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The Epic Story of The Epic Story: What is Epic Patriot Camp??

It has plagued my thoughts, infiltrated my bookshelf, and changed my life in the most amazing way possible. What is it? It’s my debut story—The Epic Story of 1776.

But what is the story behind…The Epic Story?

It all started in June 2022. Across the United States (and Australia), 25 young writers aged 10-19 joined an online web meeting with award-winning authors Jenny L. Cote and Libby McNamee on the 14th of June. What we didn’t realise was that our lives would never be the same again after that.

For the next three weeks we met using ZOOM on either Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons (for me, Thursday mornings at 4:00am!), to be taught the art of researching and writing historical fiction by Jenny and Libby.

This was virtual Epic Patriot Camp 2022.

In the first week, campers were assigned a historical figure who played an influential role in the American Revolution. Our job was to research this individual and for the next three weeks, submit a story answering the following questions:

WEEK 1: How did the American Revolution come to my doorstep?

WEEK 2: How did I get involved in the American Revolution?

WEEK 3: What’s my story in 1776?

Jenny and Libby provided feedback in breakout rooms during the following sessions and encouraged us, discussed that week’s story, and gave us ways to make our stories better. We found these sessions vital, as they were perfect for learning how to improve as writers.

By the end of EPC22, each camper had written three stories about their character, written a biography about ourselves, also including a bibliography.

But it didn’t end there.

Unlike its in-person version, virtual Epic Patriot Camp included an added bonus: the stories which we wrote became known as chapters, and the document containing them became known as a book, voted to be titled: “The Epic Story of 1776: 25 People, 13 Colonies, & 1 War”.

As of the 12th of September 2022, each attending camper was officially made an author when The Epic Story of 1776 was published as a novel. With this, we were all thrilled for what would happen next.

Soon enough, book trailers were made, signings were arranged, and campers got the word out to bookstores about the epic new release. It was truly a time of fun, excitement, and forging new friendships amongst us.

Then came Epic Patriot Camp 2023.

In May 2023, virtual Epic Patriot Camp returned on the quest to write the sequel in the series, now officially called The Epic Story of America. As one big group on Wednesdays, the campers and I went deeper into studying both new and returning characters.

Unlike last year, we wrote one long chapter about our selected character. In our chapters, we covered the years 1777 through 1779. Each character’s story is also directly linked to one of the following seven events: the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Saratoga, Valley Forge, Battle of Monmouth, Conway Cabal, the Culper Spy Ring, and the French Alliance.

By the end of June, writing for The Epic Story of 1777-79 was complete. Now it was time to edit, market, and finalise the new sequel. To do this, three teams were formed:

The Editing Team was in charge of revising everyone’s chapters and making any appropriate adjustments. Each member was sent around three chapters to edit: spelling, grammar, and occasionally even historical or timeline errors.

From seeking endorsements to making book trailers, the marketing team’s job was (and still is) to promote the new sequel and its exciting release. By far the busiest of the three teams, marketing members are tasked with anything and everything creative. After hundreds of exasperating hours, the OFFICIAL Epic Story of 1777-79 book trailer has been completed, selected, and published:

The Proofing Team did an astounded job, too. Members got the opportunity to read through the document to check for any formatting or writing errors before the book was published. Their work was extraordinary and many errors have been found and corrected as a result.

With great honour, I was given the title of CEO of Next Steps EPC23, meaning it is my duty to head up each team, organise certain events, and act as the liaison between the directors (Jenny L. Cote and Libby McNamee) and the rest of the campers. Plus, I have been given the opportunity to compile the entire manuscript before sending it off for typesetting, and the opportunity to create an all-new Epic Patriot Camp eNewsletter—the Patriot Times! I have been exceedingly grateful for this opportunity and am enjoying working with the individual teams.

Virtual Epic Patriot Camps 2022 and 2023 have been life changing for everyone who has participated. The Epic Story of 1776 was a huge hit; the campers and I were thrilled for the launch of its sequel, The Epic Story of 1777-79: Trials, Turning Points, and Triumphs.

And you no longer have to wait: it is NOW available!!



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