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Lancaster literary journal storytelling simulcast

Written by Cary Burkett, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Oct 20, 2016 2:53 PM


Donna Talarico, Hippocampus Magazine Publisher

The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with the formation of long-term memories.

When she was working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University, Donna Talarico had a brainstorm. It was that "Hippocampus" would be a great name for an online literary journal which focused on creative non-fiction -  work that draws on personal memories.

Talarico remembers, "That night, when I got back to my dorm, I bought the domain name, "Hippocampusmagazine (dot) com because I thought one day I'm going to do something with it, it's too good of a name to let go. So I sat on it for a couple years, and finally in 2010 I went for it."

She "went for it" by launching an online monthly literary journal. Based in Lancaster, it has started to develop a national reputation over the last five years. Every issue features 8-10 personal essays or memoir excerpts. There are also interviews, reviews and craft articles that will help writers.

"The magazine," says Talarico, "is both for readers and writers of creative non-fiction."

The genre of creative non -fiction has been described as, "True stories. Well told." Talarico has a screening process of readers who evaluate the submissions to help make the selection of what will actually be published. The readers can give a yes or no about the submission and also make comments. But it's not a strict voting process.

"What we find is that if a story is split down the middle - if there are four 'yeses' and four  'nos' - those are the strongest stories, because people feel passionate about them on either side. So sometimes we'll publish a story that has a lot of 'nos', but has some really strong 'yeses'."  

Now Hippocampus is joining with three other nonfiction literary journals to present an online national nonfiction storytelling simulcast.


Laurie Jean Cannady

Each magazine will feature two authors from its area reading their stories. People can watch online, or attend the event in person in each magazine's hometown.

The Hippocampus readers will be Laurie Jean Cannady and Stephanie Anderson.

Canady is professor at Lock Haven University and author of the memoir Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul (Etruscan Press). Crave was named one of the best nonfiction books by black authors in 2015 by The Root.

Anderson teaches at Reading Area Community College. She was twice listed as Notable in Best American Essays, and her work can be found in Brain, Child Magazine, Stoneboat Literary Journal and the Washington Post.


Stephanie Anderson

The storytelling simulcast is Saturday, October 29, starting at 8 pm. It will be live-streamed at

The Hippocampus readings will be at the Community Room on King Street in Lancaster, with doors opening at 7:30. Light refreshments will be served, and feel free to BYOB.  

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