Hi there!

Thank you for your interest in Hippocampus Magazine! Please refer to the full guidelines at our website BEFORE submitting work to our online journal.

[Book query guidelines listed within that category, below.]

Thank you and best of luck!

Hello, creative nonfiction friend! Below, you will find our abbreviated essay submission guidelines; Please read full guidelines on our website first if you have not done so already. Otherwise, please fill out the brief form, including checking off if your piece is an essay, memoir excerpt, or flash. 

Essay submissions should be:

  • No more than 4,000 words
  • Double-spaced, with pages numbered
  • Free of your name in header/footer, title page and file name. (We do realize that in creative nonfiction, your name might be necessary within the content. Please use your judgement.)
Submissions not following the above guidelines may result in automatic decline, without explanation of reason.

(Note: This form was last updated July 25, 2015.)

Hippocampus Magazine is giving away more than $1,200 in cash and prizes this November. DEADLINE: Sept. 23, 2016.

--Memoir excerpts and personal essays accepted -- there is no theme.
--Word count 4,000 words max.
--Submission MUST be free of your name in headers/footers, title page and file name.
--Enter between May 1 and Sept. 23
--$12 entry fee (supports prizes; $10.63 goes to Hippocampus after Submittable fee)

--The Hippocampus reader panel will select five finalists from all submitted essays and memoir excerpts.
--A panel of guest judges (to be announced) will select the winners from these five finalists.
--Winning stories will be published in the November 2016 issue of Hippocampus Magazine.
--During the month of November, the Most Memorable contest will double as The Remember in November Reader’s Choice prize—the readers of Hippocampus will also have a chance to make their case for which of the five finalists should win!


  • $1,000 grand prize (1) + free registration to HippoCamp 2017
  • $150 runner-up (1)
  • $25 honorable mention (3)

$25 reader’s choice winner (doubles as the most memorable designation of the month) and several to-be-determined reader participation prizes of varying value from sponsors.

Full contest details are available on our website.

Hippocampus Magazine and Press LLC is looking for its first few book-length works for its small press division.

We're looking for work in the following categories (and, in parentheses, is what to submit for consideration):
  • Memoirs (query + first three chapters)
  • Essay collections (query + three essays)
  • Literary journalism - (query + first three chapters OR proposal, as we'll entertain strongly developed ideas that may not yet be completed projects)
  • Creativity books (proposal)
  • Craft books (proposal)

We'll respond to all queries/proposals within 90 days. Thank you for your interest.

We'd like to make a request...

Hippocampus Magazine and Press is requesting true stories inspired by the heyday of radio* for its forthcoming anthology, Air.

We’re looking for behind-the-scene stories about small town radio stations. We’re seeking personal stories about die-hard radio fans. We want to hear from (current/former) jocks, from program directors, from engineers, from the sales team, from ancillary characters like record reps and concert promoters—tales from every corner of the radio station and from everyone radio ever reached.

We want Air to be filled with a variety of eras, settings, themes, and voices—we want funny, we want heartfelt, we want adventurous—we’ll consider stories of all kinds, but stories must be true and contributors must be willing to use their real names (identifying detail of other characters can be changed).

We're looking for stories with compelling characters and a strong sense of place, stories with action and a clear narrative arc -- but please don't be discouraged from submitting if you've never written an essay before. We'll help your story shine should it be selected for publication.

We are NOT looking for academic essays about the history or impact of radio.

Air, a celebration of decades of broadcast radio, is slated for an early 2018 release.

More details:

  • Deadline: February 15, 2017
  • Word count limit: 6,500 words
  • Compensation: $50 + 2 contributor copies upon publication; special pricing on additional copies

* When we say heyday of radio, we’re mostly referring to the pre-digital age. We'd love stories leading up to the early 2000s... before voice-tracking became a thing.

This category is to give select submitters the chance to resubmit a piece we declined in its current iteration, but one that we read with interest and on which we provided suggestions for reworking. This is a separate category as to not charge a submission fee for the same piece the second time around.

Submitters: Please include your original title (in case you changed that) and date of your first submission in your cover letter; this will help us keep track of its progress.

Note: Submitting a revision does not guarantee acceptance; it is vetted just the same.

(Information cross-posted on our call for submissions page on the conference website.)

HippoCamp’s programming is mostly for-attendees, by attendees! With the exception of keynotes and our few panels, our conference is built from the proposals YOU submit!

We’re enthusiastically inviting attendees who also are interested in being part of our speaker line-up to submit a session proposal for HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in one of our three traditional tracks, our new addition of a special topics track, or our flash sessions:

  • Breakout Sessions: We're looking for dynamic speakers and engaging, informative, practical 60-minute sessions that will give our attendees actionable takeaways. Breakout session presenters will receive a special discounted attendee rate (about 75% off conference registration).

Deadline is Nov. 15, 2016; we'll announce the line-up in mid-December before tickets go on sale in January.


We’re not an academic conference, and we’re not a retreat or workshop. We’re formatted in the style of a professional development conference – we’re more similar to Confab (a content marketing conference) than AWP. We’re more inspired by Austin (a la SXSW) than academia. Our vocabulary is a bit different than other conferences: rather than faculty and classes, we have presenters and sessions.

Now that we have two conference’s worth of feedback, we’ve begun to really hone our “conference aesthetic.”


Based on our highest-rated sessions and speakers from 2015 and 2016, here’s what we’re looking for in speakers and sessions:


We want smart, dynamic, passionate, friendly speakers to fill our roster! Here are some details:

  • Speakers of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome - we love giving people a chance to make their professional conference debut!
  • Your passion for and knowledge of your topic is often more important to us than your years of experience or publication credits.
  • We look for well-prepared speakers who can deliver an informative, inspiring presentation with energy, confidence and poise.
  • We love speakers who aren’t afraid to step out from behind the podium and engage with the audience. Even better when that engagement continues throughout the conference.
  • We look for sincere speakers who care about the audience and are here to share knowledge and help writers – not just to add a bullet point on a resume or CV (but that IS a perk, too!)
  • We’re also looking for speakers from outside the literary world! Some of our highest-rated or most-Tweetable speakers in 2016 were from other industries who were able to tie their expertise to the writing world.
  • And on the administrative side -- we look for professional, cordial speakers who are committed to their involvement in this conference – this means communicating with us before the conference and helping us plan by providing your technical needs, reading/replying to speaker correspondence and providing requested information in a timely manner.


We love TEDTalks. We prefer giving one rock star a chance to light up a room at a breakout session over offering only panels (although we have those, too!).

  • We love fresh ideas! Topics we haven’t seen before at conferences.
  • We love variety! While memoir is a big part of the CNF genre, we’re looking to expand our offerings to include more types of writing and other publication goals.
  • We love practical sessions, presentations that leave attendees with a list of notes and to-dos.
  • But not every session has to be a writing lesson per se – we also look for inspirational, this-is-my-story-type or this-is-how-I-did-it presentations.
  • We love sessions that share lots of examples/case studies – seeing the theory in action makes a presentation more memorable.

What we’re not looking for in a session proposal:

  • We’re not typically looking for breakout sessions with lots of writing activities or group work; it’s not manageable given the allotted time and large group. Small prompts and some interaction are OK. But our breakout sessions are not intended to be a workshopping scenario.
  • We’re not looking for super-specific topics, such as exploring the works of one particular writer.
  • We’re not looking for sessions led by more than two people.
  • We’re not looking for paper presentations. (However, use that paper and research to build an awesome presentation!)
  • Although this is clearly stated as a call for breakout sessions, we want to reiterate that we are not looking for panel or workshop proposals.


Why present at a professional development conference for writers?

  • It’s fun
  • A speaking credential to list on your resume, or if you are in academia, your CV
  • Be part of the Hippocampus Magazine mission
  • Gain recognition from your peers
  • Earn visibility in your field; continue to build your platform
  • Discount: Receive about 70% off registration
  • Get other cool swag

HippoCamp speaker expectations:

  • Presenters must be registered attendees of the conference and must register before conference program goes to print.
  • Submitting a proposal does not mean you are committing to attend or to present at HippoCamp; if we accept your session idea, we’ll confirm that you are definitely able to attend, and you can make your final decision then. You have time to figure it all out!
  • Presenters must agree to read and respond in a timely manner to speaker communication emails/requests for information to help with day-of logistics/meet deadlines for technology requests, etc.
  • Presenters must agree to have their session recorded for future use and for marketing and archival purposes.
  • Presenters are encouraged to share slides and/or presentation materials (if applicable) for use for post-conference promotion.
  • Presenters are responsible for their own handouts (if applicable).
  • There is a maximum of two presenters for break-out sessions and one presenter for flash sessions.

Good luck!