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Most Underrated Book Award 2019: Shortlist Announcement

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The Small Press Network is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2019 Most Underrated Book Award. The Most Underrated Book Award is sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association and aims to uncover and celebrate the hidden gems of Australian publishing.

The 2019 shortlisted titles are:

  • Brontide by Sue McPherson (Magabala Books)
  • Antidote to a Curse by James Cristina (Transit Lounge)
  • Songwoman by Ilka Tampke (Text Publishing)

The MUBA 2019 judges praised the submitted books for their range of vibrant and contrasting voices and genres. The 2019 judging panel of Melissa Cranenburgh, Jane Rawson and Jackie Tang (convenor) highlighted the fact that it is often small presses who take risks and the results—evident in this year’s shortlist—are richly rewarding and worthwhile reads.

Last year’s winner, Living in Hope, by Frank Byrne with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford, published by Ptilotus Presshas received national media coverage, a boost in sales and a distribution deal with NewSouth Books, with Ptilotus Press’ books now stocked in over 40 outlets. Ptilotus Press’ Olivia Nigro says:

This level of opportunity has drawn energising horizons into view for the literary community of the central desert and reiterates the fundamental importance of amplifying remote voices, particularly from First Nations’ authors, in the national literary landscape.

MUBA winners have a history of going on to secure distribution deals and international rights— the 2017 winner Invisible War: A Tale on Two Scales (Scale Free Network) went on to sell North American rights.

#MUBA19 will be presented on the evening of Thursday 21 November 2019 during the Small Press Network’s 2019 Independent Publishing Conference.

Tickets will be available in October, and the event will be presented in partnership with The Wheeler Centre.

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