A few months into 2020 I thought there was an even chance I’d be writing a swan song SRB editorial before December – but here we are, at the end of the final week of our 2020 program. We will take a break from publishing new essays until February 2021. We are tremendously grateful to the agencies and organisations that have funded the SRB, to the readers who have supported the journal through donations, and to the writers and critics whose work is at the centre of all that we do.
Usually at the end of the year we scramble to organise an event to gather our contributors and friends. To close this long year there has been no such scrambling. But there are more reasons than ever to acknowledge the people who have shaped the SRB this year.
To my indefatigable colleagues at the SRB. Alice Desmond and Suzanne Gapps are the heart of the journal, and I’m grateful for their competence, commitment and friendship in this year of Zoom. Ilhan Abdi joined our crew as a junior editor in May and has brought fierce insight and competence to our editorial process. Deputy editor Andrew Brooks took up a role at UNSW in April and we still miss him. Thank you, one and all, for keeping the ship sailing.
To our contributors. We published 160 essays this year, authored by the most exciting writers in the country. In this year of challenge and precarity it’s been a privilege to work with a cohort whose practice is characterised by originality, intellectual courage, and deep disciplinary knowledge. Thank you to all our contributors for your labour, good humour, and commitment to literary culture and critical thinking.
To the Writing and Society team. The SRB draws on the rich research culture of the Writing and Society Research Centre at WSU, where we are based. Thank you to Ben Etherington, Melinda Jewell, Anthony Uhlmann, Ivor Indyk, Anne Jamison and Kate Fagan for your time, energy and wisdom.
To our donors. The SRB launched our first fundraising campaign in September 2020. This was the first time we’d turned to our audience for financial support and we were heartened by the generosity of our audience. Thank you to everyone who donated to the SRB in 2020, and to Ray Villarica, Chris Levins and the team at the WSU Development office for helping us run the campaign.
To our board. The SRB is guided by an Advisory Board whose members have dispensed with patience the practical advice and perspectives this year has demanded. Thank you to all board members, and particularly to Ivor Indyk, who leaves the board this year. Ivor was the founding Chair of the SRB board in 2013 and has been a crucial advisor since then.
To our funding agencies. We are committed to paying writers fair rates for their work. Most of the SRB contributor budget is derived from grant funding. We couldn’t have delivered this year’s program without the support of the Australia Council, Create NSW, the Copyright Agency, the Ian Potter Foundation, Creative Victoria, Arts Queensland and the City of Sydney.
To Western Sydney University. The university’s commitment to the SRB has provided us with a firm operational foundation – and a home – since 2013. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of WSU.
To our collaborators. Special thanks to Vandana Ram and Sheila Pham at the Bankstown Arts Centre, Sam Wild and Rachel Franks at the State Library of NSW, Michael Campbell at WestWords, Jane McCredie and Julia Tsalis at Writing NSW, Julienne van Loon and David Carlin at non/fictionLab; Kelley McKinney at Public Books.
To our podcast producers. Thank you to Allison Chan, whose skills, patience and enthusiasm made our first podcast series possible. Thanks too to Elina Godwin for sound design and mixing.
To our judges. Thanks to Suneeta Peres da Costa, Alison Whittaker and Justin Clemens for judging our Emerging Critics Fellowships, and to Ben Etherington, Lena Nahlous and Julieanne Lamond for judging the Juncture fellowships.
To our interns. Amanda Easterbrook who worked with us at the beginning of the year as a summer scholarship student; Adele Wakeling and Emma Faulhammer in Semester One, who both coped calmly with the transformation of their onsite internship into a remote learning experience; Laura Matevocic and Rebka Bayou, who worked with us in second semester.
To our readers. And finally, thank you to our readers for your vigorous, generous, attentive responses to our work. I wish you all a safe and peaceful summer break. We’ll see you again in February.