Session and Speaker Preview: Jennifer Hill, “Your Body Has a Voice”

jennifer-hillJennifer Hill is a renaissance woman. She’s an award-winning arts educator — and she teaches people of ALL ages. She runs a small press. She’s a playwright. And if we had to pick the coolest thing about Jenny (well, how can we, really?), it might have to be that she’s an incredible hoop performer.

The multi-talented Jennifer is giving a pre-conference workshop on writing and movement, and she is also part of our Sunday literary citizenship panel. We asked her a few questions about her upcoming participation in HippoCamp:

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

Jenny: The body has stories to tell, plenty of characters in memory, and a whole lot to say with emotion. We’ll do some character exploration using a few techniques I’ve learned in movement theatre, make use of props for playful flow and focus, and write from those experiences. I hope attendees will walk away with a renewed vigor to continue work on their writing, or have a fresh new piece come from the workshop.

If you’re presenting at a break-out sessions or hosting a workshop, tell us who would benefit most from your session and why.

Anyone with a body! Those who are looking for some playful expression, writers who are interested in “shaking up the snow globe” of their writing, and those who are just looking to stretch physically and metaphorically. As writers we spend a lot of time stuck to a chair, but to get to the heart of any experience, we need to move.

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

Whether it’s new to you or not, join in with an open mind and a sense of curiosity. Listen. Pay attention.

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

Meeting new people, always. Listening and learning from those who share.

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

I really enjoyed Lee Gutkind’s book, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” and so I’m looking forward to hearing his keynote. Also, Vicki Mayk’s session, “Writing Grief”, and Jim Warner’s podcast session interest me. There’s so much!

As a Lancaster County resident, what are you most excited to share with attendees and other speakers?

Some of my favorite places, if you’re looking for city spaces for quiet writing or contemplation, are the St. James cemetery on Orange Street (lots of great history there), and Steinman Park on King Street (just down from the Marriott). Lancaster is an easy city to walk around in, and it is filled with restaurants that cater to nearly every appetite. The Central Market is a must! Wander and enjoy. Move through our city and be moved by it!

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Thank you, Jennifer! We’re lucky to share our city with you, and we’re so glad you are a part of our inaugural creative writing conference!