SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: A Q&A With Jamie Beth Cohen, Be a Literary Citizen

Jamie Beth Cohen is the co-founder of Write Now Lancaster, a monthly meeting for writers of all genres. She is a past winner and host of Lancaster Story Slam. Her essays can be found all over the internet, and her debut novel, WASTED PRETTY, was published in 2019. And we’re delighted she’ll be joining us at HippoCamp 2021 as part of our flash sessions!

Thanks to Jamie Beth for participating in our Q&A and also for her great insight on where to get good eats in Lancaster!

jamie beth cohen
Tell us a little about your involvement this year at HippoCamp.

I’m doing a flash session on being a literary citizen. It will cover why it’s important (and fun!) to be in community with other writers and a variety of ways to meet them, both in person and on-line.


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!

NEGATIVE SPACE by Lilly Dancyger moves so effortlessly between time and space… I know I’ll be studying it as a mentor text for years to come.

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

Aside from spending time with my family, working my day job, and trying to be OK with re-entering society, I’m working on a memoir about my dad who lived a complicated life and died under mysterious circumstance.


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? 

I’m looking forward to seeing other (hopefully vaccinated!) writers in the flesh! Community is so important to me!


We love introducing Lancaster to attendees. Since you’re local, what would you recommend to other attendees?

Lancaster Central Market, right across the square from the conference, is not-to-miss experience. It’s the oldest covered public market in the country! And while many people expect great produce and Amish goodies, Market (as we call it), has a number of stands that carry authentic international foods. Lot of people don’t know that Lancaster welcomes the most international refugees (per capita) than any other city in the U.S! Please visit our Market and meet them!


Thanks again to Jamie Beth for participating in this Q&A — and we echo the selection of international foods at Market! You’ve GOT to visit!

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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