Two Live, Online Events: Nonfiction Readings & Mini-Conference Sessions Coming Your Way Aug. 29 + 30

Today, August 14, would have marked the first day of our sixth HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers. This event was created to bring people together physically, and it’s not something that can be duplicated as a fully online conference…

But we miss you.

Like mad.

So we’ve put together two (free) online events to bring the CNF community together during August, which, to us, is HippoCamp month:

  • First, we’re bringing one of the most popular conference sessions to life: our Night of Nonfiction Debut CNF Author Panel & Discussion. (Saturday, Aug. 29.)
  • Then, we’re bringing four of our scheduled sessions to you in a shortened, webinar format. (Sunday, Aug. 30.)

These events will take place via webinar on the Zoom platform. Once you register at the link provided, you will receive a meeting invite with details. Our Zoom Room has limited capacity, so if you want in, RSVP soon!

We hope you will join us for one or both of these events. Full details of each, below.

A Night of Nonfiction: Debut Author Panel & Discussion Details

Saturday, Aug. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.


Our Debut CNF Author Reading & Panel Discussion showcases the newest work of four talented creative nonfiction writers, giving you a chance to hear them read, support their work, and ask questions about how they made it from shitty first draft to published book.

Our Readers and Panelists:


A native of Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is the author of The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press) and No God in This Room (Argus House Press). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books). Athena’s work has appeared in various publications including GAY Magazine and Narratively. She is founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal and is the co-host of the New Books in Poetry Podcast via the New Books Network. She resides in Philadelphia. Learn more about the author at



Berry Grass has lived in rural Missouri, Tuscaloosa, and now Philadelphia. They are the author of Hall of Waters (The Operating System, 2019). Their essays and poems appear in DIAGRAM, The Normal School, Barrelhouse, Waxwing, and Texas Review, among other publications. They are a 2019 nominee for the Krause Essay Prize. They host Tragic: the Gathering — an occasional transgender literature reading series in Philadelphia.


Timothy J. Hillegonds’ work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Assay, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, River Teeth, Baltimore Review, Brevity, Under the Gum Tree, Hippocampus Magazine, and others. In 2019, Tim was named by the Guild Literary Complex as one of their thirty “Writers to Watch.” He earned a master of arts in writing and publishing from DePaul University in Chicago. Tim currently serves as a contributing editor for Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts.


A former reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Vicki Mayk has enjoyed a 35-year career in journalism and public relations. She has reported for newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and her freelance journalism also has appeared in national and regional publications, including Ms. magazine and The New York Times. Her creative nonfiction has been published in Hippocampus Magazine, Literary Mama, The Manifest-Station and in the anthology Air, published by Books by Hippocampus. She’s been the editor of three university magazines, most recently at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Her love affair with football began at the age of nine, when her father first took her to a Pittsburgh Steelers game. Connect with her at


Register for Night of Nonfiction Event (required) | View Facebook Event

HippoCamp Mini-Sessions

Sunday, Aug. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m.

We’re bringing you FOUR amazing HippoCamp “mini-sessions” that you’ll get to experience in their full, hour-long glory at HippoCamp 2021 (August 13-15, 2021).

These minis are a great opportunity for our fantastic presenters to share their smarts, and for our attendees to learn a lot in a flash! Check out our lineup, below!


Register for Mini-Sessions Event (required) | View Facebook Event


Lilly Dancyger

Assigning editors always say they’re looking for “fresh” and “surprising” ideas for personal essays, but what does that really mean? At the end of the day, most of us are writing about the same few things—grief, love, obsession, loss, relationships—so how do we make these tried and true topics feel new again with each new piece of writing? This session will help you explore ways to find the angle — and story — only you can tell!

Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She’s the editor of Burn It Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women’s anger from Seal Press; and the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021. Her writing has been published by Longreads, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. She lives in New York City, and she spends way too much time on twitter (where you can find her at @lillydancyger).


Lara Lillibridge & Amy Fish

Your first essay was published! (Yay!) Your book came out! (Yay!) You’ve gotten some buzz and fulfilled some of your childhood dreams. Why doesn’t it feel like you imagined? Getting published can be wonderful, but often comes with a price—jealous friends, family fall-out, lukewarm sales, left-out spouses. In this tag-team presentation, Amy and Lara will share some concrete tips to help you get out of a post-pub funk.

Lara Lillibridge is the author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama (Skyhorse, 2019), Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home (Skyhorse, 2018) and co-editor of the anthology, Feminine Divine: Voices of Power and Invisibility(Cynren Press, 2019). Zhe is the Interviews Editor at Hippocampus Magazine and mentors emerging writers with AWP’s Writer to Writer Program.

Amy Fish is the Chief Complaints Officer, also known as the ombudsperson at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She teaches writing workshops at the Quebec Writing Federation, HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction, and at her kitchen table. Amy is the author of I WANTED FRIES WITH THAT: How to Ask for What You Want and Get You Need, and her work has been published in Hippocampus Magazine, Readers’ Digest, Huffington Post, and several other journals. 


Kelly Caldwell

Expressing our views is always relevant, but perhaps in 2020, even more so. With a good op-ed, a writer can share their expertise, build their platform, and weigh-in on the most critical issues of the day. In this session, Kelly will explain the basics of opinion writing, op-ed markets, and even help you generate ideas.

Kelly Caldwell’s essays, articles, and op-eds have appeared in Vox, The Writer magazine, Entropy, Pacific Standard, the Huffington Post, and Newsday, among others. So far, she hasn’t published anything that’s prompted Neil DeGrasse Tyson to mock her on Twitter.


Angie Chatman

An oft repeated “rule” of writing is to write what you know. The challenge is to write what we don’t know particularly with regards to so-called “marginalized” characters. In this session, Angie will discuss the origins and use of the marginalized label, its appropriateness and/or lack thereof, and how it’s imperative to treat all characters with compassion and humility.

Angie Chatman is a writer, editor, and storyteller with a passion for food and wine. Her articles have appeared in Business Insider and Business Education Forum. Her essay, “Not Like Mel’s” appears in the anthology Dine, published by Hippocampus Books. Angie earned her MFA from Queens University in Charlotte.

Register for Mini-Sessions Event (required) | View Facebook Event


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