Highlights of Indie Fire Writers Conference 2020.


If you're an independent author, or like me aspiring to make a career for yourself in the Indie Publishing world, then you missed a value-packed conference. 

But never fear. 

I've got you! 

Here's a run down of the workshops, panels, and pre-recorded content that full access tickets would've got you if you'd attended the Indie Fire Writers Conference in person.

Angeline Trevena is an everyday heroine of mine. We met way back during a Devon NaNoWriMo outing. She was always a prominent handle on the chatzy as well as the Devon Wrimo group and it is no surprise to me to discover her leading this event with several published novels under her belt as well as world building workbooks for fantasy writers.

Angeline is living the IndieAuthor life, and is sharing her knowledge with others to help aspiring writers to write more, publish more, and sell more.

Co-hosts Holly Lyne and Dion Winton-Polak are also well established in the UK Indie world.

The Conference itself was made up of four pre-recorded workshops, four pre-recorded Panels, and three live events which were brilliantly led and full of valuable nuggets of wisdom.

Amongst the hosts and panelists, this conference boasts 90+ published novels (not including writer guides, novellas or short stories), five podcasts, two writing mentors, one creative writing teacher and one professional editor. Those are some impressive statistics for such a small independent conference! 

Keep reading for a breakdown of the live events.

Titles and Hosts of the Events of the IndieFire Writers Conference 

Editors Save Arses led by Dion Winton-Polak

Dion took a very dry subject and made it fun and engaging with tasks for attendees to join in with and discuss. 

Editing can often be a painful task for writers. Famous maxims are: 'to kill your darlings', and, 'write first, edit later'. Editing can feel like lobotomising yourself not just your work, and when others critique, it can often be felt like a scourge on your very soul. 

Editing needn't be like this. With some simple understanding of the different types of editing we can go from an incomplete messy first draft to a polished manuscript. 

Some of the most important takeaways from this workshop were:

  • To understand what your current editing needs are,
  • Choose the right editor to save time and money, and
  • Separate the stages of editing so you're not overwhelmed.
There are three main types of editing processes and these are:

The Structural Edit

This is what you do when you when you finish your first draft. You've written a manuscript that's all over the place (especially if you're a pantser), there'll be inconsistencies in  events, names, places, as well as gaps in the plot. 

The structural edit allows you to make sure the story works; that scenes are structured with the right pace, and information is seeded in the right places.

The Line Edit

What you do once you've got your story straight. This is checking that the writing itself. Is your grammar up to par, is your style clear and the prose flows?

Proofreading

This is the final stage. This is the last look for typos, grammar and text errors.

Creating Fantasy Worlds with Angeline Trevena

My biggest takeaway from this workshop is that Angeline likes cake... 

My second biggest takeaway is that you shouldn't use world building as a procrastination tool; I knew this already, but I like to pretend it's ok because I love world building. I needed this chastisement!

The third takeaway, and probably the most important for you the reader, is that world building is an essential part of a fantasy writers tool belt and being time efficient is essential - as is being organised with your notes!

This workshop was a delight and the chat box was full of participants engaging and sharing their ideas.

I came away with two new name generators - The Cult of Squid, and Seventh Sanctum which on inital inspection have already provided some much needed ideas for place names in my own novels.

I also came away with a new story idea:

Ocaru - a young dwarf must find a way to cross the Wastes of Oaken to find the Nine Wolf Writings to save his town from an evil sorcerer, Rowazer the Blue.

No stealing! Watch this space... I might even write that one day! Once I finish the Alchemie Series, and the Damian Rises Series....

Set the Right Goals for 2021 led by Holly Lyne

If you like goal setting and have a life planner or bullet journal then you missed a fantastic workshop. 

If you are rubbish at setting goals and never get any closer to finishing or publishing your book, you definitely lucked out by missing this.

Holly led us through her system for setting the right goals to get her from story idea to published and earning money. 

We got a free pdf download to help us create our very own SMART goal and work out how to chunk it down in quarters of the year so we can set appropriate deadlines and know when we should be thinking about the different tasks involved to achieving our goal.

I don't know about you, but I have always found that to be the hardest thing in chasing my dreams of being an author... how to realistically set goals and tasks to get me there. 

My SMART goal, showed below, is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time -bound.

Publish ALCHEMIE OF DREAMS, and sell 1000 copies by December 31st 2021.

You'll notice it's not enough to simply finish and publish, I also want to sell a small number of copies which means I will need to put in work to create a launch and market it as well.

Do you have any writing goals for 2021 yet? Let us know in the comments below.

The Panels

The panels were so full with useful information. Too much for a blog post. But I would recommend you check out these panelists and their, books, podcasts and author services.

Ally Aldridge has recently published her first book.

Sacha Black is a fantasy book writer and has several workbooks for writers as well as host of The Rebel Author Podcast, and co-host at the Next Level Authors Podcast.

Duncan P Bradshaw - the P stands for whatever he feels like on the day - writes Horror and Bizarro. He likes to stretch the boundaries of genre fiction.

Caroline Goldsworthy writes crime fiction.

J.D. Groom is a member of World Indie Warriors and has 3 novels free on wattpad and has recently published the first of a fantasy series.

Meg Jolly has two fantasy series and is a USA Today Bestselling Author.

Holly Lyne writes fantasy and is co-host of Unstoppable Authors Podcast. Her book Goal Setting For Writers is a must if you struggle setting goals and reaching them.

Marisa Noelle is a writing mentor and author of four novels in the genres of YA Sci-fi, Urban Fantasy, and paranormal. 

Justin Park is a public speaker for writing events and owns the Sinister Horror Company Publishing House established in 2015. He has 11 novels published.

Ken Preston is a creative writing teacher, and writer of urban fantasy and romance books. 

David Wake is a member of the Birmingham Science Fiction and Fantasy Society and has 12 novels published in the Sci-fi and Steampunk genres.

Daniel Willcocks is a writing coach and speaker as well as host and co-hosts to the following podcasts: Next Level Authors Podcast, The Other Stories Podcast, Great Writers Share Podcast. He has also published 22 novels many as collaborations with other writers. 

Dion Winton-Polak is a professional editor and proofreader with five YA dystopian novels published. 

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Jessica Triana de Ford is Exeter Writers Blog Manager, and co-ordinates content as well as edits submissions. She loves being part of a supportive writing group and being in a position to help support other creatives find the courage to express their ideas. You can find out more and connect with Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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