We’re practically neighbors! HippoCamp is proud to welcome Keysha Whitaker who presently resides in nearby Berks County! If you’ve read The Writer or McSweeney’s, there’s a chance you’ve read practical advice or humor from this essayist, and we’re so pleased she’ll be sharing her experiences on our Articles & Essays panel. She answered a few questions about her upcoming visit.



HM: Without sharing any spoilers, what can attendees expect from your role on the panel?

KW: In 2012, I began tracking my submissions to journals, newspapers, and magazines. By 2016, I had devised a formula that allowed me to predict how many times I’d hear the word no. I’ll share my strategy that takes the sting out of rejection and helps motivate writers to keep submitting.

Who would benefit the most from this panel? (Ex: skill level, interest, etc.)
If you’ve been sending out an essay or piece a few times a year, with no success, my method will show where you’re going wrong and how to increase your acceptance rates. Writers who have been hesitant to begin submitting might find the method as an almost painless way to begin the submission process.

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?
Sharing with others is important because not all methods work for every writer, but the more techniques that you’re aware of, the likelier it will be for you to cobble together a strategy of your own that works.

Taking off your presenter hat, what are you hoping to learn as an attendee at HippoCamp?
At HippoCamp, I’d love to learn what motivates writers and how writers developed a niche in their work.

Lancaster is an amazing city – since you live (somewhat) nearby,what about visiting our city excites you the most?
Lancaster is a vibrant city with an amazing art scene.

What was a recent and memorable work of creative nonfiction you read – whether a book or shorter piece? (And what did you love about it?)
A couple of years ago, I read The Autumn Balloon by Kenny Porpora, and I often think about parts of the book from time to time. The prose has excellent pacing and great scenes.

Interested in registering for HippoCamp? Get details here. Registration closes 8/28.

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