The editor of storied literary journal Meanjin, Sally Heath, is stepping down from the role. Her 25-year-old deputy will take over.

Crikey can reveal that Heath, who has edited the prestigious Melbourne-based quarterly for the past two years, will soon hand over to associate editor Zora Sanders.

Heath said this morning that she will remain as executive publisher of Meanjin and Melbourne University Press.

“The March journal will be our handover,” Heath, a former senior editor at The Age, told Crikey. “Zora is extremely talented.”

The transition to Sanders, a former editor of Melbourne Uni student mag Farrago, is timed to coincide with the launch of Meanjin’s iPad app (slated to be March’s Canberra-themed edition).

Sanders told Crikey she doesn’t expect any “radical changes” at the journal.

“Sally and I have always worked really closely together,” she said. “It’s been a bit of a joint project for a while. We’ve tried to really expand our online and digital presence and I want to keep doing that … I want to keep it as a touchstone in Australian literary culture.”

Sanders, who will turn 26 this weekend, says she isn’t fazed by taking over the 72-year old publication at such a young age: “My friends would definitely say I have some middle-aged qualities to my personality.”

Meanjin‘s pages have featured literary greats such as Ezra Pound, Patrick White and Tim Winton and is perhaps best-known for publishing Arthur Phillips’s influential essay ‘The Cultural Cringe’. It’s Australia’s second-oldest literary journal, pipped for longevity only by Southerly.

Peter Fray

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