Session and Speaker Preview: Jim Breslin, Literary Citizenship Panel

jim-breslinPeople all over eastern and south-central Pennsylvania have been given a venue to share their stories thanks to Jim Breslin, founder of the West Chester Story Slam and co-founder of the new(ish) Lancaster Story Slam.

Jim also is active in his local writing community as vice president of the Brandywine Valley Writer’s Group, and he’s an author himself. His novel, Shoplandia, was inspired by his many years as a producer for a home shopping cable channel. He’s joining us for the literary citizenship panel Sunday.


HippoCamp: We don’t want to give too much away about your panel, but please share with us a golden nugget that you hope attendees will take away from your talk that isn’t found on the program description.

Jim: Writing may seem like an arduous and solitary journey and some aspiring writers feel like a night out with other writers is a night they could be writing. The truth is finding a community of writers and artists, and taking time to meet regularly with them, will help you achieve your goals faster.


 Tell us who would benefit most from your session and why. 

Introverted writers who are hesitant to share their work in progress, have a fear of public speaking, and those who don’t see the value in social media. Being comfortable receiving constructive feedback, talking in groups and in front of audiences, and connecting with writers throughout the world is all necessary for writers today.


What is your best advice for attending a writing conference, whether it’s for newbies or veterans?

Study the schedule and the list of presenters. Think about questions you would want to ask them if you see them in the hall. Approach your favorites and start conversations with them.


Aside from speaking, what you are most looking forward to about being part of the inaugural HippoCamp? 

I’m excited that Lancaster is playing host to these great writers and publishing people. From chatting with friends, I can already feel the energy building.


What’s on your personal conference agenda? Perhaps share with us a session/event you don’t want to miss.

So many of the sessions are intriguing! Writing Flash Essays by Jennifer McGuiggan is interesting. And looking forward to hearing Jane Friedman speak also.


You’re in Lancaster a lot; what are some things about the area you’re looking forward to sharing with attendees and other speakers?

Having a beer at Spring House Brewpub! So many great restaurants to explore in town.


Anything else? 

I’m excited to be on a panel at the inaugural HippoCamp. See you in August.