘Vivisector’ is based on her hospital experiences.


Christopher Moore, author of several humorous novels such as Sacre Bleu and Lamb, tells us what makes him tick:

“My inspiration, in a general sense, comes from discovery; that is, I read, travel, and watch media, and from time to time I stumble across a story, a field, or a place that interests me, and in coming to those things, often with fresh eyes, I find inspiration. Inspiration is something you have to look for, not something you can wait to come to you. Certainly, if you write in a disciplined manner, you will come across inspiration on the page, by exploring your own capabilities, but for the big ideas, you have to experience life and pay attention. “

Author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls, Meg Donohue speaks a little to where inspiration comes from:

“I find much of my inspiration in place, or setting. All of my work, while fictional, is grounded by real places with which I have deep familiarity. My first novel, How to Eat a Cupcake, is set in San Francisco, where I’ve lived for six years. My latest novel, All the Summer Girls, is mostly set in a beach town called Avalon, New Jersey, where I spend time every summer. The settings for those books are integral to their plots — the stories could not unfold in the way that they do anywhere else.”

Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, opens up to us:

“I don’t know why I write.  I do have theories, of course, but they are only theories.  I had a very solitary childhood and a vivid imaginary life but I think you can experience those things without necessarily gravitating towards the very delayed gratification of writing novels.  If any single event propelled me towards writing fiction it was the year I spent travelling after university.  My boyfriend of the time was writing a book and, largely out of boredom – writing is not a good spectator sport – I started writing my own book.  The novel that resulted was truly terrible.  I was baffled by my utter failure to be influenced by the many wonderful books I had read at university.  I spent my twenties waitressing and learning the craft of writing, learning – as Francine Prose so brilliantly discusses in her book of more or less that title – to read like a writer.  Eventually I began to improve.  Eventually some of the stories I wrote were published in small magazines.  But for years I thought I should do something more useful – work for Amnesty or Oxfam.  Now I’ve come to think that writing is my way of being useful in the world. “

“My inspiration comes from books, from the world around me, and from my own preoccupations.  I was walking to teach at Emerson College one evening when I saw in the distance some people holding up posters of babies at a bus-stop.  Between one step and the next I thought I’ll write a novel about someone who finds a baby at a bus-stop.  Then I thought who should the finder be?  Someone like me?  No, someone who’s the opposite of me: a banker.  When I came into my classroom I sat down and wrote in my notebook “Banker finds baby at bus station.”  A month later, at the Macdowell Colony, I wrote most of the novel. Another novel idea came from an article in People magazine about a woman who’d lost several years of memory in an accident.  Her fiancee described how, realising she didn’t remember him, he had courted her for the second time.  He talked about how odd it was to e.g. go to what had been their favourite restaurant and have it be a new experience for her.  In The Missing World I turned this idea around: my woman character has broken off with her fiancee and lost all memory of the break up. I think both of these are good ideas for novels but I wouldn’t have pursued them if they hadn’t connected with my own deep interests.  Growing up with a difficult step-mother, I am fascinated by how people make families if they don’t have a biological family.  And living a long way from my native Scotland, I am aware of how much I rely on my memory and how there’s often no one around to correct me if I mis-remember.  Sadly one of the most crucial people in my life, my mother Eva, is someone I don’t remember; she died when I was two and a half.  My novel, Eva Moves The Furniture, is a love song to her.”