Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 26, 2021

2021 Small Press Network’s Book of the Year Award winners

The  winners of The Small Press Network’s Book of the Year (BOTY) Award 2021 was announced today.  That’s not a typo, this year the judges have awarded two winners.

(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 winners are Echoes by Shu-Ling Chua and We Are Speaking in Code by Tanya Vavilova (Brio Books). (Links in this post all go to the Small Press Network site.)

From the press release:

The judges said: ‘Both titles exhibit beautiful and engaging writing, genuine and heartfelt examinations of identity and culture, and nuanced explorations of their themes. Each winner also showcases experimental forms and the power of small presses to bring unique stories to the world.’

Read interviews with Tanya and Shu-Ling on the SPN website.

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

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. My library has ‘We are Speaking in Code’: I’ve added it to my reserve list.


    • I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.
      TBH those words ‘heartfelt examination of identity and culture’ are not enticing to me…

      Liked by 1 person

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