Schwartz Media has appointed Michael Williams as editor of The Monthly, following his role as artistic director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
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 offices in Collingwood, at a significant time for Australia’s only monthly magazine dedicated to politics. , culture and news.
Schwartz Media 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 writing skills to the magazine. His work at the Wheeler Center and the Sydney Writers’ Festival has shown his ability to lead a vibrant cultural institution, which is The Monthly.
Williams is the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s most recent artistic director, delivering programs in 2021 and 2022. Prior to that, he spent over a decade at the Wheeler Center for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne, serving as founding director programming in 2009 and then as director since September 2011. A regular host and interviewer of literary and public affairs events in Australia, he has a background in publishing and broadcasting. He 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 television . Williams has also worked as a breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australian Council’s Literature Council, and in publishing in Australia and New York. He has written extensively for Guardian Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere.
Of her new role, Williams says, “There’s nowhere like The Monthly. Since its first edition, I have been an avid reader and an admirer of the unique place it occupies in Australian political and cultural life. Joining the Schwartz Media team and being part of its future is a dream and a privilege.
“Any reader will tell you that there is no greater thrill than discovering a new favorite writer on a subject that matters. In successive jobs, I’ve been lucky enough to work with a cavalcade of such writers and experience that thrill. I look forward to continuing this work at The Monthly, working with our best writers to not only reflect, but to 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 ushered The Monthly into continued success and expanded its readership during his eight years as editor. During this time, Feik has published eight Walkley Award-winning essays, including Helen Garner’s ‘Why She Broke’ and Jess Hill’s ‘Suffer the Children’. Under his leadership, The Monthly has welcomed the country’s top writers and introduced audiences to some great new voices. Commenting on the transition, Feik said, “I warmly welcome Michael’s appointment, and I know he appreciates the magazine and will nurture its most important assets: its editors and readers. I am grateful to my colleagues at Schwartz for the opportunities they gave me, and I can now look forward to the new era.
The Monthly was launched in 2005 and has remained Australia’s most consistent voice for politics and current affairs. Its readership grew by more than 50% during the COVID-19 pandemic, proving the influential magazine’s continued importance.
Editor Morry Schwartz says, “I’m so glad The Monthly is moving from one inspired editor to another. I thank Nick Feik for his brilliant eight years at the helm, and welcome Michael Williams, who I know will keep the flame burning.
Following the completion of The Monthly’s June issue, which will reflect a potentially landmark federal election, Michael Williams will work closely with Nick Feik on the production of the July issue. Feik will then bid farewell to the magazine, and the August issue will be Williams’ first as editor.