Ideas on Fire

2020 Year in Review:

A Year of Change

This was a hell of a year.

Between a global pandemic, a nerve-wracking run-up to a historic election, an inspiring global uprising against racist police violence, devastating wildfires brought on by climate change, and the 9 zillion other epic events that have made up this year (murder hornets anyone?), 2020 was one for the record books.

Each December, the Ideas on Fire team compiles our year in review, a celebration of what we’ve been up to for the last 12 months. It normally covers workshops we ran, conferences we attended, podcast episodes and blog articles we published, and the like.

But this year was, well, different. Our team members, clients, colleagues, and communities have had their lives upended in ways we’re all still coming to terms with.

But as IoF founder Cathy Hannabach recently reminded us, taking the time to celebrate all the little and big wins this year is still really important.

So we want to use this year in review to celebrate YOU—the amazing Ideas on Fire community whose brilliance, grace, compassion, and creativity never cease to inspire us.

Here’s what you’ve been up to this year.

You rocked your interdisciplinary projects

We celebrate all of you who have been able to keep thinking, writing, and researching up a storm, despite all of this year’s challenges.

We also celebrate all of you who instead and additionally have put your brilliance to work supporting your families, communities, students, and selves in ways beyond what a CV can ever recognize.

This year we were privileged to work on a huge range of brilliant interdisciplinary projects with authors from around the world.




Stack of multicolored books

You found new writing habits and workflows

As you faced new home and work lives, you figured out what you needed from your professional projects and supported each other to make it happen.

Here are some of the 2020 articles that you told us most helped you adapt to your new circumstances, covering everything from online writing systems and how to publish during a pandemic to developing new modes of intellectual inquiry beyond the academy.

How I’m Writing During the Pandemic

by Tala Khanmalek

Setting Up Virtual Writing Accountability Systems

by Kate Drabinski

Publishing Pipelines and Productive Procrastination

by Jennifer Kelly

How Authors Can Build Sustainable Editor Relationships

by Cathy Hannabach

Finding Abundance Beyond the Academy

by Catherine Fung

You shared your techniques with others in the spirit of collective support

25 of you joined Cathy on the Imagine Otherwise podcast, where you shared the inspiring projects you have been working on as well as how you’re harnessing your artistic, academic, and activist skills to ensure no communities are left behind in these challenging times.

A bunch of you published books this year!

37 of our clients to be exact.

We loved working with you on these fantastic texts.

If you’re looking for awesome interdisciplinary books to add to your spring syllabi or winter reading list, check these out.

You sought out new career and connection opportunities

This year, many of you reached out to us after your existing career and public engagement options took a hit due to the pandemic.

To help you adapt, we created 2 brand-new courses about how to do public engagement awhileidst social distancing and revamped our flagship editing course that provides training for an academic editing career.

You jumped in with both feet, and we’re so proud of you!

You welcomed our new team members with (socially distanced) open arms

In 2020, 8 new members joined the Ideas on Fire team who have loved working with you on your fabulous projects!

Akiko Yamagata

Akiko Yamagata


Micha Rahder

Micha Rahder

Developmental editor

Augustin Kendall

Augustin Kendall


Megan Bayles

Megan Bayles


Megan Milks

Megan Milks

Developmental editor

Jean Lee Cole

Jean Lee Cole

Developmental editor

Candida Hadley

Candida Hadley

Copyeditor and developmental editor

Lisa Fedorak

Lisa Fedorak


You didn’t give up

And finally, the most important thing you did this year that we celebrate is making it through without losing hope in the power of interdisciplinary social justice work.

You built mutual aid networks, voted, checked in on your neighbors, wore masks and socially distanced, prioritized self-care, and supported your students and communities.

You rock!

Here’s to a wonderful 2021!

Fireworks against a dark sky

Pin It on Pinterest