The Grapple Annual No. 1 is Officially the Best Book You’ve Probably Never Heard About!Grapple wins!

The Small Press Network is thrilled to announce that editor Duncan Felton has won the fourth annual Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) for the anthology The Grapple Annual No. 1.

The Grapple Annual is the flagship publication from Grapple Publishing, an independent Canberra-based publisher, founded by Felton in 2013.

For more information, see the official media release.

About the award

This annual award aims to shine a light on some of the outstanding titles produced by small and independent Australian publishers that, for whatever reason, did not receive their fair dues when first released.

If you would like to get in touch about sponsoring the award, please do so any time of year.

2015 Most Underrated Book Award Shortlist!

On 7 September 2015 the shortlist for the 2015 MUBA was announced. The shortlists titles were:

  • Isabelle of the Moon and Stars by S.A. Jones (UWA Publishing)
  • The Grapple Annual No. 1 edited by Duncan Felton (Grapple Publishing)
  • Funemployed: Life as an Artist in Australia by Justin Heazlewood (Affirm Press)


For more information on the shortlisted titles, download the media release.

Booksellers, download the flyer or poster to promote the MUBA shortlist in your store!


Here’s what last year’s winning publisher had to say about the award:

I was in a hot, dusty and very polluted town in Orissa, India, when I received the news that Jane Rawson’s debut novel A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists had won the Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Award 2014. It seemed a fitting place to get the good news about a novel that paints such a wonderful portrait of a future Melbourne on the environmental brink. It was a positive turn in the story of a novel that seemed to have silently slipped by readers and had been misunderstood by some reviewers.

Transit Lounge has had titles that have been shortlisted for or won Premiers’ Awards and have only sold a handful more copies. This hasn’t been the case with the MUBA. Print sales have more than tripled for A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists since it won the award, it has developed a growing e-book readership, and its author is a forthcoming guest at Melbourne and other writers’ festivals. There is also overseas rights interest.

But most importantly Jane Rawson finally has the readership she and her imaginative debut novel deserve.

Barry Scott, publisher at Transit Lounge

Enter the 2016 MUBA!

Download the entry form for the 2016 Most Underrated Book Award


Enter now

Last Year's Winner


A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade ListsJane Rawson

A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson, published by Transit Lounge, was recognised as the Most Underrated Book of 2014.

A judging panel of booksellers and bloggers described A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists as ‘refreshing’ and ‘full of dark humour’, and declared that it ‘bravely breaks new ground with its genre-busting nature.’

‘One of the facets of this work that made such a strong impression was that it refused to downplay a story focused in Australia as something small or niche…The characters themselves are memorable, but ultimately it is that it feels like an Australian story for the world which makes it stand above [the other entries].’

The novel connects the story of teenagers Simon and Sarah, on a quest to see America in 1997, with the experiences of Caddy, living in a humpy on a riverbank in an Australian city in the year 2030.

Jane Rawson, who grew up in Canberra and now lives in Melbourne, is a writer and editor who has worked for Lonely Planet and The Conversation. A Wrong Turn at The Office of Unmade Lists is her first book.

2014 Most Underrated Book Award shortlist

  • Gardens of Fire, Robert Kenny (UWA Publishing)
  • A Wrong Turn at The Office of Unmade Lists, Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge)
  • Holy Bible, Vanessa Russell (Sleepers Publishing)

A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

It is 1997 in San Francisco and Simon and Sarah have been sent on a quest to see America: they must stand at least once in every 25-foot square of the country. Decades later, in an Australian city that has fallen on hard times, Caddy is camped by the Maribyrnong River, living on small change from odd jobs, ersatz vodka and memories. She’s sick of being hot, dirty, broke and alone.

Caddy’s future changes shape when her friend, Ray, stumbles across some well-worn maps, including one of San Francisco, and their lives connect with those of teenagers Simon and Sarah in ways that are unexpected and profound.

A meditation on happiness – where and in what place and with who we can find our centre, a perceptive vision of where our world is headed, and a testament to the power of memory and imagination, this is the best of novels: both highly original and eminently readable.

‘I thoroughly loved this book. I know so much more about the present and the future. Melbourne looks great as a ruined tropical mega shanty town − I can’t wait. This must be the first of a new genre-or it’s the wrecking of a few old ones. Film-like, dream-like, life-like. Funny, and charming.’
Dave Graney, author of 1001 Australian Nights

‘A free-range and funny apocalyptic time-space road trip, with James M. Cain, J. G. Ballard, and Tom Robbins all fighting for the wheel.’
Steven Amsterdam, author of Things We Didn’t See Coming and What the Family Needed