Almost 10 years into our literary endeavors, we’ve grown beyond what can remain a “one-person passion project.” At the magical HippoCamp 2019, held Aug. 23-25 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Hippocampus Magazine unveiled its new membership program, Friends.
We couldn’t state it better here than how it was first announced, in a live heartfelt speech, from Rae Pagliarulo at the HippoCamp podium; so we will share her words here:
Announcement from Hippocampus Magazine Flash Editor Rae Pagliarulo“Five years ago, when I first attended HippoCamp, I had just started to find my voice. I didn’t know what kind of writer I was. Hell, I had just figured out what kind of person I was! But just by showing up and saying hello, I became a published writer, then a conference presenter, then a monthly column editor, and now, I’m responsible for half of this magazine’s editorial content. Because of this community, I have made friends and gained writing partners, I have pushed myself, I have sharpened my skills, and I have placed articles and essays on amazing platforms. I have stepped into my voice, and even if I falter, like, ALL THE TIME, I have so many people around me who believe in me and lift me up. Many of them have been here this weekend. In fact, a few are in this room right now!
The point I’m trying to make is – this amazing community, this ecosystem of literary citizenship, did not appear overnight. It was founded and strengthened and funded by the powerhouse couple known as Donna and Kevin. But it has grown and evolved and flourished because of all of us in this room – the people who show up, in person and online, and give their words and passion and energy to this community. We are what make it great. And we have to do everything we can to keep it going.
That is why I’m so excited to announce our new membership program, friends of Hippocampus Magazine. The magazine, the books division, the conference – they can’t continue to grow at the rate we need them to without our financial support. For so long, Donna has busted her cute little behind to bankroll our dreams. It’s time for us to pay it forward.
The good news is, if we all promise to give just a little, we can make HUGE things happen. Volunteers are distributing pledge forms right now – as you’ll see, we have four membership levels that will suit absolutely any budget. You don’t need to give anything right now – just write down your contact info and your pledge level, and Donna, Kevin, or I will contact you in the coming weeks to set up your automatic monthly payment.
Give what you can, give what you’re able, but give what you believe this community is worth to you. It’s hard to singlehandedly keep a universe of support and love and literary amazingness going, so it’s time to change the narrative. It’s time to realize that now that we’ve given our essays and articles, now that we’ve given our expertise and our skills, now that we’ve given our weekends and late nights, it’s time to give our resources.
We deserve it. Donna deserves it. And most importantly, the writers who are too scared to attend their first writing conference, the writers who dream of the day they publish their first essay, the writers who haven’t found us yet – they deserve it. I want to make sure that five years from now, when some lost and confused woman gets laid off from her job and rediscovers her love of writing, this magazine, these books, and this conference are here for her. We don’t know her yet, but she needs us. And this community needs you. Thank you for everything you’ve already done to make this a literary home for so many.”