Rae Theodore attended HippoCamp 2016, and when she returns to Lancaster this year, it will be as a break-out session speaker. Along with Patty Kline-Capaldo, she’ll give the presentation, “Finding Your Tribe Or How a Writing Group Saved My Life.” Rae answered a few questions about HippoCamp! We’re excited to welcome her back.
What can attendees expect from your session?
Attendees will learn how to create and maintain a successful writing group or, if they already belong to a group, how to harness collective creative energy to propel their writing forward and achieve their writing goals. We’ll also talk about the benefits of working with writing prompts to stimulate creativity, enhance a work in progress and break through blocks to creativity and productivity. Before we wrap up, we’ll offer tips on being a model literary citizen and, in the spirit of upstanding literary citizenship, share some of our favorite writing prompts.
Who would benefit the most from attending your session?
Anyone interested in connecting with other writers on a regular basis for community, support, networking, craft improvement and fun.
Literary citizenship is so important today, and by being part of our conference, you’re contributing to the CNF community — why is sharing with others important to you?
I always had a dream of writing a book. It was a bucket list thing. As I started approaching 50, I thought it was never going to happen. And then I found Just Write, a weekly writing group run by my co-presenter, Patty Kline-Capaldo. Everyone gave so generously, sharing resources, knowledge and feedback and encouraging me to keep plugging away. Without Patty and the other group members, I’d still be daydreaming about writing a book someday.
As a result, I’ve made sharing a regular part of my writing practice.
Taking off your presenter hat, what are you hoping to learn as an attendee at HippoCamp?
Last year was my first year at HippoCamp, and I was blown away by all of the presenters. I loved being in a room with a bunch of creative nonfiction geeks like myself. You know, folks who get excited about discussing the merits of using composite characters and can engage in endless debate about what “creative” in creative nonfiction really means.
This year, I’m focused on learning how to fine-tune my writing and make writing a daily priority. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, so will look to HippoCamp to spark some ideas and get me excited about my own writing again.
What was a recent and memorable piece of creative nonfiction you read?
I picked up Jamie Brickhouse’s Dangerous When Wet at HippoCamp last year but didn’t get around to reading it until about a month ago. I admire how Jamie was able to blend light and dark elements in his memoir. It’s a laugh-out-loud book that will break your heart.