Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 25, 2021

2021 Small Press Network’s Book of the Year Award

The  Shortlist for The Small Press Network’s Book of the Year (BOTY) Award 2021 was announced today.

(This used to be the Most Underrated Book of the Year Award but they re-named it in 2020).

From the press release:

BOTY aims to recognise and award some of the most significant and ground-breaking books being produced by Australian publishers and authors today.

The 2021 shortlisted titles are:

The  judges were Dr Alexandra Dane, Jess Gately, Penni Russon, Marina Sano Litchfield, and Jing Xuan Teo:

‘Six books were chosen for the shortlist this year, each one a testament to the power of small publishing and the role it plays in giving voice to those who might be overlooked in mainstream publishing. The shortlisted titles were all examples of strong, engaging writing that tackled a range of issues from identity and culture to family, relationships and abuse. Each book was a thought-provoking read that invited the reader to explore and consider the nuances of the world and people around us.

Almost a Mirror unfolds like a long night out […] the novel invites reflection on the sensory possibilities of prose fiction, as well as conjuring the aesthetics of the late 20th century.

Collisions is an extraordinarily creative anthology of short fiction clustering the stories around the themes of Bodies, Momentum and Contact.

Echoes [a collection of essays] is a true expression of what it means to (re)connect with one’s culture, blending memoir, cultural commentary and translation with brief vignettes that leave a lasting impact.

A fun, lively and fast-paced coming of age novel that explores the different dynamics and fallout from a newly joint family, Taking Down Evelyn Tait is YA fiction at its finest.

A unique book in the world of Australian small press publishing, The Tiniest House of Time takes readers beyond domestic borders and Western history.

Exploring themes of family, identity, sexuality and belonging, We Are Speaking in Code is a warm, engaging and thought-provoking collection of essays reflecting the immigrant experience.’

The winner will be announced on 26 November 2021.

The award is sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association, ArtsHub and Bibliotheca, and by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

About the Small Press Network:

Established in 2006, the Small Press Network is a representative body for over 200 small and independent publishers around Australia. It presents the Book of the Year Award (BOTY), previously the Most Underrated Book of the Year Award (MUBA), and has run the Independent Publishing Conference since 2012.


  1. Thanks Lisa … I have Echoes … maybe I’ll try to read it for Brona’s Aus month. What a good-looking diversity in authors – and interesting to see the number of essays here.


    • It must have been very difficult to do the shortlist… so many authors unable to have their launches and other publicity opportunities, I fear some very worthwhile books may have sunk like a stone…

      Liked by 1 person

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