IAWN Independent Authors of Wales Network
IAWN Independent Authors of Wales Network
IAWN will raise the profile of indie authors, promote their work and talents, provide a community hub for interaction and sharing.
IAWN will raise the profile of indie authors, promote their work and talents, provide a community hub for interaction and sharing. Read more
About this project
Independent Authors of Wales Network
(Ysgrifenwyr Annibynnol Rhwydwaith Cymru? IAWN Y ARC!)
A database of independent creative writers and storytellers in Wales.
Today, much emphasis is placed upon promotion. It is now much easier to get published, but much harder to get noticed.
IAWN will raise the profile of indie authors and story-tellers, promote their published work, inform them of professional writerly opportunities and provide a community hub for interaction. We will also strive to make mutually beneficial links with the wider expressive arts.
The core of IAWN will be the Database, a list of writers that companies, educational establishments, clubs, societies and events organisers can search to find someone to suit the requirements of their organisation.
- help raise the profile of authors and their works
- provide a dedicated web-page for each member to post a profile, writer CV, list of works and links to their own websites, amazon pages, social media, etc. (Preview this feature - here)
- provide a point of contact for potential clients that will help to diversify the outlets for the writerly skills and talents of members
- publish reviews, interviews and offer opportunities to contribute articles on the associated weblog (a 'beta' version is already up-and-running - here)
- organise a members’ review scheme, where members can exchange books and review them on the blog – providing reviews that can then be used in promotions and quoted on book jackets. (Opting-in to the reviews scheme would mean that for each book you submit for review, you would be expected to write a review of another member’s book. Books submitted for review will be circulated randomly among IAWN members in the scheme. There will be further guidelines, terms and conditions.)
- send e-mail bulletins with relevant news, such as alerts to competitions and publishing opportunities (our inaugural IAWN writing competition has now been announced here)
- organise an annual IAWN festival (the form and magnitude of this event will depend on the number of members)
- provide representation at other festivals and conventions
- provide on-going social media support though twitter, helping to publicise your works, appearances, book launches, etc. and doing plenty of RTs for members (we now have a presence on twitter - you may join-in and follow IAWN here)
- provide a portfolio of on-line resources for writers
- hold an annual members’ conference (probably coinciding with a festival)
- build a community hub for interaction and sharing
- send members a lovely enamel badge!
That is a lot for the comparatively modest subscription rates.
Iawn Diolch! (that's Welsh for 'Thanks very much!')
The literary heritage of Wales is something to nurture and champion!
The nation has historically produced more than its share of authors who have already achieved world renown. Just a few examples: Robert Vaughan, Arthur Machen, John Cowper Powys, Bertrand Russell, Hedd Wyn, Dylan Thomas, R S Thomas, Dick Francis, Raymond Garlick, Roald Dahl, Bernice Rubens, Terry Nation, Dorothy Simpson, Ken Follett, Mererid Hopwood, Russell T Davies!
What if the next talented and passionate writers in this line are being overlooked right now? IAWN will be there to support them and do its best to spread their words. To do this effectively, we need friends and members to help each other, simply by becoming friends or members of IAWN themselves – think of it as a cooperative model.
One of the big hurdles for independent authors is garnering reviews for their work – IAWN will introduce a peer review scheme. Another is generating a significant profile using social media – IAWN will provide a coordinated platform in the form of the Database and continued social media support to help connect with clients, commissions and other opportunities. IAWN will be proactive at festivals, conventions and other public events.
Shall we get started and see how far we can take this? Please carefully consider our rewards and see which one suits you best…
Now for a little bit of analysis:
There are many other ways for authors to supplement their income apart from writing. For example, I have been a member of the Helfa Gelf Arts Trail for over two years and, although it is not a network for authors, it has brought me two Writing Residencies, paid freelance writing commissions and I have been hired as a storyteller and public speaker.
Also, I used to be listed in the Writers of Wales Database at Literature Wales. Though this has now been scrapped, it was of benefit in raising my public profile, as you can see from this snapshot of my blog traffic from a while ago.
The Writers of Wales Database had criteria (you had to be a traditionally published author, of at least one work of fiction that had been recognised as having literary merit), the criteria helped the Database be taken seriously, which is one reason why IAWN does have criteria for Full Membership – so there is kudos in being a member and can be quoted with confidence on a writer’s CV.
So, looking at these two models, IAWN is expected be the ‘go-to’ Database for interested readers, fellow authors and for organisations looking for authors and storytellers to make appearances, host workshops, etc.
Nothing else like it exists!
The Independent Authors of Wales need a network.
This is my first time using Kickstarter, so I am unable to show you examples of past projects, but let me tell you this...
In the year 2000, we received a small grant of £500, from the Arts Council of Wales, to launch a literary journal called, 'The Scrawl'. With help from my partner, we produced two print editions and then transferred to e-publishing. We received no further funding, yet 'The Scrawl' is still going and, in 2016, was recognised by the National Library of Wales as having important heritage value.
Risks and challenges
Hopefully the little 'Scrawl' story above will help to illustrate that we have passion, dedication and staying power.
The only obvious obstacle to delivering IAWN would be the continuation of services for a small membership base. (Being a family man, I would need to prioritise my time with a view to earning enough to support my family.) I have arrived at the funding target by allowing one half-day per week for the first 6 months admin and social media management, plus enough to cover design and set-up fees for a functioning website, modest marketing costs and, of course, making the enamel badges.
I have been a teacher for 17 years, though my hours will be significantly cut after June 2017. Being a full-time Creative Arts Lecturer, then part-time teacher of Creative Media Production, may have hindered my career as a writer and artist, but it did not stop me. I made time to write, and managed to run 'The Scrawl', in my ‘spare time’. From June, I will have much more time to devote to personal projects and in doing what I love to do.
Before I was a teacher, I worked as a qualified Press and Publicity Officer, a professional journalist, magazine editor, photographer and novelist. These jobs, and all the extra skills I have acquired through teaching, have equipped me with a powerful skill-set that I can bring to bear in organising and running IAWN to make it an effective organisation to benefit my fellow authors in Wales.
IAWN will not be run for profit. After covering basic running costs, social media management and website maintenance, subscription fees will be ploughed back into bigger and better festivals and services. So long as there are a modest number of members and renewals each year (realistically, that would be upward of 70), it will not take money out of my pocket, so I will be obliged to continue running IAWN - it is something I want to do! Fewer members will mean basic services, and more members will allow us to offer 'STRETCH GOALS' of even bigger and better festivals, conventions, marketing, etc. So, every Author who joins or supports IAWN, is not only benefiting themselves, but will be helping every other member - a Network for all the Independent Authors of Wales.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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