26th November, 2020

The Book of the Year Award 2020: Shortlist Announcement

The Small Press Network is honoured to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Book of the Year Award. The Book of Year Award marks a new direction for the Small Press Network and its membership. It aims to recognise and award some of the most significant and ground-breaking books being published by local independent publishers today.

The 2020 shortlisted titles are:

blur by the by Cham Zhi Yi (Subbed In)

The Subjects by Sarah Hopkins (Text Publishing)

Nganajungu Yagu by Charmaine Papertalk Green (Cordite Books)

Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui (Text Publishing)

Cooee Mittigar: A story on Darug Songlines by Jasmine Seymour & Leanne Mulgo Watson (Magabala Books)

The BOTY 2020 judges Melissa Cranenburgh, Jane Rawson and Jackie Tang say of the shortlist:

‘An extraordinary range of titles was submitted for the inaugural Small Press Network Book of the Year Award – five times as many as for last year’s Most Underrated Book Award. 

We read books for children, self-help books, books about soldiers and ballet dancers, novels set in western Sydney, Gaza, South Africa, and imaginary worlds. We read non-fiction about elections, trees, and First Nations family life and language, and poetry from middle-aged farmers and inner-city millennials. 

Our shortlist could not take in every book we admired. But we’re proud of the list we settled on: poetic and political essays from a much-loved Tasmanian writer; a graphic novel that transforms the quotidian into the profound; short stories that turn a keen eye on life in Vietnam and the Vietnamese diaspora; poetry about food, love and identity; a gorgeously illustrated children’s guide to the landscapes and lives of Darug country; a complex, compelling novel about a mysterious reform school; and a cycle of poems following a woman’s relationship with her mother and language. 

Australian readers are lucky to have so many brilliant books to choose from, and we applaud the efforts of small presses in bringing these stories to light.’

The winner of what we have dubbed #boty2020 will be presented at a virtual ceremony on the 10 December 2020. Check back for details.

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