Super Indie: Indie Fiction at Supanova

Indie fiction was the rising star at Adelaide’s Supanova convention in 2018. Indie fiction being a title self- published by the author rather than a house publisher. As part of Artist Alley’s Indie Press Zone, indie authors and publishers have become more prevalent at Supanova in recent years, and are now a part of the core experience. This prevalence has increased as the tools to self-publish have become more accessible. At the 2018 event I attended panels by local indie authors and had a chance to speak with some of them. Below are just some of the interesting discoveries I made about both indie fiction and the convention.

Kylie Leane, author of Chronicles of the Children series, is one of the longest exhibiting local indie authors at Supanova. She began selling her books at Supanova in 2013 and has seen the community and enthusiasm around indie fiction grow since then. She was only one of two indie authors in 2013 and only had half a booth in a very small Artist Alley. This began to grow slowly over the years, becoming four authors by her third year and now roughly 15-20 authors (fiction and comics included) as of 2018. Leane has also said she likes the enthusiasm the Supanova committee has for indie fiction. This support has been to the aligning of their interests and passion for the craft.

Kylie Leane Booth.jpg

Indie publishing appeals to some writers because of the opportunity for representing diversity Katie Fraser, author of Realm of the Lilies series, said indie fiction has given an outlet for people to tell their stories without gatekeepers, be it an agent or a head editor of a publishing company. This was a recurring criticism of traditional publishers, mentioned also in panels by authors like Maria Lewis, writer of The Witch Who Courted Death, who has been published both independently and traditionally. Even these authors have said self-publishing allows diverse voices to emerge, especially for stories traditional publishing may see as difficult to market even though they might be good. These diverse voices can be ones related to gender, disability, and minority voices to name a few.

This idea of gatekeeping makes indie fiction more appealing to some writers. Matt J. Pike, author the Apocalypse series, compared indie fiction to the Adelaide Fringe and traditional publishing to the Adelaide Festival of the Arts. The Adelaide Fringe offers a wide range of different performances where performers can experiment with their craft, compared to the Adelaide Festival, which has a more traditional arts and arts representation. Pike was encouraged to turn to indie publishing because of the long waits on hearing from agents and publishers. This frustration was also felt by Fraser, it would take months to hear from an agent and then even more time for a publisher to respond to a submission. This is what drove her to go indie with her first book, Through the Fig Tree, in 2016. However, aforementioned authors have said there is some hurdles that you will face by going indie. One of these is that you will be doing a lot of the hard work like advertising and hiring artists yourself. The authors have mentioned too that it is best to know or hire a great structural and line editor to help with your project.

KE Fraser Panel.jpg

Many indie authors mentioned the local indie community is a major benefit to them. Fraser said the indie community is amazing and they often catch up with each other, be it at Supanova or at dinners. Pike said that there is amazing support from within the community for each other.

When asked what advice they would give anyone interested in going indie, the aforementioned indie authors gave a similar response: “Just do it.” Both Fraser and Leane stressed the importance of knowing someone who is a good editor. Both were lucky to know good editors, but Fraser says you can also find good editors through Twitter as well. She also says to write what you know and that there’s no right or wrong in the indie world. The world of indie fiction offers a chance for all voices to be heard, regardless of genre or idea.

The genuine enthusiasm Supanova has for local indie fiction is undeniable looking at the schedule for 2018. Over the course of the weekend, there were at least three panels dedicated to indie authors. These were spread over comics and fiction, all headlined by local indie authors. This is a vast improvement compared to a few years ago, where an occasional indie author would join one of Supanova’s literary panels. It shows Supanova is eager to promote local indie fiction at their events and to give these authors more publicity.

Going indie allows you to get your stories out there, even if they’ve been rejected numerous times by traditional publishers. If your work is experimental then it can become a good place for you to showcase it to a niche audience. Indie publishing is a growing field, and certainly something to consider when delving into the publishing world.


Words and photography by Cameron Lowe.

Meet-the-Team-Cameron2Cameron Lowe is a horror and sci-fi writer, editor and student. He’s had fiction and articles featured in Speakeasy Zine and Empire Times. He loves to read, play video games, and drink green tea. He’s one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times. He tweets at @cloweshadowking.

Taeghan Buggy: Writer/Editor

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tiggyHow did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?

My involvement really started with knowing Lisandra and Liam (Tulpa’s founders) through the Flinders’ Speakeasy Creative Readings club. When Lisandra mentioned that she and Liam were looking to start an arts magazine and wanted people, I jumped on board as a writer and editor. It was a case of right time, right place, right people.

 

What do you do?

I’m a writer and an editor for the magazine, though I’m more of a writer than an editor if I’m honest. I’ve contributed some things for #fictionfriday and Tulpa’s opinion articles. With the advent of Adelaide’s Fringe Festival, I’m also reviewing some fringe shows for Tulpa that I’m really looking forward to.

 

What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?

I’m facing my creative writing honours this year so I’m expecting a lot of reading, writing, and researching (yay). But I’m also a poet and a performer in addition to my writing, so I read at a few poetry slams and open mic nights around Adelaide city. I’m also a writer for the New Wave Audio Theatre podcast, which is an awesome collaborative project that’s gearing up for a second season.

 

What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?

I’d have to say that it was amazing to be able to see the beginnings of an arts magazine that’s so focused and supportive of emerging writers. Being involved in something that puts out creative works and articles that might not otherwise be published is truly gratifying. The fact that the magazine is a real collaborative effort only adds to this. I’m very excited to see how Tulpa grows, and that I can be a part of the process? Well, that’s exceptionally cool.

 

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?

In the near future? Graduating uni. After that? Hopefully, travel and writing, maybe even travel-writing. Backpacking Mongolia on the back of a yak (or at least the back of something) is my 2019 goal at the moment. And after-after that? Who really knows. I want to get involved in more script and screen writing, as one of my other loves is theatre and acting. But if I’m honest, life takes so many different directions and I have so many different interests that I’m willing to see what strange places it leads. I’m #keen.


You can find Taeghan on Twitter.

New Wave Audio Theatre: https://www.facebook.com/newwaveaudiotheatre/

Cameron Lowe: Editor/Writer

meet the team.-16

 

Meet-the-Team-Cameron2

How did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?

I was a sub-editor at Empire Times in 2017 and got the opportunity to get to know both Liam and Lisandra well as they were editors at the time. I had heard from one of them that they were going to be starting up their own magazine after their editorships, so I liked the idea of it.

When I saw what Liam and Lis were doing in the flesh I decided right from there to help join in helping with them in Tulpa.

 

What do you do?

So far I’ve only contributed fiction and a feature about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Due to being one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times, my availability to edit received pieces has been limited so far. Down the track though I will be discussing more about pop culture, video games, and fiction.

 

What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?

As mentioned before, I’m one of the 2018 editors at Empire Times, the student magazine of Flinders University. Alongside this, I’m also doing my third year in the Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing at Flinders. This is my second degree after I attained a Bachelor of Creative Arts: Creative Writing in 2018.

I often like to spend most of my time reading, writing, gaming, and attempting to catch up on TV shows and films. My favourites include for each: reading (Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson), writing (speculative fiction), gaming (The Legend of Zelda series), TV (Doctor Who, The Simpsons), films (classic horror and sci-fi).

I like to travel too every now and then to different countries, primarily in Asia so far. What I love to do is go to other countries, seek out their museums, book and video game stores, and try all these new foods and beer.

Meet-the-Team-Cameron

 

What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?

I guess it’s just a great feeling to be a part of a magazine during its beginning times. To be part of a team and aiding in creating and contributing to a place that’s still new, it’s a wonderful feeling.

 

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?

How much water is there on Mars? By that, I mean I honestly don’t know at all. I would love to spend my life writing fiction (both novel and short story) and discussing pop culture, but it unfortunately won’t help pay off my university debts, or allow me to really travel anywhere at this moment. Depending on how Empire Times goes this year, I guess it’s really to see what opportunities come up.


You can find Cameron on Twitter at @cloweshadowking

He also does a monthly discussion on the books he’s read on his blog, entitled ‘Lair of the Shadow King’, which you can find here. https://lairoftheshadowking.wordpress.com/

Leeza von Alpen: Editor

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Meet-the-Team-Leeza.jpgHow did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?

Before Tulpa, I had volunteered for another magazine called Empire Times while I was undertaking my Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts at Flinders University; this is where I had the fortunate opportunity of meeting Lisandra and Liam. When they proposed the concept of Tulpa Magazine, and began seeking other fellow editors to expand their team, I was both excited and eager to become a part of this project. Having worked with them previously, I knew they had the experience, creativity and tenacity to launch and manage such a project, and looked forward to contributing towards it. Already, I feel that Tulpa has started to become shaped into a fine arts and literary magazine.

What do you do?

I myself manage any fiction pieces available (ideally, before any of our other talented editors can snatch it up!) that Lisandra or Liam offer to us. Occasionally, I contribute to the magazine if there’s available space.

What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?

I’m a recently graduated middle and secondary high school teacher who specialises in English, History and Women’s Studies. Outside of Tulpa, I work part-time, visit the gym, and write my young adult novels and poetry. As any avid reader will tell you, I have a copious amount of unread books overflowing from my shelves that require undivided attention that I cannot always give them, but, where possible, I enjoy sitting down with my milkless tea and reading for hours on end. Occasionally, I’ll perform at local readings in Adelaide, but my projects keep me quite busy. I’m also an amateur star watcher (that’s the term for an unqualified, self-taught individual who maps constellations and watches the night sky).

What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?

I can only choose one thing? Seriously? What part of working for Tulpa isn’t rewarding? Well, if I had to choose only one part of working for the magazine that’s rewarding, it would have to be working with the team and being engaged with the sheer creativity that we interact with. We have an excellent team here at Tulpa; all experienced, friendly and energetic. It’s a fun experience to have a group of diverse people work together because we share a common interest; our love for art and writing. Together, we help budding and experienced contributors alike polish their pieces and find recognition and worth in their projects. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?

Ideally, I’ll secure a contract with a school and start teaching my own classes. Also, I aspire to finally finish a novel (instead of starting another three more and adding more to my uncompleted pile of manuscripts); I’m currently working on three main projects: my young adult novel, While We’re Here, and my fantasy series, Drahdia; and a collection of short poems. I’m also looking into potentially starting up a writing website and blog with novel reviews and writing advice, and maybe a Podcast along the same lines. Stay tuned!

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You can find Leeza on Twitter and Instagram.

Twitter | @Leeza_Jayde

https://twitter.com/Leeza_Jayde

Instagram | leezajaydepoetry

https://www.instagram.com/leezajaydepoetry/

Leeza’s E-Folio for her teaching career can be accessed here:

https://leezavonalpen.wixsite.com/leezajaydeedu

Kayla Gaskell: Managing Editor

meet the team.

 

KaylaHow did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?

When I first heard about Tulpa I was intrigued—an arts magazine not only based in SA but also focusing on South Australian artists and writers? Knowing that Liam and Lisandra had created it encouraged me to be involved. Having worked with both editors previously I know that Tulpa Magazine has the potential to grow and flourish. When the opportunity arose for a third managing editor to join the team I put my hand up, and, somehow managed to get in. Watching its development so far has been amazing and having this opportunity to shape its future is a privilege.

I think that it is important for Adelaide to have more arts projects running because we have such a large and vibrant arts community which isn’t always acknowledged. We might not be Melbourne or Sydney but that shouldn’t stop us from being Adelaide and cherishing our community and culture. Tulpa is all about supporting local artists and I am behind this aim entirely.

 

What do you do?

As a writer my main focus has been reviewing and criticism for both prose and theatre. I have been involved in reviewing long before I came to Tulpa and enjoy going to shows and events and providing my own take on the fantastic talent around Adelaide. Moving forward as an editor with Tulpa I will be managing a new section of the magazine where we will be discussing all things books—focusing, of course, on local authors.

 

What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?

Outside of Tulpa I am both boring and busy. I spend half my life working a generic retail job which a.) pays me, and b.) allows me time to switch my brain off all things writing. The other half is a mixture of writing, reading, and babysitting my nine nieces and nephews. Just last year I completed my BCA honours in Creative Writing at Flinders University where I focused on hope within dystopian stories. I’m now in the beginning stages of writing a historic fiction piece set in 1916 Australia because I am entirely fascinated by the implications of the Great War for those at home. I also love watching slam poetry and have been known to fly interstate just to see Button Poetry poets on their world tours.

 

What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?

The most rewarding part of working for Tulpa has been watching it grow from an idea into an active project. I am looking forward to the day we receive funding which means not only will we PAY THE ARTISTS, but the plan for a print magazine will be set in motion. There are of course other aspects which I really enjoy such as the events we organise to review and the wonderful feeling of getting to read someone else’s work pre-publication and providing (hopefully) helpful feedback.

 

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?

In the future I assume I’ll be writing and reviewing, hopefully for places that pay me and, ideally, fly me all over the world. A girl can dream right? Regardless, I’ll still be writing, I’ll still be reviewing. I would love to be working in the arts, potentially even with the Fringe festival so that I can continue to support local artists as well as work with more established ones.

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