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The Next Big Thing

View all events in this series

at The Wheeler Centre

Most Underrated Book Award Edition

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. Last year, 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’ll point you, dear reader, to books that deserve another look. (Don’t worry – we’ll bring the bar upstairs.)

Presented in partnership with Small Press Network.

Drinks available for purchase on the night.

Readings will be our bookseller at this event.


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.

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing takes place every month at the Moat and is a cherished Melbourne institution. It's the place to be if you want to hear great emerging writers read from new and adventurous work.

Enjoy a delicious drink and a bite to eat, while sampling writing from tomorrow's best and brightest literary stars.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.