Speaker & Session Preview: Shannon Hernandez

M. Shannon Hernandez is founder of The Writing Whisperer, and she helps nonfiction writers find their voices. At HippoCamp 2016, she’s presenting “Setting the Scene: Writing with Your Senses.” Here, Shannon shares takeaways curious writers should consider when attending a writer’s conference and helpful tips about navigating the events at HippoCamp.



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.

Most writers begin their writing careers for the excitement and thrill of creating something to share with others, just from our own thoughts and ideas. However, as the years go on, we often find ourselves frustrated by rejections and pressed for time to write with all of life’s demands. I want the attendees to walk away from my session inspired and passionate about putting pen to paper once again!

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

I always go into a conference with a plan for who I want to hear and what I need to learn. This helps me remain focused throughout the conference and receptive to new information. In addition, I think it is key to have some “down-time” at conferences where you can process the information, relax, and have some fun! I am mindful when I create my daily schedule to allow blocks of time where I can do these things, so I don’t become a victim of information overwhelm.

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

As a writer, I long for communication, interaction, and learning opportunities from other writers. It’s always nice to be in the company of like-minded people who “get” me and understand what it’s like to just want to sit in a quiet space and write the day away!

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

The next phase of my brand includes building out destination travel writing and non-fiction writing retreats. I’m really looking forward to attending Joanne M. Lozar Glenn’s session on Designing and Delivering a Writer’s Retreat for Fun (and a little bit of) Profit.

I also can’t wait to learn about collage and essay writing at the pre-conference workshop on August 12! I am sure Sarah’s session is going to be interactive and fun!



No matter your writing goals are, there is likely something for your at HippoCamp this year. The sessions can benefit your writing process, and a bit of networking can’t hurt! Register for or learn more about the creative nonfiction writing conference here.