back of crowd in session room

Founded in 2010, Hippocampus Magazine is an online publication set out to entertain, educate and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers, now in its fourth year, is an in-the-flesh extension of that three-fold mission.

Wait, what? HIPPOCAMP? OK. It may sound silly at first glance, so if you’re new to us, we should explain: First, our magazine name comes from the seahorse-shaped portion of the brain related to forming memories: the hippocampus. So, then, our conference name is a playful take on our magazine title mixed with that summer-camp feeling you get when spending lots of time learning and bonding with new friends over a short period of time! Voila! HippoCamp! And this means we can call our attendees HippoCamp’ers!


This three-day Pennsylvania writing conference features 40+ notable speakers, engaging keynotes, informative sessions in four tracks, interactive all-conference panels, author and attendee readings, social activities, networking opps, and optional, intimate and immersive pre-conference workshops.

We can’t wait to tell you more about this year’s programming — and welcome you to Lancaster, Pa., a city rich in history, arts and culture.

Format & Details

HippoCamp is formatted in the style of a professional development, industry conference more so than that of a typical writing or academic conference. Expect to learn a lot and return home with a notebook and brain full of ideas!

To give you a sense of what this conference is all about, a sneak preview, if you will:

— Conference center and hotel in heart of historic Lancaster
— Welcome program – orientation and inspiring opening speaker
— 24+ attendee-led break-out sessions covering craft, publishing, work-life balance, business of writing and more!
— A panel featuring “Flash” talks — each seven minutes — by 5-6 speakers – fast-paced and fun!
— Several all-conference panel sessions, including a new author showcase
— Headlining evening keynote presentation and signing
— Scores of your peers and publishing professionals
— Multiple pre-conference craft and publishing workshops (an optional add-on)
— Social events including a welcome reception
— Meals and snacks and coffee galore
— On-site conference book store with titles by speakers and your new friends

The official conference website will be updated continuously with new details.

Meet the Committee & Past Year Recaps

Conference Committee & Staff


Conference Committee Members

Conference planning made possible by a dedicated committee of on- and off-site volunteers, most of whom are also on the Hippocampus Magazine staff.

Conference Chair: Donna Talarico

Assistant Conference Chair: Kevin Beerman


Programming Committee

  • Kevin Beerman
  • K. Justice Fisher
  • Anthony J. Mohr
  • Donna Talarico
  • Eli Tomaszewski
  • Denise Weaver


Operations/Hospitality Committee

  • Kevin Beerman – A Little Bit of Everything
  • Angela L. Eckhart – Registration/Session Room Host
  • Vicki Gabow – Registration/ Session Room Host
  • Eli Tomaszewski – Registration/Session Room Host/Pitch Session Coordinator
  • K. Justice Fisher – Registration/Session Room Host/Pitch Session Coordinator
  • Denise Weaver – Session Room Host
  • Dale Louise Mervine – Book Sale Table Manager
  • Barb Mahaffey – Book Sale Table
  • Barry Mahaffey – Book Sale Table
  • Kelsi Shenk – Book Sale Table


Marketing Committee

  • Sam Chiarelli, vice chair
  • Vicki Gabow

2016 Conference Recap

If you weren’t at previous events, or you just want to relive them, you can get a great a idea of what’s in store on these recap pages:

View 2016 Recap

View 2015 Recap

About Hippocampus Magazine and Books

Hippocampus Magazine’s three-fold mission is to entertain, educate and engage readers and writers for creative nonfiction. Hippocampus publishes new creative nonfiction, craft articles, writing life columns, interviews, and reviews monthly. Hippocampus hosts an annual creative nonfiction conference, HippoCamp, and, in 2016, launched its books division. Learn more at its website.

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