North London indie publisher to showcase emerging local authors in Highbury

Hackney author Damien Mosley with his book Joined Up

Hackney author Damien Mosley with his book Joined Up - Credit: Damien Mosley

Indie Novella, a non-profit book publishing agency, is preparing for an exciting launch in Highbury next month. 

The organisation, which is based in north London, facilitates and inspires the work of local, upcoming authors.

Both a bookseller and publisher, Indie Novella provides collaboration opportunities, tutorials and short courses for authors.

British-Sri Lankan author and Newington Green resident Damien Mosley is a founding member of Indie Novella.

Full Wire by John McMenemie is one of the books published by Indie Novella

Full Wire by John McMenemie is one of the books published by Indie Novella - Credit: Callum Hood

Damien said: “We formed Indie Novella on the idea that there are actually a lot of really great stories out there that haven’t been discovered – so why don’t we find them and then publish them?”

Indie Novella was founded after a collection of authors, including Damien, met at writing courses four years ago.

“We were looking to find publishing agents or self-publish, but what we realised was that the agent route was a tough process.

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“We had this idea that there should be some middle ground – authors should be able to come together and work together to use the skills that a publishing house would offer, such as editing and being able to review,” said Damien.

North London author and musician John McMenemie

North London author and musician John McMenemie - Credit: John McMenemie

The organisation prides itself upon being a "community publisher" – encouraging new and upcoming authors to collaborate, share expertise and expand their contacts in the book industry.

Volunteer-run, Indie Novella offers free advice to authors of all ages and economic backgrounds.

Damien said: “Having an organisation that’s run by volunteers can be challenging…but when it works you actually get people who are super passionate about it and are doing it for the love of books.”

Mr Jones is a new book by local author Alex Woolf

Mr Jones is a new book by local author Alex Woolf - Credit: Callum Hood

When Damien first began writing 10 years ago, he found that the industry had many barriers, and getting publishing advice would typically cost thousands of pounds.

This accentuated minorities, making stepping into the industry almost impossible for some.

“It causes this divide and if you don’t know about the essential tips and tricks, you’re under a really big disadvantage," he said. 

"What we want to do [at Indie Novella] is take what we’ve learnt and do research and provide this for free."

Author Alex Woolf

Author Alex Woolf - Credit: Alex Woolf

This manifested in a free online writing course - held last December - where attendees could participate at their own pace, in the comfort of their own homes.

Indie Novella will be running the nine-week course again, beginning on January 25. 

Damien said: “The course brings people together – I found, personally, the best way to learn to become a writer is to review other people’s work.

“We're a small publisher, but we’re the only small publisher to offer free online writing courses, as far as we can see.”

Indie Novella ties together volunteer editors, graphic designers and publicists, to develop the work of their writing community. New authors are welcome to get involved by submitting their work to the Indie Novella website.

January 26 will mark the release of Indie Novella’s first set of authors – all of whom are north London based.

Authors include Damien himself, children’s author Alex Woolf, musician John McMenemie and former Disney animator Sarah Airriess.

Damien’s book, Joined Upis a comedy-drama that explores life after depression in the style of David Nicholls.

With the other books ranging from comedy to science fiction, the release is set to be "colourful and exciting".

On February 3, Indie Novella will also hold a launch event at Islington independent bookshop Ink@84 Bookshop in Highbury.

This will be followed by a series of author readings at All Good Bookshop in Turnpike Lane. 

Disney animator Sarah Airriess' graphic novel The Worst Journey in the World

Disney animator Sarah Airriess' graphic novel The Worst Journey in the World - Credit: Sarah Airreiss

Both events will be an exciting and engaging way to find out more about Indie Novella’s mission and opportunities.

“We’d really love to get more Hampstead and Highgate authors involved who like fiction, who’ve been writing fiction who want to send something off,” said Damien.

“We’re trying to grow the community, if anyone wants to be involved in any way, we’d love them to a part.”

More information can be found on the Indie Novella website at www.indienovella.co.uk

Find out more about the Ink@84 launch at www.ink84bookshop.co.uk/product-page/thur-feb-3rd-indie-novella-launch-joined-up-mr-jones-full-wire-6-30pm

Find out more about All Good Bookshop at allgoodbookshop.co.uk