I'm excited to announce I've been selected as a speaker for this year's HippoCamp 2017, Hippocampus Magazine's annual nonfiction writers conference.

The conference, now in its second year, is a 3-day event in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, focuses on professional development and craft rather than academia/pedagogy and helps writers of creative nonfiction with keynotes, panels, presentations, lightning round TED-style talks and networking. I'll get to meet fellow writers, editors, agents, publishers and industry leaders while nerding out about CNF.

It's basically my dream conference.

This year's keynote speakers include Tobias Wolff (This Boy's Life, The Night In Question) and Beverly Donofrio (Riding in Cars With Boys--whaaaaat).

I'll be teaching a 1-hour session the Saturday of the conference: "How to Open Your Memoir With Immediate Impact."

No two memoirs are alike, but they must accomplish similar goals. The first scenes of your memoir have to do more than just hook the reader. Like novels, memoirs don’t necessarily need to drop people into “in the middle of the action,” but the language must convey a sense of urgency as well as introduce the themes of the overall narrative. Think of your memoir’s first chapter as the first petal unfolding to reveal the depth and color of an entire plant.

With examples from four very different yet powerful memoir openings, you will see detailed breakdowns of how time, dialogue, structure and setting can all work together to accomplish the two goals of: 1) compelling the reader to keep going, and 2) setting in place the themes that will be explored in the rest of the memoir.

For more information on my session, go here.

HippoCamp 2017 takes place September 8-10th.

To register for the conference, click here.

If you plan to attend HippoCamp '17, let me know! I would love to meet up with you. Use #hippocamp17 and follow Hippocampus Magazine on Twitter.

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