Donna Talarico first dreamed of Hippocampus Magazine while she was working on her MFA in creative writing at Wilkes University. More specifically, this brainstorm happened during a morning residency publishing class led by Phil Brady (Etruscan Press) and Chris Busa (Provincetown Arts). She bought the domain name in 2009 but sat on it for years. (She figured she should focus on her thesis first. That, and a little bit of procrastination.)
In late 2010, the idea gained new traction. Then, during an ‘alumni crashing’ at the January 2011 Wilkes creative writing residency, Donna caught up with her mentor, Becky Bradway. Over a few winter lagers and some meaningful conversation, Becky provided a seal of approval and warm encouragement. A few weeks later, the idea was introduced to the world with a call for submissions for the May 2011 debut issue.
Donna’s vision was to create not just a literary magazine filled with fresh memoir excerpts and memorable essays, but also to develop a venue to educate and inform those interested in reading and writing creative nonfiction. Adding craft articles, book reviews and interviews would add value to Hippocampus Magazine. A mix of timely and timelessness.
Hippocampus Magazine Timeline & Milestones
- Summer 2009 – seed was planted
- December 2010 – idea began to move forward
- January 2011 – website launched; call for submissions opened
- May 2011 – debut issue
- November 2011 – first Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction
- July 2012 – first theme issue (rock-n-roll)
- 2015-2016 – significant growth in volunteer team
- August 2015 – debut of HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers
- August 2016 – announcement of small press division, Books by Hippocampus
- January 2017 – Hippocampus Magazine becomes paying market for creative nonfiction submissions
- February 2017 – first print anthology released (Selected Memories: Five Years of Hippocampus Magazine)
The Story Behind Our Name, Hippocampus Magazine
The hippocampus is what makes enjoying great memoir possible because, without it, memories would not exist. The hippocampus is the part of the brain where long-term memories are formed. What a more fitting name for an online magazine committed to drawing on personal memories! To learn more about the hippocampus view our On Memory page.