12 January 2011

EPICon(TM) Special Guests!

We have several special guests this year, and I'm proud to announce them.


Our main keynote will be Lucinda Dugger, Outreach Coordinator of the Copyright Alliance. Since EPIC has shown a marked interest in copyright issues of late, we arranged for Lucinda to join us and talk about copyright with us.

Lucinda is the director of outreach and field initiatives for the Copyright Alliance where she is leading a grassroots movement of creators. Previously she was the research associate for education at the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. While there, she encouraged mayors and councilmembers to create partnerships with their school districts in order to improve public schools.

Before moving to Washington, DC, Lucinda worked at the Research Center for Arts and Culture in New York City where she sought funding for and engaged in research on current artistic practices surrounding aging artists. As a visual artist, Lucinda has taught art to both children and adults in numerous settings, including the Kalamazoo Public Schools, the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center, and Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II in Peru. She has also exhibited her own paintings in galleries within the United States and abroad.

Lucinda is currently chair of the Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Commission in Takoma Park, Maryland. While serving on the Commission, she visualized and coordinated the city's successful annual community-wide Open Studio Tour.

Lucinda holds a master of arts in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a bachelor of fine arts in painting and a bachelor of business administration in advertising and promotions from Western Michigan University.



The New Voices track keynote will be Debra Dixon. Attendees from last year will already know that Debra is part owner of Belle Books and an accomplished author. Her Goals, Motivation, Conflict class is renowned. This year, Debra will be talking about Developing the Writers' Voice.

Why does everyone harp on voice? Voice is a writer's most valuable asset and can be the difference in editorial support versus just "filling a slot" in the list. Discover how to develop your voice and use that unique "you" to connect with readers. Learn how to value the experiences of your life and let them shine through your writing. Every author should bring something special to the page. Competent just won't cut it. You need voice to find and hold audiences in this ever crowded marketplace of competent writers. You need command of your voice so that you can bring something new and authentic to each genre you write. Explore the secrets of the writer's voice with Debra.

Debra Dixon knows her way around publishing. She's written ten books, contributed to twelve anthologies, served as Vice-President of Romance Writers of America, and developed novel writing courses for a local university. Debra's popular GMC:Goal, Motivation, and Conflict workshop spawned a book now in its ninth printing.

She's also President of BelleBooks and its imprint Bell Bridge Books. In the ten years since opening their doors, they've released over eighty titles, had an author on Oprah, and seen their titles picked up by major New York publishers in subrights deals for mass market paperback, foreign editions, book club and large print. In the last year, their titles have repeatedly claimed Top Ten slots on the Amazon Kindle Paid Bestseller List and been featured in the Apple iBookstore. Their authors include NYT Bestsellers Sarah Addison Allen, Jill Barnett, Sharon Sala, Sabrina Jefferies, and Deborah Smith.

In 2010, Debra began working with NYT Bestseller Jill Barnett to publish her incredible backlist of romance novels in ebook formats for the first time. In addition to working with some of the company's reprint titles, Debra is the Acquiring Editor for Bell Bridge Books science fiction, fantasy and young adult lists.

Debra believes that sleep is completely overrated.



* Angela Knight will be joining us this year and giving a class on writing sex scenes! For anyone unfamiliar with Angela...

Angela Knight is the New York Times bestselling author of books for Berkley, Red Sage, Changeling Press, and Loose Id. Her first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. Besides her fiction work, Angela's publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name.

In 1996, she discovered the small press publisher Red Sage, and realized her dream of romance publication in the company's Secrets 2 anthology. She went on to publish several more novellas in Secrets before editor Cindy Hwang discovered her work there and asked her if she'd be interested in writing for Berkley. Not being an idiot, Angela said yes.

Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county's Sheriff's Office. The couple have a grown son, Anthony.

* Lt. Michael Woodcock, Angela's husband, will also be joining us. On Saturday, Mike will be teaching a two-hour class on hostage negotiation for us. Like the fabulous forensic archeology class we had last year, this class has wide-ranging appeal for all sorts of writers.

* Barbara Satow of the LoC will be joining us on Saturday morning to talk about savvy researching for writers! Sounds like a stellar class.

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