12 Jul Lancaster Home to National Writing Conference: HippoCamp is Aug. 7-9

When I first became a resident of the county in 2010, I lived in Elizabethtown, right near my place of work: Elizabethtown College. Since I was new to the area and alone, I found it hard to meet people in beautiful, quaint E-town. I had always ventured into Lancaster when I wanted to be social or explore, so I decided to move to the city about three years ago. When I moved to Lancaster, I brought along with me an intangible project: an online, creative nonfiction literary journal called Hippocampus Magazine, named for the region of the brain where memories are formed.

This great city is now my home, and when I wanted to give my cyber-space-dwelling magazine a sense of place, I couldn’t think of a better place on the east coast to host our inaugural writing conference than right here in the Red Rose City.


Creativity, Close to Home

HippoCamp, as we’re calling it, will be held at the Lancaster County Convention Center Aug. 7-9, and it is set to attract 100 to 125 writers fromm all over the country.  The conference website has boatloads of details, but here are some highlights:

  • Keynotes by Lee Gutkind (credited with popularizing the term “creative nonfiction” and founder of Creative Nonfiction magazine) and Jane Friedman (digital media expert and former publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine)
  • Dozens of sessions and panels by 30+ writers and publishing professionals – sessions cover a range of craft-related, publishing, promotion and work-life balance issues. Panels include debut authors, agents and editors, and a group of folks who are literary citizenship rock stars
  • Lots of social activities include evening readings, open mic night, a reception, meals and all that unplanned stuff that happens when like-minded people get together in a cool city

Please visit the website for specifics. It’s an incredible line-up and it’s RIGHT HERE in Lancaster. We couldn’t be more excited to host this event here, and to welcome visitors to our city. But this event is an incredible opportunity for local writers.


Jane Friendman

Lee Gutkind

Lee Gutkind










“But wait. I’m not published,” you say…

There’s a misconception that you have to be published before you can call yourself a writer. That’s not true. If you write words down, you, my friend, are a writer. Believe it.

I want to make that clear because HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers is for wordsmiths at ANY stage in their endeavors—even if those ideas didn’t yet make it to the page. So whether you have a bunch of ideas still in your head for personal essays, you have a memoir in progress, or you’re a prolific writer, HippoCamp is for you.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the Lancaster Transplant gang for helping me to feel at home in my new city. This group is doing great things, and we Transplants are a creative bunch, too. I appreciate so much the opportunity to showcase this event on this blog, and it is my hope that our creative writing conference will be a packed house—full of locals, visitors and transplants alike.

I’m happy to answer any questions; email me at info@hippocampusmagazine.com.

Write on,



Transplant Note: Hippocampus is extending a special discount to Trustee Members of Lancaster Transplant. Email us for details.

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