Flash Sessions: Six Speakers. Six Topics.

Flash Sessions


Think flash essays, but in person! In this popular panel made up of mini-sessions, a group of presenters grace the stage and share their passion and knowledge in brief, 10-minute talks. This fast-paced event is sure to inspire you, give you ideas, and leave you with a few golden nuggets to take home! From finding the perfect title to exploring self-publishing, this session-of-sessions will surely have something for you!


Be a Literary Citizen: How to Create Community and Why it Matters

  • Flash Sessions

Some writers are introverts, some are not. Introverts and extroverts alike often crave the community and support of other writers, but don't always know how to find or create it. This session will highlight the benefits of being part of a writing community at all stages of your writing life and will offer concrete steps to creating or finding your people (in person or on-line!).

Post-Conference Materials

Download Slides [PDF]

Title, Found—How Memoirists Did It—and You Can, Too aka 10 Prescriptions for a Kick-A-- Memoir Title

  • Flash Sessions

Your memoir is in progress. If only you had a title. In this session you'll hear narratives of how several published memoirists came up with their book titles, and some tips for how you can too, whether or not you have an agent. An array of approaches will be covered. You'll leave with fresh inspiration to come up with your book's title.

Post-Conference Materials

Download Slides [ppt]

The Business Side of Things: What an MBA Taught Me About Writing

  • Flash Sessions

Writers talk about their work in many ways: as an art, as a calling, as a lifestyle. Too often missing from these conversations is the fact that writing is also a business. In this flash session, we'll discuss basic business principles: vision and mission statements, business plans, and other items not usually taught in creative writing programs.

What Your Flash Editor is Looking For, In a Flash

  • Flash Sessions

What REALLY happens in the slush pile? As editors and readers are combing through veritable stacks of essays, what can make yours stand out and rise to the top? Hear from the flash editor of Hippocampus Magazine (informed by a team of intrepid and diverse readers) about what we look for in the queue, and what common issues cause us to send those pesky decline messages.

Should I Self-Publish? If So, How?

  • Flash Sessions

The current marketplace has many paths to publication, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Learn a bit about what self-publishing can (and can't) offer you, and why some authors are choosing to self-publish instead of (or after) going the traditional route. Tips and tricks to self-publishing provided.

Post-Conference Materials

Download Slides [ppt]

FAIL (Then Get Back Up and Try Again)

  • Flash Sessions

All creative work involves risk and risk means the possibility of failure. In this interactive session, we'll examine how we face failure, how we process our own and others' success, and how we find the resilience to attempt new work and maybe fail again. What is gained by failure? What makes us define something as a failure or success? When we write, do we keep an imaginary audience in our head who judges every word? Or can we truly write for ourselves and the things that matter most deeply to us? Is it more frightening to fail or to succeed?


  • Jamie Beth Cohen

    Pronouns: she/her/friend

    Jamie Beth Cohen is the co-founder of Write Now Lancaster, a monthly meeting for writers of all genres. She is a past winner and host of Lancaster Story Slam. Her essays can be found all over the internet, and her debut novel, WASTED PRETTY, was published in 2019.

  • Kristen Paulson-Nguyen

    Pronouns: she/her
    Title Doctor, Kristen's Carousel

    Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is the Writing Life Editor at Hippocampus Magazine. As the Title Doctor, she prescribes memoir titles that stand out. Kristen's work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Boston Globe, and BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog, among other publications. Her micro-essay “Neighbors” won an award in 2020...

  • Cheryl Woodruff Brooks

    Pronouns: she/her
    Chief Creative Officer, Nilaja, LLC

    Cheryl Woodruff Books is the author of Chicken Bone Beach: A Pictorial History of Atlantic City's Missouri Avenue Beach and Golden Beauty Boss: The Story of Madame Sara Spencer Washington and the Apex Empire. Nominated for a 2017 Literary Award with the Schomburg Center in New York City, Chicken Bone...

  • Rae Pagliarulo

    Rae Pagliarulo is the associate editor & flash editor of Hippocampus Magazine. Her essays, poems, and articles have appeared in Full Grown People, bedfellows, Hippocampus, The Manifest-Station, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, the Brevity Blog, and others. Her work has received honors such as the 2014 Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize, as well...

  • Lara Lillibridge

    Lara Lillibridge is the author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama, Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home, and co-editor of the anthology Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility. Lillibridge received HippoCamp's Literary Citizenship Award in 2019 and is a mentor for AWP’s Writer to Writer program.

  • Amy Eaton

    Amy Eaton has had CNF published in The Coachella Review, Mulberry Literary; interviews in Hippocampus with Davon Loeb and Jeannine Ouellette; and lotsa Live Lit shows including Write Club Chicago, MissSpoken, and Stoop Style Stories. She directed renowned storyteller Lily Be this past winter in her solo show "What Are...