Speaker & Session Preview: Eric Smith, Agents & Editors on CNF Today and Post-Conference Pitch Sessions

eric smith agentAs an author, blogger, and literary agent, Eric Smith brings a diverse skill set to HippoCamp. Smith appears in two events: the Agents & Editors on CNF Today panel and also in the optional post-conference pitch sessions. With a wide variety of literary interests, Eric is helping this year’s attendees find a home for their creative nonfiction. He took some time to tell us what excites him about this year’s HippoCamp.

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

Eric: Whenever I come to event, whether it’s as an author or a literary agent, I always like to stress that the industry needs YOU. Agents need writers. Editors need writers. Publishers need writers. All too often, writers are a frazzled bundle of nervousness at pitching and Q&A sessions with industry folks, when, really, it should be the other way around. Always remember. We need you. We’re there to meet you. Don’t be nervous. Take a deep breath. You got this.

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

In addition to calming your nerves… take the opportunity to talk to your peers. It can be hard to find publishing folks in the wild. Conferences are your chance to connect and meet the people you’ll potentially be friends with (and maybe professional friends!) through your entire career. I’ve met scores of authors and publishing folks at events like Book Expo America, AWP, and the like, who I talk to constantly. Take advantage of this opportunity, and talk to everyone. Bring business cards.

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

Oh, meeting new people, definitely. I adore meeting new writers and industry folks.

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

I definitely want to sit in on whatever Nicole Frail is doing. She’s an editor from Sky Horse that’s an absolute superstar. I know we’re on a panel together at some point, but she’ll be around doing other things, too. Make sure you listen to whatever she’s saying.


Make sure you listen to what Eric Smith says, too. We hope you’ll meet him and our other presenters this August. Early-bird registrations for HippoCamp 2016 close March 31, so register today!