The History of EPIC, The Electronically Published Internet Connection
So far, that is!
September 1997—Florence Moyer and Jane Bierce discuss creation of a special e-mail list for exploration of e-books. By the end of September membership stood at about 12-15.
October 1997—The group decides to formalize EPIC as a special-interest chapter of RWA. The first board is elected: Mary Wolf, President; Marilyn Grall, Vice President; Cindy Lawrence DiScuillo, Secretary; Linda Slater, Treasurer. This board never actually served, as these plans were abandoned because RWA balked at approving an e-pub chapter.
Flo Moyer creates first EPIC website.
Mary Wolf purchases Hard Shell Word Factory and resigns as President to devote her time to her new business. EPIC continued as an email list as this forum was meeting the members' needs. Membership is opened to non-romance writers. We started to get some guys and EPIC was growing.
Through February and March 1998, discussion began on incorporating into a more viable permanent structure.
Until April 1998, EPIC existed as an email list to allow writers e-published or interested in e-publishing to exchange info. The decision was made to incorporate. The first board of this new organization was elected: Ginny McBlain, President; Marilyn Grall, Vice-President; Diana Kirk, Secretary; Linda Slater, Treasurer. Ginny drafted the first by-laws, which were approved by the membership.
June 1998—EPIC decides to find a host for a professionally designed and maintained website. Karen Wiesner chaired the committee for the search. Eclectics is selected.
July 1998—E-book publishers arrange an E-book Suite at RWA conference in Anaheim. EPIC members help out. This is the first time many members meet face-to-face.
August 1998—EPIC incorporates in the state of Oregon. Pat White is our in-state contact.
October 1998—Plans begin for first EPIC conference. Committee appointed to conduct site search and begin plans.
April 1999—New board elected: Betty Kasischke, President; Patricia White, Vice-President; Diana Kirk, Secretary; Linda Slater, Treasurer.
May 1999—Past President Ginny McBlain proposes Omaha for first EPIC conference. Omaha is selected and the date was set for August 2000. Vice-President Patricia White takes on organizing first EPPIE awards.
July 1999—EPIC holds "mini-con" at RWA Conference in Chicago. Starlight Writers Productions' Vice-President, Penny Hussey, donates use of their suite for EPIC's meeting. Linda Campbell speaks on author's rights and how to maximize them. Melinda Rucker Haynes leads attendees in a guided mediation/relaxation and personal time-travel.
August 1999—Several EPIC members in the Midwest and Texas begin arranging e-book signings at Hastings stores in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
January 2000—Despite low number of registrations, decision is made to underwrite conference with EPIC treasury and plans proceed for EPIC conference.
February 2000—Judging for first EPPIE awards begin.
April 2000—New board is elected: Sandra Dugas, President; Michele Bardsley, Vice-President; Jeff Strand, Secretary; Marty Wofford, Treasurer.
August 25-27, 2000—First EPIC Conference is held in Omaha, Nebraska. Fifty-seven people attended the first conference. Small, but promising. Saturday Luncheon speaker is Melinda Rucker Haynes. Sunday Breakfast Keynote speaker is Mary Z. Wolf. EPPIE-2000 awarded at gala banquet on Saturday night. Jeff Strand begins his unlimited run as EPPIE Awards Program Master of Ceremonies.
Jeff Strand, EPPIE MC for Life and Supreme Ruler of all that is EPIC, shares some insightful comments for any future EPPIE MC's.
September 2000—President Sandra Dugas resigns for personal and professional reasons. Michele Bardsley, Vice-President, assumes President post and elections are held for Vice-president position. Diana Kirk is elected to fill unexpired term.
October 2000—Entries open for EPPIE-2001. Judging begins in November.
Fall 2000—EPIC votes to hold EPICon-2002 in Seattle, Washington. Dates are set for March 14-16, 2002.
December 2000—EPPIE-2001 Finalists announced.
January 2001—Project Romance at Thomas S. Power Library at Offutt AFB invites donations of romance novels for its collection. Ginny McBlain and Connie Crow organize donations of e-books for this effort, garnering e-publishing and EPIC another success. Approximately 150 e-books are donated by EPIC members. Publishers participate as well, sending books and advice on how to circulate the books to patrons.
March 2001—EPIC Mini-Con in Las Vegas. A discussion panel is held on Saturday morning on promotion and in the afternoon, Melinda Rucker Haynes presents a workshop on creating story ideas using the Story Wheel. EPPIE-2001 are awarded at gala banquet. Jeff Strand continues his unlimited run as Master of Ceremonies.
April 2001—New board is elected: Jeff Strand, President; Cass Andre, Vice-President; Kate Douglas, Secretary; Kathy Awe, Treasurer.
October 2001—EPPIE-2002 opens for entries. Judging begins in November, 2001.
December 2001—EPPIE-2002 finalists announced. EPIC issues personalized press releases to finalists' home town media.
March 2002—EPICon-2002 is held in Seattle. Rick Sutcliffe keynoted the Friday luncheon, discussing "The Fourth Civilization's Metalibrary: Issues and Consequences in Electronic Publishing. On Saturday, our keynote speaker was Melinda Rucker Haynes, encouraging us all to "Manifest Success!" Friday night's EPIC Coffee House featured live entertainment—some of it very entertaining in a rubber-ducky sort of way—with EPIC members getting up to the mike to regale us with stories, songs, and jokes. Saturday's E-Extravaganza gave EPIC the chance to show our stuff for the public. And then there was the EPPIE Banquet and the inimitable Jeff Strand, EPPIE MC for Life and Supreme Ruler of all that is EPIC!
April 2002—Conference committee begins work on EPICon-2003, chaired by Janice Strand. They select Tampa, Florida, March 7-9, 2003.
April 2002—New board is elected: Jeff Strand, President; Cass Andre, Vice-President; Diana Kirk, Secretary; Eloise Barton, Treasurer.
July 2002—Vice-President Cass Andre resigns for personal reasons. Nominations are taken to replace her. Jane Bierce is elected to fill the term.
August 2002—EPPIE-2003 begins!
November 2002—Stalwart Dusty Rhodes single-handedly mans the EPIC booth at the Texas Book Festival!
Here's Dusty's report on that event:
"Your committee rented a booth and represented EPIC at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX, November 15-17 2002. We displayed one book each from 72 different EPIC members. "
"During the two days of the festival, literally hundreds stopped by our booth and browsed through your work and took literature-many wanted to purchase the display. We talked to numerous authors who expressed interest in EPIC and took one of our brochures. Our booth was well received and many learned of our organization for the first time and were able to observe the high quality of our member's work. Our hope is to expand this PR effort to include two such events in 2003."
Dusty and his hard-working PR committee have been working on other initiatives to get our message of "better reading through e-books" to the public, including:
Well done, Dusty and crew!
That's about it for the history for now. EPICon-2003 is set for March 7-9 in Tampa, Florida. See ya'll there!
Last Updated on February 27, 2003 by Anne Manning
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