banner that says about us with faded collage of contributors in back

Hippocampus Magazine is an exclusively online publication set out to entertain, educate and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. Each issue features memoir excerpts, personal essays, reviews, interviews and craft articles.

Our 3-Fold Mission

  • Entertain provide fresh, enjoyable creative nonfiction from emerging and established writers
  • Educate help writers improve their craft, and recommend further reading related to the genre
  • Engage encourage conversation between reader and writer on site and beyond

Extensions of our Mission – Bringing Things to Life

Our online magazine is the heart of what we do. But, now, we’re so much more than a digital journal! In 2015, Hippocampus Magazine held its first HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers, a three-day event that brings our mission to life. In 2016, Hippocampus Magazine launched its Books Division, Books by Hippocampus. Our community has now grown in scope and size and reaches more people than ever!

Milestones and Memories – Over the Years

Interested in learning more about how we got started? See our history and Hippocampus Magazine milestones here.  We’ve also been honored to have been featured in/on a variety of newspapers, magazines, and podcasts throughout the years. Learn more on our In the Media Page.

Our Magazine – Memorable Creative Nonfiction

As of 2018, Hippocampus publishes 10 new issues per year: January/February, March, April, May, June, July (a special annual theme issue), August, September/October, November (a special contest issue featuring winner and finalist stories), and December.

New issues typically go live the 1st of the month, but in cases of the 1st falling on a weekend or holiday, sometimes they’ll be released the first Monday or non-holiday day of the month.

Our Sections

  • Creative Nonfiction – each standard issue includes 8-10 new CNF pieces: essays or memoir excerpts from established and emerging writers. Our two double-issues (Jan/Feb) feature 12-15  pieces.
  • The Writing Life – rotating contributing writers and guest columnists share their thoughts and personal experiences on the writing life—what it means to be a writer today. During double-issues months, we may release a second column in the second 30 days.
  • Craft – rotating contributing writers share practical suggestions and tips of the trade, whether it is an article about inspiration, the craft itself, and other issues related to the writing process. During double-issues months, we may release a second column in the second 30 days.
  • Reviews – each month we usually feature two reviews of recently (within the year) published works of creative nonfiction, including craft books, memoirs and essay collections. We have a group of a dozen reviewers that crave CNF. During double-issues months, we may release a few more reviews in the second 30 days.
  • Interviews – each month or so, our interviews editor or a guest columnist does a Q&A with a professional in the creative nonfiction realm. We’ve talked to authors, publishers, editors, agents and educators. Notable interviews include Cheryl Strayed, Austin Kleon, and Jon Elder Robinson.

Our Support and Pride for Hippocampus Writers

We nominate our stories, annually, for prestigious awards and other literary honors such as the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best American Essays. We promote individual stories throughout the duration of each issue, as well as continue to keep up with and support our family of contributors.

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! When we introduced our annual conference for creative nonfiction writers, we chose a name that played off our title and gave a nod to summer camp: HippoCamp.

Our Approach

To ensure the integrity of the content, all unsolicited creative submissions to Hippocampus Magazine are read blindly by a few dozen members of our reading panel, a varied crew of literary folks: freelance writers, published authors, teachers, scholars, avid readers, editors, poets, playwrights, journalists, and others with a vested interest in creative nonfiction. While the bulk of our creative nonfiction magazine contains unsolicited work, editors may also occasionally solicit materials from previously published authors.

This publication is a labor of love. (We know. That’s kind of cliche in the literary magazine circuit.) The editorial staff and panel of readers consists of gracious volunteers. Most have full-time jobs. Many are also working tirelessly on their own creative efforts. It is very important to note that members of our volunteer reading panel are not excluded from submitting material. Those pieces go through the same reading process; however, they do not read their own submissions. (We wanted to be transparent about that!)

Because we do not charge for our publication, a $3-per-submission fee (implemented in June 2014) helps support the administrative costs of running online magazine (hosting, professional memberships, ads, writer incentives, etc.). The rest is funded, personally, by the publisher.