Speaker and Session Preview: Curtis Smith – Out of Time: The Benefits of Planning

curtis smithCurtis Smith, whose latest collection of essays hit shelves earlier this year, is going to present about outlining, something many of us writers could benefit from. Here, he shares a bit about his presentation and, in general, what he’s looking forward to about HippoCamp.


Hippocampus: We don’t want to give too much away about your session, 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.

Curtis: I’ll be sharing strategies for prewriting and brainstorming before the first draft. It’s not meant to work for everyone, but I’m hoping attendees can take one or two things from the talk that will help the process.

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

I’d say anyone who feels like there isn’t enough time in their schedule to fit in writing.

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

Keep an open mind, remember we’re all here for the same thing and that there’s no one way to go about the process. Walk that fine line between taking it all in and not getting overwhelmed.

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

I’ve always enjoyed the community aspect of such gatherings. All too often we’re alone in our pursuits—it’s always cool to see fellow writers following the same path.

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

I’m hoping to hear Lee Gutkind talk. I’ve admired the things he’s accomplished.

What are you most looking forward to sharing about Lancaster with attendees and other speakers?

I’m from the area—and I’m hoping the folks visiting will be able to get a feel for the cool things happening now in Lancaster. There’s a nice movement of artists and others who are making things interesting.