Hippocampus Summer 2023 Events

save the date for aug 12-13, 2023 for online hippocampus magazine events

As many of your know, HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction writers is on indefinite hiatus. While we work behind the scenes on re-imagining our in-person gathering, we’re planning to host a few online literary events during “HippoCamp weekend.”

We have a new Literary Events Page on our website that will features listings for all upcoming individual events, including options to buy/reserve tickets. For the sake of convenience, we’re created this single Summer 2023 Events Page to share the details all in once place for these three sessions:

  • Saturday, Aug. 12, 6-8 p.m. ET – A Night of Nonfiction: Debut CNF Author Readings & Panel
  • Sunday, Aug. 13, noon-1:30 pm. ET – HippoCamp Minis: 5 CNF Topics in a Flash
  • Sunday, Aug. 13, 5-6:30 pm. ET – HippoCamp Minis Part II: An Evening With the Editors

Here’s a closer look at what’s in store:

banner with images of six authors promoting the 2023 night of nonfiction

A Night of Nonfiction: Debut CNF Author Readings & Panel

Saturday, Aug. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET – registration required; pay what you can

[GET YOUR TICKET or learn more] 

This is the online version of our ever-popular in-person event! It will feature readings from debut CNF authors, followed by a special guest reading and then a panel discussion, led by Hippocampus Magazine’s interviews editor Lara Lillibridge.

The evening will feature:

Alyssa Graybeal (Floppy: Tales of a Genetic Freak of Nature at the End of the World)
Alyssa Graybeal is a writer and cartoonist whose work explores the emotional landscape of chronic illness and disability, which can be funnier than it sounds. Her memoir Floppy: Tales of a Genetic Freak of Nature at the End of the World (2023) won the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award, and it is one of the first books about living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome from a patient’s perspective. She works as an editor and writing coach in Astoria, Oregon.
Anne Pinkerton (Were You Close? A Sister’s Quest to Know the Brother She Lost)
Anne Pinkerton’s memoir, Were You Close? A sister’s quest to know the brother she lost, published in April 2023 through Vine Leaves Press. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Modern Loss, “Beautiful Things” at River Teeth Journal, Entropy, Lunch Ticket, among other journals and anthologies. Anne holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Bay Path University and studied poetry as an undergrad at Hampshire College. She grew up in Texas and lives in western Massachusetts.
Anthony J. Mohr (Every Other Weekend: Coming of Age With Two Different Dads)
Anthony J. Mohr served for twenty-six years as a judge on the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. He also sat as a judge pro tem on the California Court of Appeal. In January 2021, Anthony became a fellow at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University and is now a senior editor of the Harvard ALI Social Impact Review. His stories and essays have received five Pushcart Prize nominations. He has worked on the staffs of Evening Street Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Hippocampus Magazine, and Under the Sun.
Sean Enfield (Holy American Burnout!)
Sean Enfield is a writer and educator from Dallas, Texas. His debut collection of essays, Holy American Burnout!, is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press in December 2023. His work has been published in Reed Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry, Witness Magazine, Terrain.org, Tahoma Literary Review, and The Rumpus, among others, and he was the 2020 recipient of the Fourth Genre’s Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize. Sean received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he served as the editor-in-chief of Permafrost Magazine. Now, he serves as an assistant nonfiction editor at Terrain.org.
Athena Dixon, special guest reader (The Loneliness Files)
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is the author of the forthcoming essay collection The Loneliness Files (Tin House 2023), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press 2020) and No God In This Room (Winner of the Intersectional Midwest Chapbook Contest, Argus House Press 2018). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) and Getting to the Truth: The Practice and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (Books by Hippocampus; 2021).

Athena’s work has appeared in various publications both online and in print. She has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and creative nonfiction as well as a Best of the Net nomination for poetry. She is a fellow of Callaloo and V.O.N.A. as well as a Tin House Winter Workshop attendee. Additionally, she has presented at AWP, HippoCamp, and The Muse and the Marketplace among other panels and conferences across the nation. Athena was the Founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal, which published from 2012-2021. She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.

We hope to see you there! Learn more about (or purchase!) these titles at our Bookshop affiliate site.

HippoCamp Minis Part 1: 5 CNF Topics in a Flash!

Sunday, Aug. 13 from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET – registration required; pay what you can

[GET YOUR TICKET or learn more] 

promo banner for hippocamp mini event with collage of author images

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 (or so) speakers who will share bite-sized wisdom with practical takeaways on a topic they’re passionate about.

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. Her memoir, Shadow Migration: Mapping a Life was released in 2022 from University of Nebraska Press.

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.

HippoCamp Minis Part 2: An Evening With the Editors!

Sunday, Aug. 13 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. ET – registration required; pay what you can

[GET YOUR TICKET or learn more]

Our volunteer editors are incredible humans — and their expertise goes well beyond their roles at Hippocampus, and even the literary world. In this session full of brief sessions, you’ll take away plenty of practical knowledge about writing, publishing, marketing, and living the creative life. Line-up and overviews forthcoming. Oh… and this event also serves as special preview of an TBA series from Hippocampus Magazine!

This webinar session will feature:

How to Survive That Angsty First Year After Your Book Pubs (Steph Auteri, essays editor)
We’ve all heard of postpartum book depression. I can confirm: the struggle is real. I spent the year after my own book pubbed flailing about, trying to find the Next Big Project, forcing myself to write a proposal that never felt quite right. In this flash session, I’ll share my top tips for writers who have just introduced their first book to the world, including how to create your own metrics for success; knowing when to cut yourself a break; allowing yourself creative play; considering the possibility of non-book projects; and remembering what you’re passionate about… and why.

Don’t worry: If your book project is still in the work, you’ll still benefit from the ideas covered here!

About the speaker: Steph 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.

What If I Can’t Remember? Using Mistakes of Memory to Write Creative Nonfiction (Wendy Fontaine, assistant flash editor)
Memories fade, morph and sometimes disappear. And yet, we still need to write about them. In this flash session, we will touch on the science behind memory distortion and explore how these so-called mistakes might be useful in unlocking the emotional truth of our experiences.

About the speaker: Wendy Fontaine’s work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and magazines including Pithead Chapel, Hippocampus Magazine, Longridge Review, Creative Nonfiction’s Sunday Reads, Sweet Lit and Yemassee. She has received nonfiction prizes from Identity Theory, Hunger Mountain and Tiferet Journal, as well as nominations to the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthologies. A native New Englander, she currently resides in southern California with her daughter and husband.

Heart and Soul: 10 Things Contributors Taught Me About Writing & Life (Kristen Paulson-Nguyen, writing life editor)
Writing Life Editor Kristen Paulson-Nguyen dives deep into the column, rediscovering hard fought wisdom from contributors. She’ll explore timeless topics, from working with your first book editor, to finding the writing groups that help you soar, getting stuck and finding a path forward.

About the speaker: Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is a graduate of GrubStreet’s Memoir and Essay Incubators and has taught courses in flash and the memoir proposal. She edits the Writing Life column for Hippocampus. Through her service Title Doctor, she has titled 17 works of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, a craft book, a memoir-in-essays, and The Writer’s 2021 contest-winning essay. She is querying her memoir

The Web is for Everyone: Accessibility & Inclusivity Tips for Writers & Content Creators (Donna Talarico, founder/managing editor)
As writers engaged in the literary community, it’s likely that you create and/or share content across the digital platforms, including your website, social media, and email. But before you hit send, post, or publish, are you certain what you’re about to share will be accessible to all? In this flash session (geared toward non-techies!), Donna will share wisdom from her day job in content strategy/UX. We’ll cover the basics of web accessibility — what it is and why it matters — and how to become more mindful about the written and multimedia content your create or share online.

About the speaker: Donna Talarico, founder/publisher of Hippocampus Magazine and Books, 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), writes an adult learner recruiting column for Wiley, and has contributed to Currents (a higher ed trade publication), 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 Los Angeles Times, and Wanderlust Journal. Donna serves or has served on the faculty of graduate creative writing programs, including Wilkes University and Rosemont College, as well as at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. She lives Lancaster, Pa. with her husband, Kevin Beerman and their cat. She loves road trips, national parks, board games, greasy-spoon diner breakfasts, and museums.

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