We’re very happy to announce a new, annual award to be known as the ‘Small Press Network Book of the Year Award’.

Any book released by an SPN member publisher in the previous calendar year is eligible. Entries are now open and the 2020 shortlist will be revealed in late November at this year’s Independent Publishing Conference.

‘We have successfully run the Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) since 2012, but it’s time for a change and refresh,’ says SPN general manager Tim Coronel. ‘Because of disruptions caused by COVID-19 we had delayed opening entries for this year’s MUBA and that has given us time to reflect on the purpose of the award and to plan a new direction.’

Last year’s MUBA judges ­– author Jane Rawson, broadcaster and critic Melissa Cranenburgh and bookseller Jackie Tang – will return to judge the 2020 Small Press Network Book of the Year. Jane Rawson says: ‘It’s a privilege to judge the SPN Book of the Year and to read the many diverse books produced by the daring, risk-taking membership of the Small Press Network. Their independence and spirit mean members of the network are publishing some of the most interesting books in Australia today, and we look forward to discovering some overlooked gems.’

The winning author and their publisher will each receive a $1000 cash prize. SPN appreciates the continuing support of the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) as a sponsor, and we welcome ArtsHub as a new sponsor. ArtsHub will also extend free annual memberships to the shortlisted authors and their publishers. ArtsHub’s Content Director George Dunford said: ‘We’re thrilled to be supporting writers and small publishers at a time when our literary ecosystem is threatened. We need more independent books right now to tell the stories that big publishers ignore or don’t think will sell. The spirit of this award is to spotlight stories that might not be told if not for small press.’

To download an entry form as a PDF click here; for a Word version click here. Entries are now open and must close on Monday 14 September. Any book published by an SPN member during the 2019 calendar year is eligible.

For any queries about the award, email us.