December / January 2022

Shelf Unbound


December/January 2022

2021 Award Issue


Every year, we receive entry after entry in our annual Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition. We received hundreds of entries this year in all manner of genres.

You can find the winners, finalists, long-listed, and our top “Notable” books in this issue. To everyone who entered, we want to let you all know how much we enjoyed reading your books. This year, judging our entries was incredibly hard as we were graced with many great works.

Our overall winner is The Hive by Melissa Scholes Young.

“The Hive is a story of class in America and the fates of four sisters and their family business in a politically divided Midwestern town. The Fehlers provide a working-class lens on a complicated family facing a recession. I hope it’s a useful read for our politically divided country in this moment. I believe stories can heal us. We have access to worlds we might not otherwise spend time in. Each of the Fehler women have their own journey and they discover so much about themselves through sudden grief.”

– Melissa Scholes Young