back of crowd in session room

Founded in 2010, Hippocampus Magazine is an online publication set out to entertain, educate and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers, now in its second year, is an in-the-flesh extension of that three-fold mission.

This three-day Pennsylvania writing conference features 40+ notable speakers, engaging sessions in four tracks, interactive all-conference panels, author and attendee readings, social activities, networking opps, and optional, intimate pre-conference workshops and post-conference pitch session.

We can’t wait to tell you more about this year’s programming — and welcome you to Lancaster, Pa., a city rich in history, arts and culture.

Format & Details

HippoCamp is formatted in the style of a professional development, industry conference more so than that of a typical writing or academic conference. Expect to learn a lot and return home with a notebook and brain full of ideas!

To give you a sense of what this conference is all about, a sneak preview, if you will:

— Conference center and hotel in heart of historic Lancaster
— Welcome program – orientation and inspiring opening speaker
— 18 attendee-led break-out sessions
— Lightning-round talks featuring 8-10 speakers
— 4 all-conference panel sessions
— 3 keynote presentations
— 40+ speakers
— Scores of your peers and publishing professionals
— Author readings
— Multiple pre-conference craft workshops (an optional add-on)
–Post-conference agent/editor pitch session (an optional add-on)
–Social events including a welcome reception and open-mic night
— Meals and snacks and coffee galore

The official conference website will be updated continuously with new details.

Meet the Committee & Past Year Recaps

Conference Committee & Staff


Conference Committee Members

Conference planning made possible by a dedicated committee of on- and off-site volunteers, most of whom are also on the Hippocampus Magazine staff.

Conference Chair: Donna Talarico

Assistant Conference Chair: Kevin Beerman


Programming Committee

  • Kevin Beerman
  • Anthony J. Mohr
  • Eli Tomaszewski
  • Denise Weaver
  • Sam Chiarelli


Operations/Hospitality Committee

  • Kevin Beerman – A Little Bit of Everything
  • Angela L. Eckhart – Registration/Session Room Host
  • Vicki Gabow – Registration/ Session Room Host
  • Eli Tomaszewski – Registration/Session Room Host/Pitch Session Coordinator
  • K. Justice Fisher – Registration/Session Room Host/Pitch Session Coordinator
  • Denise Weaver – Session Room Host
  • Dale Louise Mervine – Book Sale Table
  • Barb Mahaffey – Book Sale Table
  • Barry Mahaffey – Book Sale Table
  • Kelsi – Book Sale Table


Marketing Committee

  • Sam Chiarelli, vice chair
  • Vicki Gabow

2016 Conference Recap

If you weren’t at HippoCamp 2016, or you just want to relive it, you can get a great a idea of how our first creative nonfiction conference went by visiting last summer’s writing conference recap page. Here, you’ll find a social media recap, blog posts, links to our photo albums and more.

View 2016 Recap

View 2015 Recap

These details will give you a glimpse of what is in store for 2017.

About Hippocampus Magazine and Books

Hippocampus Magazine’s three-fold mission is to entertain, educate and engage readers and writers for creative nonfiction. Hippocampus publishes new creative nonfiction, craft articles, writing life columns, interviews, and reviews monthly. Hippocampus hosts an annual creative nonfiction conference, HippoCamp, and, in 2016, launched its books division. Learn more at its website.

Highlight? Being in the company of so many people who think that the words matter; being with other people who spend time and energy trying to get it right. Sometimes writing can seem like a waste of perfectly good time. This gathering was a reminder that it's an admirable and valuable endeavor. I felt inspired and encouraged. --on the question, "What was the highlight for you..."
2016 Attendeed
from post-conference survey