Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 11, 2016

2016 Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA)

I not quite sure how I came to miss the announcement of the shortlist for the Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) because it’s an award I like to follow, but tonight’s the night they announced the winner.

The MUBA is an annual award that aims to promote some of the outstanding titles produced by small and independent Australian publishers that haven’t had their fair share of attention.  The four books The Small Press Network (SPN shortlisted for the 2016 Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) were:

  • A Man Made Entirely of Bats by Patrick Lenton (Spineless Wonders)
  • Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie (Text Publishing)
  • Creating Cities by Marcus Westbury (Niche Press)
  • The Floating Garden by Emma Ashmere (Spinifex Press) on my TBR See my review

and the winner was Creating Cities by Marcus Westbury!

Past winners of the award include:

  • The Grapple Annual No 1 edited by Duncan Felton, published by Grapple Publishing.
  • A Wrong Turn at The Office of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson, published by Transit Lounge (2014); (see my review)
  • Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis, published by Spinifex Press (2013) (see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums); and
  • inaugural winner The Cook by Wayne Macauley, published by Text Publishing. (see my review).


  1. I missed that too, Lisa, so thanks for this. I have also reviewed The floating garden. A very interesting book about the dispossession for the sake of progress (the Sydney Harbour Bridge) of marginalised and poorer people.


  2. I was there tonight, and have to award Patrick Lenton for giving the most amazing reading I think I’ve ever experienced, I spoke with him afterwards and asked if he is an actor and he isn’t, but I said he should be on the stage more often. Christopher Currie’s editor Mandy Brett from Text read on his behalf and it is such a beautiful book I am going to read just on that slice. I spoke to someone else who said the winner book – Creating Cities – is terrific and worth interest from anyone who likes oral histories. So, a good night. But home early because it’s been a big week!


    • LOL would you believe I was at a cocktail party at my father’s aged care home? Life certainly has changed for me!


      • Haha, Lisa … I remember going to a similar event at my ma-in-law’s place a few months before she died.


  3. The name Spineless Wonders gets my vote


  4. I love the idea behind this award!


    • I hope it translates into good sales for all the shortlisted authors…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea. Small publishing houses need help and support so this kind of initiative is superb. It reminds me of the sadly now defunct Jerwood Prize for Fiction Uncovered through which I found authors i would never have known about otherwise.


    • Yes, the prize isn’t worth a lot of money, but the exposure is very helpful for authors…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] prompted me to read The Floating Garden now was the novel’s shortlisting for the MUBA (Most Under-rated Book Award).  How has this happened?, I wondered, because I knew from the enthusiastic reviews that this is a […]


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