Submit Session Proposal

matt skillen presenting at HippoCamp 2015


UPDATE (12/23/16): Our call for proposals for HippoCamp 2017 is closed. We’re sorry you missed our window! We received almost double the amount of proposals submitted for the 2016 event. We’re absolutely thrilled that so many writers and publishing professionals want to be involved.

We continue to get questions about how to speak at HippoCamp 2017, so we decided to update this page with some information about the programming process: If you’re interested in participating in future conferences (maybe you just heard about us for the first time?) be sure to sign up for our newsletter (bottom of site) and/or follow us on social media so that you don’t miss next year’s call. Like most professional development conferences, we plan the programming many months in advance. Typically, we open for break-out session submissions in late August and stay open through the fall, and then we announce the line-up when tickets go on sale in January.

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HippoCamp’s programming is mostly for-attendees, by attendees! With the exception of keynotes and our few panels, our conference is built from the proposals YOU submit!

We’re enthusiastically inviting attendees who also are interested in being part of our speaker line-up to submit a session proposal for HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in one of our three traditional tracks, our new addition of a special topics track, or our flash sessions:

TIP: Refer to last year’s conference schedule to get an idea of what we’ve accepted in the past.

Deadline is Nov. 15, 2016; we’ll announce the line-up in mid-December before tickets go on sale in January.


We’re not an academic conference, and we’re not a retreat or workshop. We’re formatted in the style of a professional development conference – we’re more similar to Confab (a content marketing conference) than AWP. We’re more inspired by Austin (a la SXSW) than academia. Our vocabulary is a bit different than other conferences: rather than faculty and classes, we have presenters and sessions.

Now that we have two conference’s worth of feedback, we’ve begun to really hone our “conference aesthetic.”


Based on our highest-rated sessions and speakers from 2015 and 2016, here’s what we’re looking for in speakers and sessions:


We want smart, dynamic, passionate, friendly speakers to fill our roster! Here are some details:


We love TEDTalks. We prefer giving one rock star a chance to light up a room at a breakout session over offering only panels (although we have those, too!).

What we’re not looking for in a session proposal:


Why present at a professional development conference for writers?

HippoCamp speaker expectations: