Creative nonfiction is our game, but you may play the writing game across several genres. If you do, you’ll be happy to know we’ve scheduled sessions to help you improve your skills in any storytelling format.


randon billings noble at hippocamp 2016

Randon Billings Noble at HippoCamp 2016

If you’re a multi-genre writer, these sessions might pique your interest:


Worries of the Poet, Tools of the Essayist: Crafting the Lyric Essay (Pre-Conference Workshop) – requires separate registration

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

Where: Commonwealth 4

What: Join poet Marshall Warfield and essayist Randon Billings Noble (picture here) for a workshop that looks at the intersection of poetry and lyric essay.  The first half of this workshop will be devoted to the discussion and creation of a lyric essay though reading short examples and writing from a variety of prompts. The second half will focus on six “considerations” poets face and how they can become tools to create, shape, and polish an essay.  Attendees will see how making wise choices about the balance of a line, doubt, the heat of a metaphor, meter, punctuation, and white space can make a lyric essay stronger.  Time will be given for experimentation and revision, and attendees will leave this workshop with a strong start of a lyric essay. This session welcomes essayists at all levels of experience.


The Genre Blender: An exploration of the hybrid form and how it can be used to evoke emotional resonance

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

Where: Heritage D

What: Hybrid forms create room for new discoveries for the writer and the reader; they tend to favor feeling over mere re-creation of events, and allow access to the narrator’s interior.

Abandoning the constructs of traditional, linear narrative and blending elements from different genres and/or media can enable the writer to provide an emotional connection with the reader quickly and effectively, imparting lasting resonance.

We will explore the hybrid form as a vehicle for entry into the interior of the narrator through works by Lidia Yuknavitch, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Carson, Charles Reznikoff, and others.


Find Stories in Your Family History

When: Saturday, September 9 – 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Where: Heritage D

What: Maybe you’ve heard unforgettable stories from relatives, or maybe they’re still hidden in the branches of your family tree. Either way, we all have family history. And this history can provide inspiration for books, magazine articles, essays and blog posts. But finding the stories can be difficult, and telling them can be daunting: how do you get to the good stuff, and how do you share it without hurting the people you love?

Author Kelly Kautz discovered a dark secret in her family tree, and used interviews, genealogy, and investigative reporting to gather details and tell the tale. In this session, she’ll share how to mine your own genealogy, conduct family interviews, deal with gaps in information and even handle sticky subjects. You’ll leave bursting with new ideas and all the tools you need to dig up a story of a lifetime.


While these sessions are just the beginning, we know you’ll find plenty of inspiration and practical writing advice during HippoCamp 2017! But space is limited and we are nearly at capacity–so register today to ensure your spot at this fall’s premier creative nonfiction event!



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