Update: The Circular

The Circular

Launched in October 2021, The Circular is a weekly newsletter from the SRB that keeps the best new Australian non-fiction in circulation; essays, interviews, reviews, features and more. Each week we dispatch a newsletter highlighting interesting, useful and surprising non-fiction published by and about Australian writers. Sign up or visit thecircular.com.au to discover a world of Australian writing that is curated by a person, not a social media algorithm.

Two frustrations conditioned The Circular. Firstly, our knowledge at the SRB, shared, we know, by our peers at other journals and magazines, that some of the best new literary writing disappears without a trace online. We know that great writing can go viral – but much more frequently, great writing sinks quickly into deep digital archives. And secondly, when we talk to readers, they tell us they’re worried about missing out on what’s being published in Australian literary journals and magazines. There’s so much fine new work being published – yet often it’s the same names and themes that are prioritised by search engines and appear on our social media feeds. 

And so we have great writing that wants for readers. 

And readers who are looking for a more variegated and surprising encounter with Australian literary culture. 

This mismatch yields all kinds of misunderstanding and misrecognition. Sometimes, when we tune into public discussions about Australian literature, we hear a set of tired generalisations about our literary culture that don’t line up with the range and quality of work that we’re reading. 

The Circular is a response to these observations and conversations, and we’re excited to present a rich, complex and diverse account of contemporary Australian literature. 

The Circular is under the editorship of writer and translator Tiffany Tsao, whose long history of thinking about cultural exchange and transmission shapes the project. As we progress, we’ll bring in guest editors who will take readers into new byways of contemporary literature. Join us as we traverse and map new itineraries through our shared literary culture.

The Circular is supported by the Australia Council’s Sector Recovery Initiative fund.

Published October 29, 2021