For Attendees

As we get closer to HippoCamp, the information on this Attendee page will help you plan for the event and your visit to Lancaster.

Hippocampus Magazine is excited to welcome writers and creative nonfiction lovers from all over the nation (and globe) to Lancaster for our conference for creative nonfiction writers. We'd like to remind our attendees that we expect all conference-goers to respect others, and, to formalize that request, HippoCamp has adopted a code of conduct. **Visit our conference website's COVID page for the most up-to-date details regarding health and safety.**

Attendee Arrival Guide

We updated the Attendee Page on 8/4 with our Attendee Arrival guide. The original page content, beginning with the Next Step for Attendees, is still in tact below.

Here's an overview of some important information about your arrival and the conference. You may also download a PDF version of our Attendee Arrival Guide.

Download PDF Version


  • You'll find us on Level 3 of the Marriott (view or download venue map here)
  • The reg desk opens for all attendees at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 in the Heritage Lobby. Get your name badge, program booklet, and tote bag here
  • The conference officially begins at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 12
  • If you're arriving Saturday, the desk opens at 8:30 a.m. the 13th
  • Pre-Conference Workshop Arrival Info
    • If you are signed up for a pre-conference workshop, you may check in between 10 and 10:55 a.m. (All other attendees must register after 1 p.m.)
    • Workshops run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • As noted in the description, your workshop ticket includes a snack/coffee/teabreak at noon.


We encourage you to peruse the website for full details about all the sessions, activities, and speakers between now and the conference. You may also download a sneak peek at the “quick glance” center spread of the printed conference program if you would like something to print out ahead of time.

Download PDF Schedule

Conference Sessions

  • You will receive a printed program booklet when you check in
  • As noted above, you can download a “quick look” schedule here, which is essentially the center spread of that printed booklet
  • You can also view the schedule and save sessions on our website
  • You do not need to officially select your breakout sessions ahead of time; you can make decisions on the fly!
  • There is a 15-minute break between each session to give time for room/presenters transition, as well as for bio breaks!


The following meals/snacks are including with your registration:

  • Opening reception (heavy appetizers and cash bar; one drink on us w/ a ticket)
  • Saturday morning hot breakfast
  • Saturday lunch buffet
  • Sunday morning hot breakfast
  • Sunday morning snack break
  • Sunday lunch buffet
  • Sunday afternoon refreshment break

Vegan and gluten-free items will be labeled. Take-out containers will be available upon request. If you ordered a guest meal plan(s), they will be given to you with your registration materials. Saturday, dinner is on your own; explore downtown Lancaster!

Social Events/Misc.

  • Thursday 6:30 p.m. - if you are in town early or live close by - join us of an unofficial pre-conference meet-up at Tellus 360 at 6:30 p.m. -- note, we'll gather on the ground level in the back room – a space we have to ourselves – in a space called The Temple. This is always fun!
  • Friday, 8 p.m. - It’s the third edition of HippoCamp Story Slam, produced by Lancaster Story Slam. We’ll have some snacks and a cash bar. (Heritage D)
  • Saturday morning 7 a.m. – pre-breakfast yoga, Commons on Vine
  • Saturday, 9:30 p.m. – The Writers Bridge Live: Ask Us Anything, Allison K Williams and guests (Heritage D)
  • All weekend, during conference hours; book sale table w/ books + sponsor booths
What do I do with my bags on Sunday?

We know: Check-out times are so early! If you need to check out of your Marriott room Sunday, the hotel will hold your bags until the end of the conference. If you are not staying at the Marriott and need somewhere to store your bags, we’re happy to keep them in our locked conference office. See the conference registration/resource desk.


Our TRAVEL & LODGING page has details on this as well.

Hotel Parking:

If you are staying at the Lancaster Marriott and booked through our conference room rate, parking is included with your reservation. (Parking is in the Penn Square Garage, which has two entrances, including at 28 S. Duke St. and 25 E. Vine)

If you are driving to the Marriott each day, you can get a discounted parking ticket at the HippoCamp registration desk. (When you leave the garage, you will insert both the ticket you got when parking as well as the discount voucher, which will apply the discount.) The discounted parking will also work at most other city-owned garages (but not privately owned lots).

Transportation from MDT (Harrisburg) airport: Your best bet is a taxi or ride-share app. It’s about a 25-minute ride to the Marriott.

Transportation from PHL airport: The most common option is airport to 30th Street Station (via SEPTA airport line), 30th St. to Lancaster (Keystone Route), then taxi/rideshare to Marriott.

Transportation from Lancaster Amtrak station: There’s usually a line of cabs waiting at popular arrival times. You can also ride-share or call for a cab (we recommend Unique Cab)

Transportation around Lancaster: All official conference activities are held within Lancaster Marriott. If you’re staying elsewhere, wish to go beyond the central downtown for dinner, or want to explore before or after the conference, and need transportation you can use: Lyft, local taxi, Red Rose Transit (local bus), or even rent a bike near the hotel.



There’s no dress-code for HippoCamp. We’re a laid-back conference, so come as you’re most comfortable. What we DO recommend is a sweater or light jacket as session room AC can get chilly. Please know that we monitor the temp and general consensus of a particular room and ask the hotel staff to adjust as needed, but even still, that “just right” temp for everyone will vary. Bringing an outer layer, just in case, is a good idea!

Water Bottle

Hydration is important! We suggest bringing a reusable bottle so you can refill it at our water stations, which you’ll find in each session room. (If you don’t have one; no worries; there'll be plenty of cups available!) As a bonus, the lit swap table might even have some new stickers for your bottle!

Note-taking Stuff

This sounds obvious, we know. But we wanted to remind you that you’re going to learn a lot! Use the best note-taking method for you -- whether a notebook and pen, typing into a notes app, or using your laptop.

Business Cards (etc.)

In a day of digital contacts, business cards still stand out! Bring some to swap with other attendees. (If you don’t have any, your local Staples or OfficeDepot/Max might be able to print some for you with a quick-turnaround time and at a reasonable price. MooCards and other online providers also often have a rush-job option -- and you can have those sent to the hotel to buy you more time!)

Lit Swap Table

All attendees are invited to bring something to place at our lit swap tables to share with attendees. (This is usually a business card, postcard, flier, bookmark, pen, etc.) Please don’t forget to take any remaining items with you; everything left behind will be discarded during the venue’s tear down.

Book Sale Table

If you purchased a spot at the book sale table, you will, of course, need to bring your books! If this is you, you’ll receive an email from our book sale manager with some logistical details. (The deadline to purchase space has passed.)


If you are coming in early or staying later to add on some vacation time, we have a few ideas on what to do at our Around the Region section of the travel page. Suggestions include: doing an escape room with some conference friends (we have two local escape rooms, and one is downtown), catch an indie film at Zoetropolis, go tubing at Sickman’s Mill, or just explore the city. If your family is coming along and you have youngsters, consider North Museum of Science, Lancaster Science Factory, and Dutch Wonderland. The famed Hershey Park is less than an hour away as well.


There are a few ways to get involved with the conference or connect with attendees and speakers before and after. Here are a few:

  • Complete your attendee profile. Equal Made Events’ platform offers an attendee portal which allows you to set your preferred name and pronoun, add social handles and web links, and even communicate with others; you will get an email directly from Equal Made about this.
  • Join our conference Facebook group. Meet other attendees ahead of time, and stay in touch after! If you’ve printed this guide out, the direct URL is:
  • Use the conference hashtag. If you are active on Twitter and/or Instagram, use the hashtag #HippoCamp22 to share moments, interact with others, and find other attendees to follow. (Some posts might also be under #HippoCamp2022.)
  • Guest blog. We’re looking for volunteer guest bloggers! If you’d like to write a short recap of sessions you’re already planning to attend, you can sign up for a session or two. This is valuable to other attendees because it helps remind others of key takeaways, or provides them for the first time for sessions they couldn’t attend. Email us if you’re interested.


BEFORE the conference begins, the BEST place to ask questions is through email at -- we have messages sent to this address automatically flagged as important and filtered into a specific folder. We will do our best to respond quickly, but please understand we’ll be doing a lot of running around this week and might be away from devices for hours at a time.

DURING the conference, the best place to ask questions is at the Registration/Resource desk; whoever is staffing the table at the time will have the answer or will know who to ask and how to reach them.

Next Steps for Attendees

As we get closer to HippoCamp, the information on this Attendee page will help you plan for the event and your visit to Lancaster, including information about the book sale and guest meal plans.

Additionally, in early August, all registered attendees will be sent an Attendee Arrival Guide by email, which will also be made available as a downloadable PDF here, on this page.

Look for Attendee Updates & Communication

We love to stay in contact with attendees between the time you order and the event itself, so expect some periodic updates! We'll send them to the email address we have on file for you from your attendee registration form. In the meantime, you can meet and mingle with other past and future attendees at our HippoCamp Facebook group.

Plan Your Travel/Book Your Stay

Our Location and Travel page has details on lodging and transportation. You can also connect with other attendees looking for roommates or rides-sharing at our Facebook group. (If you're not on Facebook, drop as an email and we'll try to connect you with someone who might be looking.) Remember that our room block closes 7/20 (or when rooms sell out, whichever comes first).

Plot Your Schedule

While you don't have to sign up ahead of time for individual breakout sessions at HippoCamp, we encourage you to peruse the schedule to get an idea of what you might like to see. At the conference, you'll also receive a printed program that you can page through! You may also enjoy reading our series of Speaker Spotlights, coming soon.

Reserve Your Spot at Our Book Sale Table

NOTE: The deadline to purchase space for 2022 has passed.

We offer our attendees the opportunity to place up to two books for sale at the conference book sale table. If you have a book you'd like to sell at HippoCamp, our friendly conference staff members can help.

You can reserve your spot from the registration form; if you've already registered, simply select the “add to existing registration" option. Then, our book sale manager will be in touch with you about the logistics! (In short, you'll bring the books with you; we'll take care of the sales for you while you enjoy the conference, and we'll square up with you after.) -

Share Your Work: Lit Swap Table

We also offer a Lit Swap table. Feel free to bring a small stack of fliers, stickers, postcards, business cards, or other handout to share with attendees. Remember to pick up any extras when you leave.

Purchase Guest Meal & Keynote Package

If you're traveling to Lancaster with a partner, friend, or family member who is not attending the conference, your guest may still be able to eat some meals with you and/or enjoy the Saturday evening keynote. Guest meal packages start at $30 for the opening reception/evening readings to $75 for all meals and the keynote, with several options in between. You can purchase a meal plan from the registration form; if you've already registered, simply select the “add to existing registration" option.

NOTE: Your guest's meal tickets and name tag for the reception will be with your registration materials.

Share Your Moments & Follow Along: #hippocamp22

If you're active on Twitter and Instagram, we make good use of our conference hashtag — #hippocamp22 — all the way leading up to the conference and after. Twitter, especially, is a great way to meet attendees beforehand, share nuggets of wisdom (and photos!) during the conference, and stay in touch afterwards. If you're not already following us, we're @hippocampusmag on both Twitter and Instagram.

Accessibility, Dietary & Other Accommodations

To help us best prepare for your arrival, we asked about any needs in a required field on the attendee registration form. (This means if your registration went through, you either checked off that you didn't have any needs, or checked off the ones that pertain to you. We made this a required field this year to make sure no one missed it!) If a need developed after the time of registration, please simply reach out to us and we can edit your attendee registration.

Show your HippoCamp Spirit

We partnered with Threadless Artist Shops to offer a range of styles, fabrics, and colors of HippoCamp apparel, including tees and tanks. These shirts aren't dated, but instead are evergreen with the year we were founded – and they're print-on-demand, made JUST for you.

Order Yours Here

Other Questions?

Our ABOUT page features a brief FAQ and other details about HippoCamp (including COVID-19 precautions).