Veteran Sydney Morning Herald literary editor Susan Wyndham is bowing out of the paper at the end of the month, after three and a half decades as journo, most of them with Fairfax. She is an important and well-respected figure in Sydney’s literary scene, and her pending departure has left many publishers bereft. Of particular lament has been the news that Wyndham is not being replaced by another Sydney-based editor, but that her counterpart at The Age, Jason Steger, is to now run the books pages of both titles. Steger is seen as very Melbourne-centric in focus, and unlike Wyndham, isn’t a regular on the Sydney literary events circuit and lacks Wyndham’s warm relationships with Sydney publishing houses. Sydney’s literary scene is up in arms about the change, according to Ms Tips’ literary sources. Mind you, the Melbourne-based Ms Tips can see the irony of it all. Writers and readers of The Age have long known what it’s like to be subsumed by the suits and scribes in Sydney.

Peter Fray

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