HippoCamp 2022 Speaker Q&A: Lara Lillibridge

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Lara Lillibridge is our luminous interviews editor and a longtime HippoCamper who always brings her welcoming, generous, and hilarious spirit with her to our annual conference! Lara was kind enough to answer a few questions about her 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 moderate the Debut Author’s Panel. I’ve just finished reading all their books and they are phenomenal! I can’t wait to speak to them and hear them read. I’m also prepping for my break-out session, “Let the Fragments be Enough.” One thing I love about presenting is that I get to do a focused deep-dive on a subject and I learn so much in the preparation.

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: I just read “Dear Queer Self” and interviewed Johnathan Alexander about it—look for it in the August-September 2022 issue of Hippocampus Magazine. It’s gotten me thinking about how our views of our family and our younger selves can change through the process of writing of creative nonfiction, and how that change can lead to a more fulfilling future.

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: HippoCamp is my favorite conference. It was the place where I finally found the courage to break out of my shell and talk to people and make real connections. It’s where I’ve found true friends and writing partners.

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

A: My final manuscript of my third book is due September 1, so I am doing a final-final editing pass.

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 must admit that Donna’s Facebook post about Building Character co-op has got my shopping fingers twitching! I’m also very excited for “A Sacred Trust: Getting it Right When Writing About Religion” and “How to Hustle,” two sessions off the top of my head. I can’t wait to hear Carmen Maria Machado and maybe I’ll finally get the courage to enter the story slam this year.

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

A: I love how many cute restaurants are in walking distance.I haven’t been disappointed yet.


We can’t wait for Lara Lillibridge, interviews editor extraordinaire, 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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