Speaker and Session Preview: Jim Breslin, Storytelling for Creative Nonfiction Writers

jim-breslinJim Breslin, author and founder or co-founder of several Pennsylvania-based story slams (including event promotional partner Lancaster Story Slam) is a returning HippoCamp speaker. Last year he was part of our literary citizenship panel for all he does to unite and promote writers with his various endeavors. This year, he’s teaming up with Terry Heyman for a pre-conference workshop on storytelling. With the importance of live readings and growing interest in live storytelling (without notes!), this workshop is so valuable.

We asked Jim a few questions about his role in this year’s HippoCamp.

HippoCamp” We don’t want to give too much away about your 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.

Jim: Being comfortable telling your stories in front of a live audience is important. We’ll get you thinking how storytelling is cross-training for writers and can help you share your stories with a wider audience.

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

Introverted writers who are hesitant to share their work in progress, have a fear of public speaking, and those who don’t see the value in social media. Being comfortable receiving constructive feedback, talking in groups and in front of audiences, and connecting with potential readers is all necessary for writers today.

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

It’s about the networking. I recommend you study the schedule and the list of presenters. Think about questions you would want to ask them if you see them in the hall. Approach your favorites and start conversations.

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

I had a blast last year. The sessions were motivating and fun. I met so many interesting writers, and we’ve stayed connected throughout the year. Looking forward to see returnees and meeting more new folks.

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

So much to look forward to this year. I’m excited about a few sessions such as How to be Funny in Creative Nonfiction and the Ethical Traps of long form Nonfiction. Of course, I’m interested in hearing Mary Karr speak also!

Since you’re from the general region, what are you most excited to share with attendees and other speakers?)

I’m in Lancaster at least once a month and feel I don’t have time to explore enough. I love Springhouse Brewpub, Tellus360, the Aussie and the Fox. I keep hearing I have to check out Himalayan Curry and Grill also.

Anything else?

I’m excited to be on doing a Friday pre-conference Workshop. See you in August!