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History of EPIC    

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.

Barri Bryan (Herb and Billie Houston), Marion Marshall (Linda Slater), and Marilyn Grall at the Hastings signing in Oklahoma City.

Barri Bryan (Herb and Billie Houston), Marion Marshall (Linda Slater), and Marilyn Grall at the Hastings signing in Oklahoma City.

Kathy Ishcomer shows Priscilla Maine the laptop she got special for this signing!

Kathy Ishcomer shows Priscilla Maine the laptop she got special for this signing!

Lorraine Stephens and Kristi Goldberg chat between customers.

Lorraine Stephens and Kristi Goldberg chat between customers.

Liz Delisi eager to start the signing in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Liz Delisi eager to start the signing in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Constance Todd, Marilyn Grall, and Liz Delisi

Constance Todd, Marilyn Grall, and Liz Delisi.

Marilyn Grall, Margaret Lawrence, Celia Collier, and Robert Iles.

Marilyn Grall, Margaret Lawrence, Celia Collier, and Robert Iles.

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.

Nebraska Governor proclamation

Nebraska Governor proclaims August 20-27 as "Electronic Publishing Week."Click on photo for larger version.

Omaha City Council proclamation

Omaha City Council proclaims August 26th as "Electronic Publishing Day."Click on photo for larger version.

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.

EPPIE 2002 Winner

  • Best Paranormal Romance Novel—The Raven's Lady by Anne Manning
  • Best Thriller Novel—A Caduceus Is For Killing by Diana Kirk
  • Best Historical Novel—The Legend of Lejube Rogue by Patricia Lucas White
  • Best Young Adult Novel—Under A Bear Moon by Carrie Masek
  • Best Horror Novel (Tie)
    • Dark Changeling by Margaret Carter
    • Dream Thieves by Steven Lee Climer
  • Best Mainstream Novel—The Music Maker by Joyce Cantor
  • Best Fantasy Novel—The Rainbow Bridge by Karen McCullough
  • Best NonFiction Book—The Search For Jack London by Jerome Lofgren
  • Best Science Fiction Novel—Raven's Heart by Jennifer Dunne
  • Best Mystery Novel—Hat Trick by Louise Crawford
  • Best Anthology or Collection—The Administrator by Joan S. Popek
  • Best Historical Romance Novel—Devil's Knight by Geri Borcz
  • Best Contemporary Romance Novel—Ties That Blind by Dee Lloyd
  • Best Inspirational Novel—Angel, Mine by Deborah Milton
  • Best Children's Book—Blue Hands, Blue Cloth by Shirley Parenteau
  • Florence Moyer Service Award—Mary Z. Wolf
  • Spectrum Award for Cover Art
    • Dirk Wolf for Song of Isis
    • Rosalie More for Passion of the Drums

Song of Isis  Rosalie More for Passion of the Drums

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.

Betty K with her whip

Betty K (Kah-ziz-key!) prepares to announce the winner of the Action/Adventure EPPIE. Note that no expense was spared in the struggle for authenticity! And yes, Virginia, that is a whip over her shoulder.

EPPIE 2001 Winner

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novel—On Wings Of Love by Kate Douglas
  • Best Historical Romance Novel—Love From The Ashes by Denise Agnew
  • Best Paranormal Romance Novel—The Eternal Trust by Melinda Rucker Haynes
  • Best Romantic Suspense Novel—Honeysuckle Rose by Kate Douglas
  • Best Mainstream Novel—Whiteout by Vickie Delany
  • Best Anthology—Lives Of Ghosts by Loren W. Cooper
  • Best Children's Book—Fred Stays With Me by Nancy Coffelt
  • Best Historical Novel—The Threshing Floor by E.L. Noel
  • Best Science Fiction Novel— Sleeper, Awake by Dr. Bob Rich
  • Best Action/Adventure Novel—The Post Office by Nick Mandilas
  • Best Thriller Novel—Nowhere To Hide by Joan Hall Hovey
  • Best Horror Novel—Butterfly House by T.K Sheils
  • Best Non-Fiction Book—Electronic Publishing: The Definitive Guide 2000 by Karen Wiesner
  • Best Young Adult Novel—Elrod McBugle On The Loose by Jeff Strand
  • Best Fantasy Novel—Wintertide Megan by Sybil Baker
  • Best Mystery Novel—Search For The Sun by Ellen Anthony
  • Best Poetry Collection—Just Something I Said by Lissa Mitchell
  • Best Inspirational Novel—Joy To The World by Deborah Milton
  • Spectrum Award for cover art—Walk in Moonlight by Trace Edward Zaber
  • Walk in Moonlight by Trace Edward Zaber

  • Florence Moyer Service Award— Ginny McBlain
  • Flo Mo winner Ginny McBlain and her wonderful husband, David

    Flo Mo winner Ginny McBlain and her wonderful husband, David.

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!

Keynote Speaker, Rick Sutcliff

Keynote Speaker, Rick Sutcliff

Melinda Rucker Haynes manifests success!

Melinda Rucker Haynes manifests success!

EPPIE 2002 Winner

  • Best Action/Adventure Novel—Rogues Together by Edward M. Turner
  • Best Contemporary Romance Novel—Cowboy in My Pocket by Kate Douglas
  • Best Historical Romance Novel—Dakota Dawn by Marion Marshall
  • Best Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Novel—Shadow in Starlight by Shannah Biondine
  • Best Romantic Suspense Novel—(Tie)
    • Siren's Song by Kimberly Grey
    • Midnight Intentions by Michele Bardsley
  • Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel—Cousin Feely by J.B. Jones
  • Best Fantasy Novel—(Tie)
    • Winter's Orphans by Elaine Corvidae
    • The Crystal Throne by Kathryn Sullivan
  • Best Science Fiction Novel—Mothership by Tony Chandler
  • Best Horror Novel—(Tie)
    • Borderland by W.J. Calabrese
    • Fate by Robert Arthur Smith
  • Best Mystery Novel—(Tie)
    • Twice Dead by Elizabeth Dearl
    • Buried in Baltimore by Louise Titchener
  • Best Thriller Novel—For Honor by Yvonne Harris
  • Best Historical Novel—Treason by Meredith Whitford
  • Best Inspirational Novel—Sea of Hope by Penelope Marzec
  • Best Young Adult Novel—A Star for Courage by Elizabeth Main
  • Best Children's Book—Mystery Of The Octagon House by Gay Kinman
  • Best Anthology—Blood, Threat, &Fears by Dearl, Iles, Spindler, & Sontup
  • Best Poetry Collection—Murder by David Halliday
  • Best Nonfiction How-To—Become a Romance Writer by Lori Soard
  • Best Nonfiction Autobiography—The Price of Freedom by Alexander V. Domokos
  • Best Western Novel—(Tie)
    • Ride a Cold Wind by Judith R. Parker
    • Man Hunter by Dusty Rhodes
  • Quasar 2002 for Best Cover—Cowboy in My Pocket by Kate Moore
  • Cowboy in My Pocket

  • The Florence Moyer Service Award—Linda Slater
  • The Florence Moyer Service Award?Linda Slater

    Without Linda, there wouldn't be an EPPIE!

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!

Spiffy new EPIC banner.

Spiffy new EPIC banner.

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. "

The Author display at the TExas Book Festival.

The Author display at the Texas Book Festival.

"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:

  • A spiffy new brochure, 5000 copies of which have been distributed by EPIC members at 21 separate book fairs, conferences, and writers' workshops;

  • Beginning a collection of informational syntheses on topics from creating productive critique groups to how to promote your e-books;

  • Advertising EPPIE finalists through an ad in PW Daily and press releases for the winners in their hometowns.

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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