If you’re looking to transcend labels and kickstart your writing, editing, and publishing into new directions, then Athena Dixon‘s session is ideal for you. Titled Many Roads Traveled: Writing, Editing, and Publishing Across Intersections, Athena’s session pushes writers past their comfort zone and into new territory. She talked to us about new experiences she’s anticipating at HippoCamp 2017.

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Hippocampus: Without sharing any spoilers, what can attendees expect from your session?

Athena: Attendees can expect a gentle push outside of their normal boxes. I’m hoping to get people thinking about how they define themselves and how those definitions can help or hinder our writing, publishing and submitting.

Who would benefit the most from your session or workshop? 

I think my session fits any stage or experience level. It’s tailored not as writing advice, rather a guide for finding new ways to present ourselves and our work. Those who are interested in finding new pieces of their puzzle are encouraged to attend.

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?

My goal, in my own writing and my literary journal, is to give people a voice. Conferences such as HippoCamp allow writers and editors from all walks of life the chance to engage and be heard. By actively participating in our community, we are both knowingly and unknowingly sparking new books, essays, relationships, thought processes, and careers.

Taking off your presenter hat, what are you hoping to learn as an attendee at HippoCamp?

I’m very interested in learning how to balance the public and the private in my essays. I’m also looking forward to hearing how to create a work/life balance.

What suggestions do you have for those who haven’t visited Lancaster yet?

I’d say make sure you visit the farmer’s market across the street. The variety of items is stunning! There’s pretty much anything you can imagine. Also, try to get a treat at the Bistro Barberet and Bakery.

What was the a recent and memorable work of creative nonfiction you read? 

I picked up Cija Jefferson’s Sonic Memories at the last conference and fell in love with it. I’ve passed it along to a few people as an example of how an essay collection be tightly controlled, but expansive in its stories. She’s also captured black childhood and black womanhood in a way I’ve been striving to in my own work. I also really love the essay “Da Art of Storytellin’ (a Prequel)” by Kiese Laymon which appears in The Fire This Time collection. Again, it tackles blackness and black experience in ways I think are often overlooked. Both writers have an eye and ear for our generation, but also those before us.

Register for HippoCamp 2017 today to hear more from Athena Dixon and other illustrious speakers!

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