Session and Speaker Preview: Jesse Waters – “Family, Friends and Foes…”

jesse-watersWriter Jesse Waters is director of a nearby venue called Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College. Each year he brings creative writers and other fascinating people to south-central Pennsylvania. We’re happy to have him as part of HippoCamp, where he’ll present on a necessary evil of writing memoir: how to handle your friends, family and foes.

Bowers Writers House also is a participating sponsor of HippoCamp. So you can catch Jesse at his presentation – and stop by BWH’s table to learn more about the venue and how it helps writers from around the country. We asked Jesse a few questions about his upcoming involvement at HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers.

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./strong>

Jesse: Having mutual respect for both the writing process, and the “facts of the matter” are perhaps the most challenging qualities involved with writing about personal experience. I’ll suggest ways in which you and the fams can find contentment with stories that have more than one story…

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

Authors who have topics they need to address which could embarrass, anger, etc. members of family or close friends can benefit from certain conversations to have with those folks pre-writing. When writers trust their own sense(s) of transparency, everyone can benefit.

What is your best advice for attending a writing conference, whether it’s for newbies or veterans?
Don’t overdo it or underdo it. Go at your own pace, even if that means missing a session or two you REALLY wanted to catch. Like Michael Scott of Dunder-Mifflin says, “You gotta let the cookies cool before you pop ’em in your mouth.”

Aside from speaking, what you are most looking forward to about being part of the inaugural HippoCamp?
I’m proud and honored to be included in the first event offered by such talented folks… HIPPOCAMPUS just rocks, and I can’t wait to roll!

What’s on your personal conference agenda? Perhaps share with us a session/event you don’t want to miss.
Anything with Lee Gutkind. He’s the Bill Gates of the CNF world, and I can’t wait to see him in action.

You live in Lancaster County. What are you most looking forward to about being in Lancaster city, or what are you most excited to share with attendees and other speakers?
The downtown feel of Lancaster is such fun… art galleries, coffee shops, funky little pubs and cafes — it’s a catch-all kinda town!