Allison Williams speaking at HippoCamp 2016

Allison Williams speaking at HippoCamp 2016

Whether they’ve written personal essays, full-length memoirs, or some other form of creative nonfiction, many HippoCamp attendees are seeking publication for their writing. Since this goal is so sought-after, and so important, for writers of all ages and skill levels, we’ve prepared a number of sessions to help you make your submissions as strong as possible.

Here are some sessions you won’t want to miss to ensure your writing gets seen:


Self-Edit Like a Pro (Pre-Conference Workshop) – requires separate registration

When: Friday, September 8 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Commonwealth 2

What: Self-edit like a pro!  Most editors and agents see common, time-consuming but fixable issues in most manuscripts they receive. When a writer can identify these elements, their work will be cleaner, more readable, and more likely to receive an acceptance from an agent or publisher. By working technically, the “darlings” aren’t so hard to kill. By being mindful of writing habits and actively choosing techniques that serve the work, you can teach yourself to write better — for free.

Bring 3-5 pages of a work-in-progress on a flash drive *and* printed out, and your bravery. We’ll do some in-class editing with each other, and Allison will also do live sample-edits for some courageous volunteers.

EXTRA: Workshop leader Allison Williams is also offering registered attendees of this workshop with the opportunity to schedule private consultation/critique session during the conference; you will receive an email closer to the conference with details, including pricing and scheduling details. This is optional.


Copyedit Yourself: How to Polish Your Writing So Editors Don’t Hate You

When: Saturday, September 9 – 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Where: Heritage A

What: You’ve written your manuscript or article, but now what? How do you make sure your work isn’t left on the no-thanks pile? This session will give you tools for polishing your writing before you send it out into the world.

The reality is that editors want clean copy and will move on to the next writer if your writing isn’t clear. Without getting too deep into the worst parts of high school English, this session will give you concrete steps to help you proofread and copyedit your work to help ensure that readers see the story you’re telling, not the comma you forgot.


Submission Strategy: Beyond Wish Lists, Tiers, and Industry Buzz 

When: Saturday, September 9 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Where: Heritage E

What: Get real — and get published, published more frequently, and in places that make you happy. Wish lists, tiered rankings, industry buzz and submission calendars are helpful, but might not get you out of the rejection pile, or bring real satisfaction. Conventional wisdom and advice about submissions are only starting points.

The next and most important steps are to go beyond all that to devise a submissions strategy of your own–for print and online literary journals, and even for more commercial media outlets. One that makes sense for you (and probably you alone). Do you really care about X Journal? Or have you just been programmed to think you should? In this session, you’ll learn to develop a strategy that honors and serves each individual piece of work, and addresses what you truly want and need as a writer at any given moment while improving your submissions batting average.



If you’re interested in publishing your work, you’ll also want to make sure you attend Sunday’s panels, including Finding Homes for Your Creative and Journalistic Work and our Agents and Editors Panel: Publishing Pros on CNF Today.

Ready to pitch your work to agents and editors? Sign up for our post-conference Agent and Editor Pitch Sessions to see if you can find a home for your work.


Want to take your submissions to the next level? Register for HippoCamp 2017 today to learn how to get your writing out of the slush pile and into print!


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