Swimming in a Bigger Pond

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Sometimes there’s nothing like a face-to-face experience.  Author Catriona Troth shares in this guest post news about a new UK event, the first Indie Author Fair, that brings together authors and readers for a unique event that includes readings, storytimes and even an opportunity to “borrow” an author for a chat.


Swimming in a Bigger Pond

By Catriona Troth

Indie authors frequently come together at conferences and festivals to learn from one another and from the publishing industry. But when it comes to presenting their work to the reading public, they typically remain alone – very small fish in a very large publishing pond.

This year I am proud to facilitate a unique partnership – between Chorleywood Bookshop, well known for bringing literary luminaries to ‘the best little litfest you’ve never heard of’, the Triskele Books author collective and the Alliance of Independent Authors – to host the inaugural Indie Author Fair at the Chorleywood Lit Fest.

On the 16th November, forty indie authors will convene to create a pop-up bookshop. The Fair will feature literary fiction, crime, romance, historical fiction and comedy, with readings by the authors and story time sessions for children of all age groups – all served up with afternoon teas.  Visitors can ‘borrow’ any of the authors in the Human Library to learn more about every aspect of indie publishing.

By showcasing the work of so many authors in one place, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that indie author publishing represents all that is innovative, daring and creative.

The venture has captured the imagination of indie authors, who are travelling to the Fair from as far away as Spain and Switzerland. (We even had an enquiry from an author in Canada!)

Author Carol Cooper says, “The IAF will open eyes to the high standards and wide range of indie authors. And it will be fun!” While Lily Forbes is anticipating, “serious readers meeting independently published authors, confident in their own ability and prepared to blaze their own trail.”

Alliance of Independent Authors founder, Orna Ross, is looking forward to, “the connections and collaborations, and the energising creative spirit that always blows when a crowd of dedicated indie authors get together.”

The challenge now is to capture the imagination of reading public, who we hope will flock to Chorleywood on the 16th November to discover those buried treasures.

If so, we hope this will be a model for many such partnerships in the future, giving our indie fish the power to swim in a bigger pond.

The Indie Author Fair springs from a collaboration between Chorleywood Bookshop, Triskele Books author collective and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Chorleywood is a short hop from Central London on the Metropolitan Tube and Chiltern Rail lines.


Indie Author Fair: Sunday 16th November, 2pm-5pm, British Legion Hall, Chorleywood, WD3 5LN

Find more information about the fair here.


  1. I think this could be the start of something big, the idea of an Indie Pop-up Bookshop is long overdue and I can’t wait to get involved! See you all there!

  2. Nothing would make me happier than to see pop-up bookshops like this appearing all over the indie author world. Who’s game to pick up the baton?

  3. So thrilled to be involved in this event; a fantastic idea and a demonstration of the power of collaboration! I agree with Catriona and Gill – if these could appear across the world, perhaps coordinated during a day or a week each year then it could be incredibly good at raising the profile of indies further. Let’s talk some more at the fair – I’m game!