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The Next Big Thing: Most Underrated Book Award Edition

Listen to The Next Big Thing: Most Underrated Book Award Edition

Photograph of Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn at the Wheeler Centre

What do you get when you take Australia’s small publishers, and add a dash of our Next Big Thing series? You get a yearly celebration of the books that have punched well above their weight.

Now in its sixth year, the Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Award celebrates independently published titles that didn’t receive the attention they deserved. Previously, the award has recognised books such as The Cook by Wayne Macauley, A Wrong Turn in the Office of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson, and Building Cities by Marcus Westbury. In 2017, it was won by Ailsa Wild, Briony Barr, Gregory Crocetti, Ben Hutchings and Jeremy Barr for The Invisible War. (We assume the award is doing the rounds of a five-way timeshare right now.)

For this jumbo instalment of our Next Big Thing series, hosted by Louise Swinn – and part of this year’s Small Press Network Conference – we point you to more books that deserve another look.

Presented in partnership with Small Press Network.


Portrait of Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn is a writer, publisher, critic, literary event chair and the editor of Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion (Allen and Unwin, 2019). Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network and the Stella Prize.

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