Sonya Huber, author of six books (including the award-winning collection Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System) will lead a breakout session on Sunday, Tending the Fallow: Navigating the Pause Between the Book and What’s Next. Thanks to Sonya for participating in our Q&A!

sonya huber

Tell us a little about your involvement this year at HippoCamp — what can attendees expect from your breakout session?

This will be an interactive workshop with discussion as well as suggestions for how to get started on a new project, and what to do with those weird “not writing” or “what am I writing?” feelings after a big book project is done.

I’m also excited to spread the word about two upcoming books, one entitled Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day (out in October 2021) and a guide on writing with voice, Voice First: A Writer’s Manifesto (coming I think in 2022).


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. 

I’ve been reading Brevity’s Best of Brevity collection from the first 20 years of the journal. Last night I read Charlotte Gullick’s essay, “The Salmon,” and it blew my mind. I’ve also been reading Claudia Rankine’s new book-length essay, Just Us: An American Conversation, which is highly recommended


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

I wanted to see nonfiction people in person, and this is my first time at HippoCamp!


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

I’m trying to finish two books and watching what I hope will be watermelons growing in my garden.


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? 

Hugging people and soaking up good nonfiction vibes.


We love introducing Lancaster to attendees. Since you’ve been here before, what would you recommend to other attendees?

The Lancaster Central Market is a fantastic place to wander around and eat.


What creative nonfiction obsession got you through Covid and lockdown? 

I became obsessed with crows. If you want a crow fact, I now have way too many in my head.


Thanks again to Sonya for spending some time with us for this speaker spotlight, 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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