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Surprise! ​​

When I first signed up for my remaining classes for my MFA, I was more than a little nervous that I wouldn't

have the time necessary to fulfill my obligations. To graduate in May 2019, I needed to take three classes plus do an internship. I had mistakenly calculated my credits to include only two of the three classes needed. Once I learned this, I had to decide instantly whether I could do it, or whether I should wait an entire year to take only one class. As is my nature (fly by the seat of my pants girl) I jumped in.

After the first couple of weeks, I was in a nice rhythm with submitting thesis pages, editing them, writing and posting for Tommy Shea’s class and of course, writing blog posts and learning about relative news in the publishing world. The second I said to myself, you got this, I realized that my internship had not fully kicked in yet.

In the days after my realization, I began an email chain with Donna Talarico, editor of Hippocampus Magazine. After reviewing my resume, she thought it best that I help with their summer conference called Hippocamp.

Hippocamp is a three-day writing conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that takes place on August 23-25, 2019. It includes approximately 50 speakers, interactive panels, author and attendee readings, networking opportunities and much more!

I immediately dug in with trying to find new sponsors and locating current contact information for the speakers and past sponsors. I was also asked to think of tweets for the 36+ speakers and list them out so they can be posted as the conference gets closer.

What I found surprising is how much I enjoyed the research of not only finding current contact information but also trying to think of potential new sponsors and find their contact information as well. The last time I did this, it was much easier, and people were very willing to donate and have easy to find contact information right on their main page. I found a new twist that I had to dig deep (sometimes very deep) to even find an email for the right person, and often companies have chosen to use fill-in templates for a reply. Since Hippocampus is not a charity (501c3) the challenge is becoming greater by the day to persuade people to donate. Thankfully, I am only providing information. Donna is sending out the emails asking for donations.

As we approach our break, I am still surprised by how much I adore doing this type of work. I forgot how much fun it can be to think of possible sponsors and then research them. I am also really loving writing the tweets and posts for both Twitter and Facebook and can't wait to see my words go live!

With the pleasant surprises also comes the revelation of just how busy I am and will continue to be. I know in the beginning we said approximately five hours per week, sometimes a little less. I haven't seen less than five, but I love it so much it seems like fun, not work so onward!!