Some of you may not be aware that I’ve launched a new business. Epifiction LLC is officially a thing now. Epifiction.com exists (although it is still a work in progress). Today, I can include Epifiction’s first cover reveal. Shipwrecked will be one of the four interactive serials to launch live this fall/winter. The Adventures of Cosmo and Chancho will be another.
For anyone unfamiliar with Epifiction, here is the quick and dirty:
Epifiction is an interactive, serial fiction subscription service for schools. That means we will generate weekly episodes of fiction based on the interactive feedback of students. In other words, Epifiction is both the digital evolution of choose-your-own adventure and the future of classroom literature.
What Epifiction means to young readers:
I hope these weekly, digital, cliff-hanger style installments that give readers three options for how the story continues will provide thrills for both the avid young reader and the reluctant one. Epifiction is providing opportunities for young people to participate in the story telling process and connect with authors and artists. This is all stuff I would have killed for as a kid. If you would have told the 12 year old version of me that I could read butt-kicking stories on a handheld electrical device, I would have spewed chunks and said, “Awesome.” Now I’m telling kids they can read and actively shape them. O.M.G.
What Epifiction means to teachers:
Complete with teaching materials built around the Common Core State Standards, Epifiction can become a teacher’s new best friend. Build conversation and debate around each episode. Which of the three voting options should win? Why? Challenge students to support their thinking with textual evidence. Force readers who would normally devour stories without digesting them to ponder why characters are behaving the way they are. More advanced thinkers can ponder why the author is developing the story along certain lines. Use the webcasts to push these thoughts further. Talk online with the author, the editor or other classrooms who are reading the same content live. The sky is really the limit.
What Epifiction means to writers:
Welcome to the thunderdome, baby. This is the fiery furnace of story craft. But for those writers crazy enough to dare, this model provides guaranteed readers before the story has even been written. (Already hundreds of students are signed up for the fall. By August I hope that number will be at least a few thousand.) Get instant feedback from your target audience. Heck, they aren’t your target audience. They ARE your audience. Develop a story together. Write for those who love your work the most. After the story is finished, all rights will revert back to the author within a year of the first episode going live. And the story stays in the Epifiction backlist for thousands of future children to read. Talk about legions of fans. In the next year or so, YA Epifiction will go live as well. This will provide a direct outlet to individual subscribers so Epifiction won’t be limited to schools for long.
What Epifiction means to me:
This is the culmination of everything I’ve ever been passionate about (except the Dallas Cowboys, but I’ll work them in yet). As a elementary education major and graduate, I’ve spent time developing curriculum and working with children. As an novelist and writer, creating stories for a built in audience that really wants to read them? No brainer. As a dreamer and visionary, Epifiction provides endless potential for helping children across the US and the world develop a love for the written word. Oh, yeah, the world. I don’t plan on being confined by silly things such as oceans.
Imagine a classroom of inner city children in Delhi, India talking to a classroom of children in Nampa, Idaho about what they think their favorite characters should do next.
That is exactly where I’m headed with Epifiction.