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HippoCamp Minis Part One: 5 CNF Topics in a Flash!

August 13 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

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collage of speaker images - anita gill, megan kaleita, jennifer lunden, suzanne ohlmann, and paul zakrzewski

 Registration closes at 9 a.m. eastern, 8/13. 

Some conferences call these fast-paced events lightning round talks. In honor of the short CNF subgenre, we call them flash sessions! These have always been a popular and fun part of our in-person conference and, this year, we’re bringing them online.

You’ll hear from five speakers who will share bite-sized wisdom with practical takeaways on a topic they’re passionate about. Stay tuned for the line-up!

Note: This is ONE OF THREE events we’re hosting the weekend of the 12-13th! Read about all of them here.

(events will be recorded and made available to registered attendees for 30 days)

This webinar session will feature:

The Excavation of Glimmers with Anita Gill
Glimmers, a concept coined by Pam Houston, is a method of collecting random observances in the world and finding them as sources for inspiration or enhancement in one’s writing. In this flash session, we will uncover our own glimmers and how they offer an innovative approach to generating new work and/or enhancing revision.

About the speaker: Anita Gill is a Fulbright Scholar whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Kweli, Prairie Schooner, Coachella Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her writing has been listed as Notable in Best American Essays and has won The Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. She holds an MA in Literature from American University, and an MFA in writing from Pacific University. She currently serves as nonfiction editor for Hypertext Review while working on a novel. Find her online at www.anitagill.ink.

The First Book Vulnerability Hangover with Megan J. Kaleita
Here’s everything I did wrong when it came to my first book being published: All of it. I did everything wrong. I didn’t have a community where I lived. I moved across the country when I should have been doing readings and networking. I thought my job came first (the one that paid the bills, not the one I liked). I didn’t understand the impact my book would have on the right people and was too worried about the people who wouldn’t like it. In truth, I had a vulnerability hangover and was running from it. This is everything I’d do differently.

About the speaker: Megan J. Kaleita is the author of This Book is Brought to You By My Student Loans, and has comedic essays in McSweeny’s, LitReactor, LadySpike, Daily Drunk Mag, and the upcoming anthology Isn’t She Great: Writer’s On Women Led Comedies from 9-5 to Booksmart. She has a BA from Hartwick College and an MA from Wilkes University, and has had a jumble of careers including medical receptionist, marketing manager, professional blog writer, and more. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho but please don’t judge her for that.

On Chaos and the Researched Braided Memoir with Jennifer Lunden
Contemporary memoir is becoming more multidisciplinary, incorporating research and original reporting on subjects as wide-ranging as science, history, social justice, cultural criticism, and more. Finding the form for these complex, non-linear narratives can feel chaotic and overwhelming. How do people pull it off? How does a writer decide what goes where? In this talk Jennifer Lunden will discuss her process in structuring her book American Breakdown: Our Ailing Nation, My Body’s Revolt, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to Life, and how she came to recognize the role of chaos theory as both subject and inspiration.

About the speaker: The recipient of the 2019 Maine Arts Fellowship for Literary Arts and the 2016 Bread Loaf–Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Nonfiction, Jennifer Lunden writes at the intersection of health and the environment. Her essays have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Orion, River Teeth, DIAGRAM, Longreads, and other journals; selected for several anthologies; and praised as notable in Best American Essays. A former therapist, she was named Maine’s Social Worker of the Year in 2012. She and her husband, the artist Frank Turek, live in a little house in Portland, Maine, where they keep several chickens, two cats, and some gloriously untamed gardens.

Setting as Character: When Place Enlivens Narrative with Suzanne Ohlmann
To keep the your reader on the page, you must invite them immediately into a sense of place. At times, a well-written place elicits not just setting, but morphs into its own character. This flash session will take a brief but colorful dive into the technical skills that launch the magical blurring between character and setting, and create a more tangible experience of place for the reader.

About the speaker: Suzanne Ohlmann is a writer and registered nurse who lives in Nebraska and San Antonio, Texas. She and her husband, a firefighter, share their home with a community of dogs, cats, the occasional opossum, and their son. She works with rural heart failure patients who would otherwise not have access to advanced health care, and who love to remind her that they’d rather be frying frog legs or fixing fence line than listening to her advice.

Writing Beyond Shame: 5 Steps to Exposing Yourself on the Page with Paul Zakrzewski
Memoir and essays often hinge on the power of your narrator—a version of you—to tell a compelling story. But for writers recovering from trauma, the effects of toxic shame can overwhelm our desire to get our voice and inner journey down on the page. Drawing from findings and tools in contemporary psychology (ie. Internal Family Systems), 12-step recovery, and writing teachers like Peter Elbow and Julia Cameron, we’ll explore several ways to recover and (re)center your authentic self in your work.

About the speaker: Since 2005 Paul Zakrzewski has helped writers to dig deep and tell their most authentic life stories through the application of craft and insight. He currently works 1:1 to help authors finish market-ready drafts, proposals, query letters, and more. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Brevity, Essay Daily and elsewhere. The recipient of an MFA from VCFA, he edited the prize-winning anthology Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge (Perennial) and currently hosts The Book I Had to Write show, available wherever you listen to podcasts.

This is ONE OF THREE events we’re hosting the weekend of the 12-13th! Read about all of them here.

(events will be recorded and made available to registered attendees for 30 days)


August 13
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
See below for pricing
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Online (Zoom Webinar)


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