Greg Mania’s debut memoir Born to Be Public, from CLASH Books, was named an NPR Best Book of 2020 and an O, The Oprah Magazine Best LGBTQ Book of 2020. He’ll read from this book and answer questions about his publishing journey during our 2021 Night of Nonfiction: Debut Author Panel & Readings.

Thanks to Greg for participating in our Q&A!

greg-mania Tell us a little about your involvement this year at HippoCamp.

I’m so excited to join the debut author panel at HippoCamp this year. This is my first panel, and I’m looking forward to joining the other authors—all of whom I greatly admire—for an in-person event at long last. I’m also looking forward to reading from my memoir and (hopefully) getting a few laughs and maybe the occasional raise of an eyebrow.


Our motto is “memorable creative nonfiction.” Tell us about one of the more recent memoirs, essay collections, or individual essays you’ve read and why it was memorable. If it’s online, share a link!

I recently finished reading SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by Ashley C. Ford, and I’m still thinking about it. Ford is multi-faceted in every sense of the word: journalist, podcast host, educator—but wow, oh, wow, writing memoir shines just as bright in her arsenal of skills.


What made you decide to participate in HippoCamp this year as a speaker?

I’m dying to hawk my book in-person!


What’s going to keep you busy between now and HippoCamp?

I’m working on my next book, which is an essay collection about chronic pain and illness. I’m also moving apartments, so I’m having a hard time choosing what to procrastinate on: moving or writing????

born-to-be-public cover

Greg Mania will read from Born to Be Public: A Memoir

Since you’ll also be attending the conference, when you’re not wearing your “speaker hat,” what are you most looking forward to learning or doing? 

Besides buying books and listening to other authors speak and present, playing Russian roulette with cheese as someone who is sporadically unable to digest dairy.


We love introducing Lancaster to attendees. If this will be your first time here, what are you looking forward to? 

Listen, I can’t lie. I LOVE a hotel. I get more excited about the water pressure of my room’s toilet than a museum.


Anything else you’d like to share? Create your own question (And then answer it!)! 

I am bringing an extra suitcase just to pack everyone’s books that I am going to buy.


To learn more about HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers and see our full list of speakers and sessions, visit the official conference website.


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