As we announced last month, creative powerhouse and all-round delightful person Annabel Brady-Brown is stepping down from her role as co-editor of The Lifted Brow. We’ve taken some time to sigh and mope and make sad faces, but of course we totally understand that life means nothing without its inherent impermanence!! Plus we know that Annabel is going to do just the most incredible things with her newfound time – and also she'll be remaining part of the TLB communities (just try and leave!) in small and big ways in both the near and far future.
We’re thrilled to be able to announce that Annabel’s position will be filled by Jini Maxwell, who will join current co-editors Zoe Dzunko and Justin Wolfers as they start work on issue 39. Jini writes, draws, and works as an arts producer. She is currently co-directing National Young Writers Festival, and making immersive, playful work with PlayReactive. Her recent bylines include The Saturday Paper, Melbourne Recital Centre’s Soundescapes, Scum Mag, and Cordite Poetry Review.
Here's what some of the relevant folks wanted to say about all this:
As the latest edition of The Lifted Brow hits shelves this week and I step down from my position as co-editor, the feeling is bittersweet. I’ve been kicking around TLB in various capacities since 2014, and have been editing the magazine for a couple of years, and I know it’s now time to make space for a new person to come in and do brilliant things. I couldn't be happier to be handing over to the wonderful Jini Maxwell. As many of you will already know, every interaction with Jini is stamped with her irresistible energy, generosity and imagination, and this also radiates from every project in which she has a hand. Watching the Brow continue to bloom under her editorship, alongside my ever inspiring co-editors Zoe Dzunko, Justin Wolfers, and the entire incredible volunteer team at TLB, is going to be a blast for us all.
I don’t know what to say except: thanks for having me! I’m absolutely fucken stoked to be here! Ah! The Brow is my favourite publication, and I’ve had the pleasure of being involved, at various points, as a reader, writer, artist, and intern. It’s an incredible and overwhelming feeling to be so warmly welcomed by an organisation I have loved for long.
My first priority as an editor is helping people find the words and form that are exactly right for them, and that reflect exactly what they want to say. That will mean publishing lyrical and experimental work, but I’d also really like to hear more from people who might not necessarily think of their work as having a place in a literary journal. At the Brow, as in all of my practice, I want to facilitate playful, inclusive, challenging work, in whatever shape that takes. Pitch me something outlandish; I’m invested in making this space a space for you, too.
As I have told Annabel emphatically while eating dumplings, her energy, integrity, and wonderful editorial eye are utterly irreplaceable! There is no box to the left that can contain them. It's tragic for us to see her go, but I am so extremely proud of her, and excited by her next steps, both in writing and editing pursuits, and dare I say it, in financial security.
Luckily for us, Jini has agreed to offer us her immensely generous and rigorous approach to writing and art-making, along with her extraordinary empathy and commissioning brilliance. Let's get to it!
The opportunity to work alongside Annabel these past few years has been blissful, endlessly inspiring, full of lessons in kindness and profound generosity, a testament to the force of collaboration. It has been nothing short of a privilege. Anyone who has worked with or beside Annabel will be aware of her infectious enthusiasm, her deep deep goodness, and her ferocious integrity—anybody who has worked with her is very lucky to have done so.
In the strange space between friends and colleagues, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing one of the most talented and committed humans I’ve ever met give herself over—daily, entirely, without hesitation—to the work she believes in. I’m better for every conversation I’ve had with Annabel, for every time she’s challenged me, encouraged more from me, revealed to me the true face of dedication. For every idea she has nurtured; for her tenderness, optimism and exactitude in equal measure, the Brow is hugely indebted to her for these things.
As a volunteer in a volunteer-run organisation, I have long joked that the Brow is my social life—both takes the place of my social life and is full of the richness that people seek there—but this isn’t a joke, really. Writing is community, and this magazine is about people first and foremost. I’m buoyed by that we can move and grow, evolve just as people do, and I’m so excited to welcome Jini as our new co-editor. She is sublime, fiercely intelligent and will bring so much to her role. I can’t wait to begin working with her and to witness all of her many bright and brilliant ideas materialise.
Jini Maxwell knows TLB inside-out—she’s been reading our magazine, book and website, for years, she’s contributed both writing and artwork to both our magazine and to our website, she’s attended many of our events, she’s interned with us, and she’s been involved in the doing of several key projects—so it feels 100% perfect that she now steps into the role of Editor alongside Justin Wolfers and Zoe Dzunko. It’s a particularly germane coincidence that Jini has officially joined our team the same week that she published this piece in The Saturday Paper – it’s well-known in our flawed industry that all staff at our organisation are unpaid for their time, skills, knowledge and labour. We are slowly and surely working to change this permanently. The kind of writing that Jini will publish in our magazine—and the energy she will bring to the role–will go some way to helping us realise our goals of making our whole organisation healthy and sustainable, including with the paying of all the makers and doers behind the scenes here. I can’t wait to work alongside her.
With all the joy we’re feeling welcoming Jini into the organisation, it’s equalled by a flipside sadness as we say an official farewell to Annabel Brady-Brown, who has been involved in so much of what we’ve done over the past few years. Although we know Annabel won’t be a stranger to TLB, and although we know that she’s stepping down from her Editor role with us so she can continue pursuing so many extraordinary opportunities in her work editing her journal Fireflies, in her Film Editor role at The Big Issue, and with her own creative writing, we can’t help but already realise how much we are going to miss her brains and her warmth. Annabel is a person who encourages and cajoles everyone around her to be better artists and better people, and we have been incredibly fortunate to have benefited from her talents and personality for so long. I’m so stoked for all you do, Annabel, and I’m so so excited by what’s on the horizon for you.
To commemorate Annabel's time at the helm of the Brow, grab a copy of her final issue, Issue 38 (officially out Monday!). It's a swan song, it's a last splash, it's a bona fide cracking read.
Furthermore, TLB Online has also recently had to say goodbye to one of the stars in its editorial constellation. Linh Thùy Nguyễn has stepped down from her position as online editor to focus on her many other roles, including at the Emerging Writers' Festival, which kicks off in June and looks like it'll be marvellous. Linh has been responsible for a tonne of excellent online features we've published in the last year or so, and has put in many, many hours of work behind the scenes. Linh, thank you for being such a champion.
We're absolutely stoked to have found someone truly excellent to fill Linh's position – we welcome longtime friend (and ex-intern) of TLB, Adalya Nash Hussein, who will be taking on the role of online editor. Adalya Nash Hussein writes and edits nonfiction – her work has been published in Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow and Going Down Swinging. She has been programmed at the National Young Writers Festival, YWCA’s ‘Dear Diary’, and The Wheeler Centre.
Welcome to the team, Adalya – we're super excited to work with you!