About ESC!

Updated: April 4, 2003


The Beginning

ESC! Publications was founded in the Spring of 1992 the moment ESC! Magazine Volume 1, Issue 1 (ISSN 1065-4844) rolled off the presses.  From the onset, my idea was to publish a magazine for new or previously unpublished writers. As a recent college graduate, (1990, Northern Illinois University) I found myself working in an industry not related to my degree (BA English).  Of course, everyone is saying: "So what else is new?  It seems like nobody works in their field of study anymore."  To an extent this is true, but I really wanted to put it to use somehow.  ESC! Magazine became the means to do so.

ESC! Magazine

ESC! was, and is again, a fantastic means for aspiring writers to get their feet wet.  I love taking on writers from just about any genre from simple fiction all the way up to epic poetry. After placing a small ad in Writer's Digest, I was blown away by the response!  Authors and artists were literally overflowing my mail box with submissions.  In fact, up until about a five years ago or so, the submissions were still coming in from that one, small ad. ESC! was flourishing and I was having a ball doing it.

In all, ten "traditionally" printed issues of ESC! Magazine have been published. The last  copy from that era rolled off the presses in November 1994.  ESC! is now published online in Adobe Acrobat format and is also available as a high-quality printed and bound offline version.

What Happened to ESC! Magazine between 1994 and 2001?

Well, to make a long story short, the traditionally printed ESC! Magazine became the victim of many factors.   First and foremost I lost my usual print house.  I was getting a fantastic deal on the printing and once I lost them the problem became finding a suitable replacement printer.  Not that finding the printer itself was the problem but, rather, finding a printer who was willing to charge what I had been paying before!  Most were far and above anything I could afford at the time.  Unfortunately, until I found a suitable replacement, ESC! had to wait.

The second factor which really hit ESC! hard, was the postage rate increase which took effect January 1995.  I was already only just breaking even with the existing postal rates, so when this hit, I began to loose money on each subscription - big time.

Lastly, I personally was blindsided by a little something called the Internet.  What we now know as the "Web" was just beginning to take hold with the general population in late 1994 and early 1995 and in the process I got sucked up into the void.  Since then I have to admit that I've been addicted to this medium and I have dreamed of the time when I could finally take ESC! Magazine online.  One of these days I'll write about those early days on the web, but for now...

Where is ESC! Magazine Now?

ESC! Magazine is very much alive at www.escmagazine.com!  Though I had a version of Volume 4 Number 1 nearly complete, due to the factors above, I really didn't know if it would ever see the light of day.  Then in the Fall of 2000 I finally found the time and desire to resurrect ESC! in a new hybrid format.  I would make the Internet the primary means of distribution and continue to offer printed copies for those who still wanted them.  After many months of planning, I was able to release Volume 5, Number 1 in April of 2001.  You are invited to download the latest issue of ESC! Magazine as well as contributor guidelines from our site

So What About Volume 4, Number 1?

I'm afraid that issue -- in fact the entire volume -- is referred to by me as the "lost" issue.  I've contacted a number of the folks whose work I accepted for that issue expressing a desire to place their work in a future issue of ESC!  I've received positive feedback from around 25% of them.  I consider that to be a pretty good response!  Because of the release agreements I had in place with everyone, however, I am unable to reproduce the issue as it stands.  As a result, you may see their pieces show up in future issues of ESC!  In fact, two pieces have already appeared in V5,N1.  So -- for now anyway -- Volume 4, Number 1 will remain a blip in the annals of ESC! Magazine's history.

What's in store for the future?

As long as I have the means and the desire, I will continue to bring you the best of new writers and artists through these new distribution channels.

I am also currently in talks with a professional writer who has tentatively agreed to write an occasional column for this site.  This column's goal will be to share his experiences with beginning writers.

I am also working on a much larger endeavor for writers and artists which I hope to debut here in the future.  Lastly, I plan to offer all of the past issues of ESC! Magazine for sale through this web site.   Though the process of getting the table of contents from these issues online could be a long one, I would like to do the favor of giving all of my past contributors a much broader audience than they ever got through ESC! before.

ESC!Webs is not only a portal to ESC! Magazine online, but also to many other sites on the Internet as well.  If you've already browsed through the site, you may have noticed a Writer's Reference Desk.  This is for not only the new writer, but also the casual browser.  I want ESC!Webs on your everyday bookmarks list, so I'm trying to add content which I feel is important to the freshman writer (or artist).

How Can I Help?

I am always looking to form alliances with folks who might want to contribute the occasional column or become a full-fledged editor.  If this interests you, please write me and tell me your ideas.

Do you have a small press or other independent fiction and/or artwork website?  I am interested in trading links with you.  E-mail me if you'd like to discuss it further.

If you are a reader of ESC! Magazine you can help by simply paying for your downloaded copy or buying something from the ESC!Mag Gear Store.  I am currently financing this effort out of my own pocket and greatly appreciate any help you care to give.  There is also a "Friends of ESC! Magazine" program.  Please write me for details if you wish to participate.

Finally, you may have noticed that ESC!Webs is working in conjunction with the Amazon.com Associates Program to get you access to one of the world's largest online bookstores right through this site!  Please feel free to use the search box to help you find new books, video or music selections.  When you use our site to search for and buy something from Amazon.com or you click on a link to buy a book at ESC!Webs.com you help support our efforts to bring you the best in new fiction and poetry from aspiring writers.

If you are new to ESC! Magazine and ESC!Webs, THANK YOU for visiting!  If, by some chance, you are a previous reader of ESC! Magazine, THANK YOU for your continued support and great patience through the long delays.  I appreciate each and every one of you!

Thanks for reading!

Michael R. Potter
ESC! Magazine