Its first year of existence has been a highly successful and productive year for CHINDI, Chichester’s local network of independent writers. The group was co-founded by Christopher Joyce and Jeremy Good in January 2014 who discovered they were both independently published authors while singing together in a local choir. Chris and Jeremy identified an opportunity to support each other, and other independent writers, by forming an independent author’s group and sharing knowledge, experience and resources. A year later the group has grown to a total of 15 self-published authors representing genres from thrillers to fantasy, children’s books, biography and non-fiction.
CHINDI members have met around ten times during the year to exchange ideas, swap tips and to plan events. In March the first CHINDI book fair was organised at New Park Centre where six of the original CHINDI members promoted their books and spoke about their self-publishing experiences to other budding writers. In May the group sold their books together at the Chichester Craft Fair at the Assembly rooms, and in June CHINDI had a presence at the Winchester University Book Fair, where one of its members also received a highly commended award in the writing competition.
In November CHINDI organised a panel interview session at Chichester library chaired by Christopher Joyce. The event attracted a large audience who heard first-hand experiences of how to publish and market your own work, as well as having the opportunity to meet local authors and ask questions. In December CHINDI held its first highly successful social event, ‘Woodies Wine and Words,’ where over 70 guests tasted Mason’s wines and Woodies’ food while listening to short readings from four CHINDI authors. The year ended with a bookstall at the Chichester Christmas market which resulted in record book sales as well as interest from several potential new members.
During 2014 the group recorded their first radio advertisement for Spirit FM and appeared on one of the very first editions of Solent TV. CHINDI also has its own YouTube channel with videos of events, book readings, book launches and interviews with members.
CHINDI members would like to thank everyone who has supported them by attending events, providing resources or buying books in 2014. Special thanks, for their unstinting support, goes to Phil Hewitt at the Chichester Observer, Vicky Edwards and Ian Crouch at Spirit FM, Gareth Edmunds and Rebecca Savill at Chichester library and Matt Beaton at Woodies Bar and Brasserie in St Pancras, Chichester.
The group has exciting plans for 2015 with a full programme of events, knowledge exchange and support for local independent writers currently being developed. Please keep in touch via our website and Facebook page.