HippoCamp 2022 Speaker Q&A: Julie Artz

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Book coach Julie Artz serves social and environmental justice-minded story geeks who understand that books change lives. Together with her collaborator Suzette, she’ll be talking to HippoCampers about building their own query audit toolkit! Julie was kind enough to answer a few questions about her upcoming reading and trip to Lancaster for our annual writing conference:


Q: Tell us a little about your involvement this year at HippoCamp.

A: I’m thrilled to be co-presenting with my colleague and friend Suzette Mullen this year at HippoCamp 2022. We’ll be presenting Is Your Manuscript Ready to Pitch? Your Query Audit Toolkit, a talk full of tips and lessons learned in our work as nonfiction book coaches. Our mission is to help writers avoid querying too early by providing them with easy-to-use tools to evaluation their query package as well as tips to give them a deeper understanding of the nonfiction marketplace.

Q: 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.

A: Speak, Okinawa: A Memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina was one of my favorite reads of this past year. The combination of history, the seamless and moving blend of past and present, kept me frantically turning pages from start to finish, even through my tears.

Q: What made you decide to participate in HippoCamp this year as a speaker? If you’re a returning speaker, how did your past experiences encourage to want to come back?

A: Having a great partner in crime in Suzette made coming to HippoCamp for the first time easier to envision. But I love creative nonfiction and am always looking to connect with other writers who are brave enough to be vulnerable in this work.

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

A: I just finished up a major revision of a novel in verse and am heading to France with my family for a few weeks to recuperate. So I should be refreshed and ready to journey to Lancaster a few weeks after my return.

Q: 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?

A: I’m intrigued by the way speculative nonfiction blends my two loves–fantasy and memoir. So I’d love to learn more about how I can incorporate speculative elements into my CNF work.

Q: We love introducing Lancaster to attendees. If you live here or have been here before, what would you recommend to other attendees? And, if this will be your first time here, what are you looking forward to?

A: I felt like I spent time in Lancaster as part of coaching Suzette through her wonderful memoir, part of which takes place in Lancaster. So I’m thrilled to see it with my own eyes. But mainly, I’m thrilled to be back at an in-person writing conference for the first time since the pandemic began.


We can’t wait for Julie to join us this year! HippoCamp 2022, a creative nonfiction conference sponsored by Hippocampus Magazine and Books, is Aug. 12-14 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For more information or to register, visit our official conference website here.

(Learn more about the conference and see details of all previous years at our magazine website’s HippoCamp page.)

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