Our 2024 “HippoCamp Weekend”: An Event Run-Down

We’re thrilled to once again be hosting an online weekend of events in place of the on-hiatus HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers. We’re dubbing this event “HippoCamp Weekend” (including the quotes) simply because it’s a name familiar to past attendees, and also because its during mid-August, when we typically held the conference in Lancaster, PA.

“HippoCamp Weekend” will include four separate events, plus evening “chill and chats,” which will be informal Zoom meetings that allow registered attendees to connect and reflect. We hope you will join us online for one or all of the sessions.

Since, for ticketing purposes, each individual event needs to have its own page in our Event Calendar system, we’ve also created this standalone webpage to host some general information about the overarching weekend.

At a Glance: An Overview of the Weekend’s Events

A brief description and links to each individual event page for registering.

HippoCamp Minis: Craft

Five 10-minute sessions on craft-based topics specific or relevant to creative nonfiction. 

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $25, register or see details here
A Night of Nonfiction: Debut CNF Author Readers & Discussion

Readings from five debut authors, plus a featured reader, followed by a discussion and audience Q&A.

Saturday, 6-8 p.m. Donate what-you-can ($10 suggested), register or see details here
HippoCamp Minis: Publishing & Promotion

Five 10-minute sessions on getting your work out there. 

Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $25, register or see details here
An Evening With the Editors: Lit Mag & Small Press Roundtable

A moderated discussion with five lit mag and small press editors, followed by an audience Q&A.

Saturday, 6-8 p.m. $25, register or see details here
Purchase a weekend event package for $75 here.
(includes access to all four events, valued at $85, including the suggested $10 donation for Night of Nonfiction)

Event & Speaker Info

While event details and speaker bios are listed on each individual event page, we’re also sharing the full list here so they’re all accessible from one place and easier to view at-a-glance.

HIPPO MINIS – CRAFT (Saturday Morning)

This webinar session will feature:

Expert-Level Goofing Around (Jenny Hill)

jennifer (jenny) hill with pencil as mustacheSession description: In this session, we’ll explore a few of the many ways you can invite play and spontaneity into your writing life. Play increases problem solving skills, fosters more innovative thinking, and reduces stress. It’s a core part of the creative process! Discover how to nurture and keep play in your practice.

About the speaker: Jennifer (Jenny) Hill is a published poet, circus performer, and arts educator who has worked as a teaching artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for 24 years. Everything she does begins with play. You can find more about her online at actsofjennius.com.

Young Adult (YA) Creative Nonfiction (Jiordan Castle)

Session description: A short session focused on honoring (and raising!) the stakes, characters, and themes in YA nonfiction. Participants will learn new strategies for character- and world-building, pitfalls to avoid, and how to repurpose memories and life events with integrity.

Jiordan CastleAbout the speaker: Jiordan Castle is the author of Disappearing Act, a memoir in verse. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Rumpus, The Millions, Taco Bell Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is a contributor to the LA-based food and culture magazine Compound Butter. Originally from New York, she has an MFA in poetry from Hunter College and lives in Philadelphia.

Humor in Creative Nonfiction (Maryann Aita)

Session description: Writers will leave this quick-witted workshop with tools to help them determine when and how to incorporate humor into their creative nonfiction. We’ll discuss guiding questions to ask while writing and explore using rhetorical devices to craft humor. This is for writers of all levels who are looking to find more funny in their stories.

maryann aita authorAbout the speaker: Maryann Aita (rhymes with beta) is a writer and performer in New York City and the author of Little Astronaut: A Memoir in Essays (ELJ Editions, 2022). She is also the nonfiction editor for Press Pause Press, a journal with zero social media presence. She has three cats.

5 Journalism Tips for CNF Writers (Molly Bilinski, articles editor)

Session description: A rapid-fire workshop with journalism tips and tricks to bolster writers pursuing creative nonfiction and/or memoir. Participants will learn some journalistic methods of researching, sourcing, interviewing and editing. Participants will leave the workshop with new skills and strategies to enhance their own writing.

About the speaker:

Molly Bilinski writerMolly Bilinski is an award-winning journalist and storyteller based in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. She writes on the environment and science beat for LehighValleyNews.com, but her byline has also appeared in the Reading Eagle, The Press of Atlantic City and The Morning Call. She was the first-place winner of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s 2022 Diversity Portfolio.

Molly earned her master’s of fine arts in creative nonfiction in June 2024 from Wilkes University’s Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She is Hippocampus Magazine’s articles editor, in charge of the CRAFT and WRITING LIFE columns.

CNF Craft Topic & Speaker To Be Confirmed

Session description: Coming soon.

About the speaker: Coming soon.



This webinar session will feature:

Planning the DIY Book Tour (Melanie Brooks)

Session description: This flash session will  share some hard-earned wisdom and insights to consider when promoting your book and planning your own tour without a publicist. Participants will gain tips on approaching bookstores and libraries, partnering with other authors, using local media and targeted organizations, marketing, anticipating challenges, event preparation, and more.

Headshot of Author Melanie BrooksAbout the speaker: Melanie Brooks is the author of the memoir A Hard Silence: One daughter remaps family, grief, and faith when HIV/AIDS changes it all (Vine Leaves Press, 2023), shortlisted for the 2024 Memoir Prize from Memoir Magazine, named a 2023 Foreword INDIES Finalist, and Winner of a Bronze Medal in the Wishing Shelf BookAwards, and Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). She teaches creative nonfiction in the M.F.A. program at Bay Path University and in the M.F.A. program at Western Connecticut State University and professional writing at Northeastern University. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program and a certificate in narrative medicine from Columbia University. She’s had numerous interviews and essays on topics ranging from illness, loss, and grief to parenting and aging published in the The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, HuffPost, Yankee Magazine, Psychology Today,  Ms. Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, and other notable publications. Though she is still a proud Canadian, she lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from university in Toronto), and chocolate Lab.

Finding & Landing an Agent (Amy Fish)

Session description: coming soon.

About the speaker: Coming soon.

Crafting the Perfect Author Bio (Joey Garcia)

Joey GarciaSession description: When a radio talk show host, podcaster, or TV producer requests your bio before a scheduled interview, do you have the right one to send? What about bios for other opportunities related to the business of being an author? In this fast-paced, content-rich session, learn what belongs in your bio, what raises red flags, and how to write bios that level up your literary career.

About the speaker: Joey Garcia is an editor and book coach who helps writers get known while she’s editing their books. Her clients have been featured in major media, including The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian magazine, Ms. magazine, CNN, and The Tamron Hall Show. A recognized relationship expert, Joey has been interviewed by USA Today, Deutsche Welle, KVIE public television, KTLA radio, and the Dear Prudence podcast. Joey’s personal essays can be found in Hippocampus CNF magazine, Hypertext, the Brevity blog and (HER)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic, among others. In 2017, Joey established the first-ever literary fellowship in Belize, her birthplace.

Finding & Applying for Artists Grants (Rae Pagliarulo, associate editor)

Session description: coming soon.

About the speaker: Coming soon.

Reaching Readers, Not Just Writers (Donna Talarico, founder/managing editor)

donna talarico head shot 2019Session description: Often, we promote our work among writerly circles, but what about the everyday reader? Those folks who love to immerse themselves in true stories, but who you also won’t find in the online and real-life literary communities we spend so much time in. In this brief talk, Donna will dive into discoverability and explore ways readers can find YOU and what you write about. She’ll cover researching and using keywords, writing for search engines (including AI assistants), crafting marketing copy for products and events, and finding opportunities to collaborate with local partners.

About the speaker: Donna Talarico, founder/publisher of Hippocampus Magazine, has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communications; about half of that time has been in higher education. She serves as an editor for Link Journal (from the HighEdWeb Association), writes an adult learner recruiting column for Wiley, and has contributed to Guardian Higher Education Network, The Writer, mental_floss, Games World of Puzzles, and others. Her creative nonfiction appears in The Superstition Review, The Los Angeles Review, The New York Times (Tiny Love Stories), Wanderlust Journal, and The Writing Disorder (which nominated her essay “A Prequel to My Sister’s” for a Pushcart Prize). Donna serves on the residency faculty (with a focus on the business of publishing) at the Maslow Family Graduate Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University.



The 2024 Night of Nonfiction will feature:

Annabelle Tometich (The Mango Tree: A Memoir of Fruit, Florida & Felony)
Annabelle Tometich went from medical-school reject to line cook to journalist to author. She spent 18 years as a food writer and restaurant critic for The News-Press in her hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. Her first book, “The Mango Tree: A Memoir of Fruit, Florida, and Felony” (April 2024, Little Brown) was called “sweet, sharp” by The New York Times.

Tometich’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, Catapult, the Tampa Bay Times, and many more outlets. She has won more than a dozen awards for her stories, including first place for Food & Travel Writing at the 2022 Sunshine State Awards. She (still) lives in Fort Myers with her husband, two children, and her ever-fiery Filipina mother.

Audrey Jean (Dear Dad You’re Dead, Dear Dead You’re Dad: Poems, Essays, and Reflections from a Youngest Daughter)
Growing up, Audrey Jean (she/her) knew she was going to be an author one day, she just wasn’t sure how. Or when. Let alone of what. But there was always something to say, and she was keen to find a way to say it. Her next book, which she hopes won’t be as depressing as this one, is planned for a 2025 release, and will be her first foray into fiction (and romance!).When she’s not writing something or other, you can usually find her trying to make a dent in her ever-growing TBR pile, working on training her cats to take walks, or stewing over a new cookbook with flour inevitably streaked over her front.

If that doesn’t work, look in the mirror, spin around twice while saying, “Do you want to watch the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice?” and she’ll show up behind you with a bottle of wine, ready to go.

If you’re interested in connecting and seeing what’s coming next, you can find her at: audreyjean.net | Instagram: audreyjean_writes

Carole Duff (Wisdom Builds Her House)
Carole Duff is a veteran teacher, flutist, naturalist, and writer of creative nonfiction. She posts weekly to her long-standing blog Notes from Vanaprastha and has written for Brevity blog, Huffington Post, Mockingbird, Please See Me, Streetlight Magazine, The Perennial Gen now The Sage Forum, for which she is a regular contributor, and other publications. Her book Wisdom Builds Her House releases August 20,, 2024. Carole lives in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, another third-stage-of-life, debut author K.A. Kenny (The Starflower), and two, large overly-friendly dogs. You can contact Carole through her website: caroleduff.com.

Isaac Yuen (Utter, Earth: Advice on Living in a More-than-human-world)
A first-generation Hong Kong Canadian writer based in Berlin, Isaac Yuen’s short fiction and creative nonfiction has been published in AGNI, Gulf Coast, Orion, Pleiades, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Shenandoah, and of course, Hippocampus, among other places. He was a nature writer-in-residence at the Jan Michalski Foundation for Literature in Switzerland, a Science Meets Fiction fellow at the HWK Institute in Advanced Study in Germany, and will be an upcoming artist-in-residence with the La Napoule Foundation in France. Utter, Earth: Advice on Living in a More-than-Human World is his debut essay collection.

Zoë Bossiere (Cactus Country: A Boyhood Memoir)
Zoë Bossiere (they/she) is writer from Tucson, Arizona. They are the managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction and the coeditor of two anthologies: The Best of Brevity and The Lyric Essay as Resistance: Truth from the Margins. Bossiere’s debut, Cactus Country: A Boyhood Memoir chronicles their experiences growing up as a trans boy in a Tucson, Arizona trailer park.

Lilly Dancyger, special guest reader (First Love: Essays on Friendship + others)
Lilly Dancyger is the author of First Love: Essays on Friendship (The Dial Press, 2024), a collection of personal and critical essays about the power and complexity of female friendship; and Negative Space (SFWP, 2021), a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards. She lives in New York City, and is a 2023 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Her writing has been published by Guernica, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Longreads, Off Assignment, The Washington Post, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. She writes the Substack newsletter The Word Cave.

Moderator: Lara Lillibridge

About the speaker: Coming soon.



This webinar session will feature:

DW McKinney of Shenandoah Literary

dw mckinney edtior and writerDW McKinney is a writer and editor based in Las Vegas, Nevada. A 2024 Torch Literary Arts Fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships from the VCCA, PERIPLUS Collective, Writing By Writers, Voodoonauts, and The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Her work appears in Oxford American, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ecotone, TriQuarterly, and Narratively, among others. She also serves as a nonfiction editor at Shenandoah Literary. Learn more about her at www.dwmckinney.com.

Hattie Fletcher of Short Reads and Belt Publishing

hattie fletcherHattie Fletcher is a senior editor at Belt Publishing and a co-founder of “Short Reads,” a weekly email-based publication showcasing flash nonfiction. She was the managing editor at Creative Nonfiction from 2004 – 2022 and the editor of the monthly True Story magazine.

Stories she’s worked on have been reprinted in the Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing and the Best Women’s Travel Writing and have been awarded the Pushcart Prize. She is an instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches “Editing for Writers.”

Kristine Langley Mahler of Split/Lip Press
Kristine Langley MahlerKristine Langley Mahler is the author of three nonfiction books, A CALENDAR IS A SNAKESKIN (Autofocus, 2023), CURING SEASON: ARTIFACTS (West Virginia University Press, 2022), and TEEN QUEEN TRAINING (forthcoming with Autofocus, 2026). Her work has been supported by the Nebraska Arts Council and Art at Cedar Point, twice named Notable in Best American Essays, and has appeared in print and online at DIAGRAM, Fourth Genre, Ninth Letter, Brevity, and Hunger Mountain, among others. She is the director of Split/Lip Press. A memoirist experimenting with the truth on the suburban prairie, Kristine makes her home outside Omaha, Nebraska. Her work may be found at kristinelangleymahler.com or @suburbanprairie.
Michael B. Tager of Mason Jar Press

michael b tagerAbout the speaker: Michael B.  Tager is the managing editor of Mason Jar Press and ostensibly the author of Pop Culture Poetry: the Definitive Collection. He is also well aware of the fleeting nature of life, so doesn’t really claim ownership of anything. One time he beat Contra without using the Konami Code and estimates that he had to burn several hundred hours of his life becoming good enough to do that. His website is Michaelbtager.com.

Steph Auteri of Hippocampus Magazine (essays editor)

steph auteriSteph Auteri has written for the Atlantic, the Guardian, Pacific Standard, VICE, and other publications. Her more literary work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Creative Nonfiction, Under the Gum Tree, and elsewhere. She is the author of A Dirty Word and the founder of Guerrilla Sex Ed.

Rae Pagliarulo, moderator (associate editor/flash editor)

rae pagliarulo

Rae Pagliarulo works as a nonprofit fundraising consultant in her lifelong home of Philadelphia. Her essays, poems, and articles have appeared in Full Grown People, bedfellows, Hippocampus, The Manifest-Station, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, the Brevity Blog, and numerous others. Her work is anthologized in The Best of Philadelphia Stories: 10th Anniversary Edition. She is the 2014 recipient of the Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize, a 2019 Best of the Net nominee, and a graduate of Rosemont College’s MFA program.


Questions About “HippoCamp Weekend”

FAQ coming soon.