Thanks so much for stopping by! News & Reviews is a weekly newsletter, delivered to your inbox on Wednesdays at 5pm Sydney time.

My name is Bri and I’m an author, academic, and activist. My new book, The Work, is came out in April 2024 and it’s my first novel. My previous books are all non-fiction: Who Gets to be Smart, Beauty, and Eggshell Skull. I also write investigative journalism, essays, arts criticism, and short fiction. You can find me on Twitter here, Instagram here (though I don’t social media much these days) and my website with all my bylines is here.

Here’s how my readers explain News & Reviews to their friends:

  • News & Reviews is like having a wine with mates after a long week and chatting about all the things that make you think—with cute, fun bits as well.”

  • “Bri Lee’s fantastic newsletter where she breaks down current affairs in a smart, digestible way.”

  • “Bri Lee’s weekly attempt to make me smarter and more worldly.”

  • “A midweek brain workout.”

  • “A succinct digest on things I should know a lot more about.”

  • “An intelligent and fun take on politics and culture that makes me think about things I wouldn’t always think about.”

  • “An intelligent breakdown of news and pop culture.”

  • “Useful, well-written updates and analysis of the week’s news and culture. Easily-digestible but in-depth and nuanced.”

What is News & Reviews?

Update: It’s going through a little re-invention process as of July 2024.

After three years of solid-gold content and consistent growth I’m de-professionalising and taking things back to a more honest, loosey-goosey approach. I trust some new semi-solid format will present itself organically. Come along for the ride!

As the name suggests, I cover news (good and bad) and reviews (good and bad). News is usually about my areas of interest and expertise: law, feminism, inequality, the media, education, transparency, big tech, etcetera. The reviews might be of books and articles, TV and film, food and art, fashion and interiors, fancy things and funny things. People seem like to getting a mixed bag and being surprised, and I like that too.

What’s in the News & Reviews archive?

When I founded News & Reviews back in 2021 I used to alternate between writing posts myself, and interviewing someone for a guest post each week. Writers and thinkers like Rick Morton, Sanam Maher, and Lucia Osborne-Crowley shared their takes on the current affairs and cultural releases of the week.

In 2022 I started paying contributors and doing paywalled special editions split into Nerd and Style vertical. Nerd special editions were deep-dives into particular authors’ ouvres, like RooneyRama, YanagiharaRama, and GarnerRama, each of which had tons of content. Style editions were ad-free lifestyle coverage (fashion, interiors, beauty, sustainability, cooking, etcetera) and included interviews with designers and creatives.

That led to the creation of News & Reviews Magazine in 2023.

Once a month I would commission, edit, and publish a range of high-quality content. This was an independent, ad-free space for memoir, commentary, critiques, reviews, recommendations, and anything else my genius friends were passionate about.

In amongst all this were livestreams, Substack chat threads, and tons of giveaways.

What’s free and what’s paywalled?

All posts go behind the paywall after four weeks. If you genuinely cannot afford a subscription, just email me and I’ll add you to the paying list, no questions asked.

Previously, access to livestreams, top-level giveaways, and my ‘Not Another BrandCuck’ chat are all for paying subscribers. Free subscribers would recieve the editor’s letter for each month’s edition of News & Reviews Magazine but then individual articles were paywalled.

Messages people have sent me when they started paying

‘I supported this newsletter because I think it is one of the most intellectually interesting and entertaining spaces on the internet. Both the range of topics explored and depth given to each topic is great. I’ve been a free subscriber for years and had to take the plunge to become a paid subscriber.’ - Georgia

‘I have been enjoying the free version and feel you deserve compensation for such good thinking and writing. I particularly like your reviews as you give your real opinion, good or bad, and then substantiate it. Thank you!’ - Julie

‘I have been a free subscriber for a while and love your work. Such an inspiring role model for the combination of public intellectual work and just all round interesting content. I appreciate your acute insights and your conversational style. Thanks so much for doing what you do! Keep at it!!!’ - Cohava

‘I’m loving your voice and your active championship of independent writers.’ - Cheryl

‘I supported your work because you make me think, laugh and feel connected. We are a similar age and situation and you articulate thoughts, ponderings and desires I have far more elegantly than I ever manage. I deeply admired your work Beauty, which is how I came across you.’ - Julia

‘Hi, Bri. Thanks for your heartfelt and honest words around the state of content and ‘news’ these days, I couldn’t agree more. Looking forward to genuinely independent thought from kick arse writers.’ - Erin

‘You are doing an incredible job at making difficult and important things accessible. You are putting a huge amount of time into curating your work which I can see from than the exceptional content you put in your free N&R (PS Wednesday is one of my fave days!!) and what got me across the line was your list about what you would tell a 18 yo - I have 2 x 14 yo's and need that information. Thank you.’ - Jennifer

‘Hi Bri, I got so much out of Eggshell Skull and Who Gets to be Smart. You’re a bit younger than me and I feel both slightly awed and deeply encouraged by what you’ve already achieved in your work. I value writing and commentary that is incisive and self-reflective. Can’t wait to catch up on GarnerRama!’ - Bron

‘I enjoy and respect your voice and your approach to research. I love hearing your book recommendations and seeing dinner party/cookbook posts—and live vicariously through your travel.’ - Amy

‘Thanks so much for your work, Bri. I've been a deep admirer right back to Eggshell Skull and thoroughly enjoy your reviews, earnest critiques and analysis. Your writing makes me feel smarter and more connected (which I think good writing should do). As someone who works in media, I think it's vital to lift up independent voices, art and ideas, so voila!’ - Dani

‘Because you're supporting the work of great writers & making them feel wise & worthy and that really matters to people who've dedicated themselves to this often fraught career. Thank you!’ - Kate

Holidays

Nothing this good can go on forever without time to recharge and recalibrate. News & Reviews takes little breaks during school holidays. That means two weeks off three times a year, and a larger break over December-January. (You should get off your emails in Summer too.)

Editorial/Advertising Transparency Policy

Update: as of May 2023 News & Reviews will never include advertisements in either free or paywalled editions. Posts prior to 2023 will still display the tags below, but there will be no more #ad content posted. Gifts are only accepted where companies or brands offer me the personal choice of what I might receive, and these will always be disclosed. Giveaways each week, for example, are gifts from the publishers that I specifically requested.

News & Reviews often includes recommendations for things you can purchase, as well as intellectual and cultural offerings. Where reviews or endorsements are shown, they will be noted in one of three categories:

  • #bought (I paid money for them)

  • #gift (they have been sent to me for free)

  • #ad (I was paid to feature them)

Sometimes links may be ‘affiliate links’, meaning a small commission will be made if you purchase the item linked in the same browser session after clicking the link.

Want your product or book considered for coverage?

As mentioned above, this is now a totally independent and ad-free space. But we’re still thrilled to hear from creators who want to share news about their art, work, and well-made stuff. Please know News & Reviews readers care about ethical supply chains and they genuinely like supporting small businesses doing the right thing. Get in touch if you think your work might vibe—just ‘reply’ to any edition of the newsletter that lands in your inbox.

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Smart takes on books, news, and culture. Straight from Bri's desk in Sydney to your inbox each Wednesday at 5pm.

People

Author, Academic, and Activist
Call me Jordy! I'm a fashion content creator, co-owner of Gertrude & Alice, and a very recent doggy daddy. I'm just a kid who lives to lose himself in culture.
Bibliophile | Literary Nerd