EPIC's 11th Annual e-Book Competition Opens

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Today's contest includes a fresh new outlook, a new entry period, and a new name.

book award that could has grown from 15 categories to 35 and has become something of a household name in the industry. But big changes have come to this competition and EPIC's competition chair, Debi Sullivan, shares her unique outlook on why, and how, those changes occurred.

For one thing, the former award name, EPPIE, is no more. Recently EPIC learned that another contest had trademarked their competition name and it is one very similar to EPPIE. To avoid legal battle over competition names, or the possibility of brand dilution, EPIC is changing the name of their competition. Which has gotten everyone asking: 'what are we changing it to?'.

The membership is working on the perfect name for the contest, and that name will be unveiled at EPIC's gala awards banquet. This year's conference will be at the Sheraton in New Orleans, LA from March 4-7, 2010. EPIC's competition is hailed for being inclusive to all genres of e-publishing released for sale in the English language. Whether written by EPIC members or non-members, published by NY conglomerates, indie/e press, or even self-published - all are welcome to enter this competition.

A couple of major changes to EPIC's 2010 award competition are the eligibility and entry periods. For this year only, to facilitate changes in their judging period, the competition requires an e-book publication eligibility period from Oct 1, 2008 through May 31, 2009. The submission entry period for the current 2010 competition runs a full month, from July 15th, 2009 through August 15th, 2009. Books released before Oct 1 will have competed in the previous year's competition. For next year's competition (2011), the e-book publication eligibility period will be from June 1, 2009 through May 31, 2010.

Entry fees are reasonable compared to other peer-judged awards. EPIC members pay a modest $25 for single-title entries and $35 for anthology entries with non-members paying $10 more per entry. Non-members who wish to join EPIC, while entering the competition ($30 per year), can apply the discount toward their entries for this year's contest. The cut-off for the submission and entry deadlines is based on CST (Central), and all payments must be received and processed by 11:59 pm CST on August 16th, 2009.

There are no caps on the number of entries per entrant, whether by category or the contest as a whole, though entrants may not enter the same book twice (in a single contest year, the work may not be entered in two categories) or enter reprints of books entered in previous EPIC competitions. The only limits of this contest come in the form of category minimums: there must be a minimum of six entries per category. Any category that does not meet the minimum entry count will merge with another.

A notable change to this competition is the deletion of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) category. GLBT works will no longer be limited to one category, but shall be included within all genre categories, moving the focus of EPIC's competition to acceptance of all in their specific category. The decision to make EPIC's competition GLBT inclusive has been perceived as both foolhardy and innovative, and has gained some media attention, but that is not how EPIC looks at this change in category selection.

Sullivan states: "EPIC is a progressive organization and, after much discussion, the membership and Competition Committee came to the realization that sectioning GLBT-character works in a category separate from other categories was similar to separating works containing horses or those mentioning air. We are comfortable with this long deserved change to our competition and hope our entrants agree."

EPIC is concerned, as all publishing industry groups tend to be, with the subject of piracy. From entries and files submissions to detailed and confidential directions to judges, the competition committee does their best to ensure the security of entries and information. This competition is a peer-judged award; judged by authors and professionals from within the publishing industry, from both from e- and print. And, while the majority of the competition's judges come from within EPIC's membership, many qualified non-members participate, sharing EPIC's commitment for excellence.

From Sullivan: "This competition has garnered a wonderful reputation with both entrants and judges as a quality competition. Whether members or non-members, judges or entrants, participants of this competition are treated with respect and consideration, their information processed with security and confidentiality. Because we are so conscientious about the details, I feel this competition has exceeded, and will continue to exceed, expectations as we move into the future."

While EPIC's EBook Competition dates changed, their associated cover art contest - better known as the Ariana Overton and Quasar Awards - will take place in mid-October. This exciting and colorful competition continues to be a popular addition to EPIC's competition roster, encouraging superb artists to promote their work in all genres of e-publishing.

One unique feature in regards to EPIC's competitions, and committee members, is the openness to suggestions on improving, streamlining, or modifying EPIC's contests, both from members and non-members. "We make incremental changes each year in a never-ending quest to reflect the current mores of the industry and e-publishing in particular."


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Debi Sullivan, contest chair

Brenna Lyons
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