Schwartz Media appoints Michael Williams as editor of The Monthly

Schwartz Media has appointed Michael Williams as editor of The Monthly, following his role as artistic director of Sydney Writers’ Festival.

The announcement:

With a bold vision to define the national conversation, Michael Williams joins The Monthly as its new editor from July 1, 2022. Williams joins The Monthly, based in Schwartz Media’s new Collingwood offices, at a significant time for Australia’s sole monthly magazine dedicated to politics, culture and current affairs.

Schwartz Media’s editor-in-chief Erik Jensen says: “Michael is an incredible force. He has enormous energy and talent and I know he will bring his unique curiosity and feel for writing to the magazine. His work at the Wheeler Centre and the Sydney Writers’ Festival has shown his capacity to lead a vibrant cultural institution, which is what The Monthly is.”

Williams is the most recent artistic director of Sydney Writers’ Festival, delivering programs in 2021 and 2022. Before that he spent over a decade at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne, as its founding head of programming in 2009 and then as its director from September 2011. A regular host and interviewer for literary and public-affairs events around Australia, his background is in publishing and broadcasting. He has hosted two shows on ABC Radio National – Blueprint for Living (2015-16) and Talkfest (2017-18) – was a regular guest on ABC TV’s The Book Club, and remains a regular on ABC radio and TV. Williams has also worked as a breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, and in publishing in Australia and New York. He has written extensively for Guardian Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere.

Of his new role, Williams says: “There is nowhere else like The Monthly. Since its first edition I’ve been an avid reader and admirer of the singular place it holds in Australian political and cultural life. To join the Schwartz Media team and be part of its future is a dream and a privilege.

“Any reader will tell you there’s no greater thrill than discovering a new favourite writer on a topic that matters. In successive jobs I’ve been lucky enough to work with a cavalcade of such writers and experience that thrill. I can’t wait to continue that work at The Monthly, working with our finest writers to not just reflect but shape the cultural and political moment and define the national conversation.”

Williams assumes the role of editor following the departure of esteemed outgoing editor Nick Feik, who has ushered The Monthly into continued successes and expanded its readership during his eight years as editor. During this time, Feik published eight Walkley Award–winning essays, including “Why she broke” by Helen Garner and “Suffer the children” by Jess Hill. Under his leadership, The Monthly has provided a home to the best writers in the country and introduced the public to great new voices. Of the transition, Feik says: “I warmly welcome Michael’s appointment, and know that he values the magazine and will nurture its most important assets: its writers and its readers. I’m grateful to my Schwartz colleagues for the opportunities they’ve given me, and can now look forward to the new era.”

The Monthly launched in 2005 and has remained the most consistent voice of politics and current affairs in Australia. Its readership increased by over 50 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic, proving the continued importance of the influential magazine.

Publisher Morry Schwartz says: “I’m so pleased that The Monthly is being passed from one inspired editor to another. I thank Nick Feik for eight brilliant years at the helm, and I welcome Michael Williams, who I know will keep the flame burning bright.”

Following the completion of The Monthly’s June issue, which will reflect on a potentially era-defining federal election, Michael Williams will work closely with Nick Feik on the production of the July issue. Feik will then farewell the magazine, and the August issue will be Williams’ first as editor.

Source: Schwartz Media


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