HippoCamp 2022 Speaker Q&A:- Kristen Paulson Nguyen

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Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is Hippocampus Magazine’s writing life editor. Through Title Doctor, she has titled The Writer Magazine’s 2021 contest-winning essay, as well as 11 works of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and an MFA thesis project. Kristen has taught classes on the micro-flash form and the memoir proposal. Kristen was kind enough to answer a few questions about his upcoming trip to Lancaster for our annual writing conference:


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

A: I’m excited to share tips about how to create fabulous essay titles; to meet new people; and to find some new contributors for the Hippocampus Writing Life column!

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. If it’s online, share a link!

A: I loved Leanne Pierce Schneider’s essay, “The Dying Room.” I won’t forget her description of the hospital room curtains as “blue ghosts.”

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: Last year was so fun, and opened up several professional opportunities. I had to come back and also squeeze in a mini writing retreat!

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

A: I’m now an instructor at GrubStreet so I’ll be preparing and promoting my three fall classes.

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: Learning from other writers, of course! I’ll no doubt buy my family a ton of candy at the newly expanded Sweetish candy store.

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

A: Buy some local coffee beans to take home; there are several cafes that have their own beans. Take breaks when you need them!


We can’t wait for Kristen 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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