The Next Big Thing

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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, editor, publisher and reviewer. Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Louise was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize.

How much?

This is a free event. Bookings are essential. We recommend arriving early to secure your seat. Read our ticketing FAQs here.Book your tickets

The Next Big Thing

New and emerging writers often produce adventurous, experimental or honest work – with the lesser burden of expectation, habit and legacy allowing for more careful or bold ideas.

A Wheeler Centre stalwart, our Next Big Thing series showcases the best in fresh Australian writing – with a focus on a different genre each month. You’ll hear from future favourites, and discover new darlings while you enjoy a drink and a bite in the intimate surrounds of The Moat.

Why wait for everyone else to catch up? Find tomorrow’s literary stars today.


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