December / January 2023

Shelf Unbound


December/ January 2023

2022 Awards 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 Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops by Allison Hong Merrill.

“Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops has similar themes as Tara Westover’s Educated and Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. It’s about the power of choice, illustrated by my experience as a Taiwanese immigrant bride––disowned by my father, abandoned by my American husband, and inarticulate in English––determined to create my own destiny in a foreign country.”

– Allison Hong Merrill

indie best award winner