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Hedgebrook

Hedgebrook is a global community of women writers and people who seek extraordinary books, poetry, plays, films and music by women. A literary nonprofit, our mission is to support visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. We offer writing residencies, master classes and salons at our retreat on Whidbey Island, and public programs that connect writers with readers and audiences around the world.

Latest Posts

Storyknife

1989 I was busily engaged in sending novels to New York agents and watching them return like little homing pigeons. That spring a story appeared in the local paper about a retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island in Washington state. It was called Hedgebrook. I thought, “What a wonderful opportunity for some lucky writer,…

Ode to a Hedgebrook Woodstove

Dark sturdy cradle of spark and crackle Embossed with fishers of words We prod, fan, blow  For that breath of warmth Spark of idea Flare-up of phrase Sap bursting with flicker, crack, hiss Till flames engulf Surge into life And words scorch page.   Discarded phrases fuel the fire Neglected to a glimmer Till wood…

Sacred Conversation

My friend Alison Townsend and I frequently evaluate how our days and weeks have gone based on whether we have “kept the appointment with the desk,” as she calls the time we spend writing. It’s not so much a measure of how much we have—or have not—accomplished that concerns us, but rather the quality of…

Upcoming Events

january

19janAll Day27Masterclass: IndiaCrafting Unforgettable Characters in Fiction and Non-Fiction(All Day) Tuscany

march

31mar11:00 am1:00 pmEquivox Event11:00 am - 1:00 pm PST Herban Feast SoDo Park, 3200 1st Avenue South, Seattle,

april

18aprAll Day27Masterclass: TuscanyTaking Your Writing to the Next Level: A Master Class on the Crime Novel and Other Forms(All Day) Tuscany

may

03mayAll Day05Vortext(All Day) Whidbey Institute, 6449 Old Pietila Rd.

Writers in Residence Program

“I think these stories are the greatest testimony to the spirit of Hedgebrook ever — send them far and wide.”

– Gloria Steinem

Hedgebrook's Writers In Residence Program

The 2019 Writers in Residence application is now closed. The 2020 application will open in June 2019. To learn more about the application process for the Writers in Residence Program, go to the Application Guidelines section.

What Our Alumnae Have To Say About Their Hedgebrook Experience

Allison Green
Allison Green
Hedgebrook changed my writing life. Not only did my residency there show me what I could do with enough time and space to write, but my writing group evolved from an alumnae gathering in 2005 and has been going strong ever since.
Hanna Tinti
Hanna Tinti
“Hedgebrook gave me confidence when I was untried, sustained me when I hit bumps in the road, and inspired me to take risks that cracked open the words on the page. I am so grateful for the extraordinary staff and supporters who keep this bit of Eden flourishing.”~ Alumna & author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Sally J. Pla
Sally J. Pla
I came to Hedgebrook a scared imposter. I had no right to be there. But everyone was kind, and encouraged me, and I worked night and day on a manuscript... and here I am, four years and three books later, filled with gratitude. Hedgebrook lifted me up, as it does to so many. It gave me the gift of myself. It taught me I did have a voice. And these days, that voice is growing stronger and surer. I am forever grateful.
Buffy Cram
Buffy Cram
It is rare to be taken care of and even honored during the messy first phases of a book. Too often that work is done alone. But at Hedgebrook I was honored, taken care of, given great food, great company, and put in beautiful surroundings. I was given the feeling, in a very tangible way, that my work matters, that my message is important, and as a result my work has flourished. Hedgebrook has been, without a doubt, the high point in my writing life thus far.
Carine Topal
Carine Topal
Ever since experiencing Hedgebrook I have loved window seats. How I sat at the window and drank that gorgeous French press coffee. How I wrote for pages without stopping, and when I paused and looked up... there was a deer. I picked purple sweet peas from the garden and channeled Emily Dickinson for days. I knew I was not alone on this lovely estate, yet the unique craftsman home that I stayed in offered me a feeling of calm isolation. My ambition to write was the greatest after leaving Hedgebrook, and I am pleased to say that the ambition has not waned. Time at Hedgebrook was one of the most special retreats that I've experienced.
Patricia Caspers
Patricia Caspers
Because of Hedgebrook I made lifelong friends who helped me see the value in my work. I also learned the importance of shutting down devices, cocooning, and caring for myself to makes space for the words to arrive at my doorstep.
Dr. Seema Yasmin
Dr. Seema Yasmin
I started the Yasmin Scholarship to support women and nonbinary people of color to attend Hedgebrook because of its impact on me. I really began my book-writing life at Hedgebrook and in the two years since my residency have published one book with another coming out next year.
Mary Tang
Mary Tang
My time at Hedgebrook was a time of healing and reflection. I was in the company of the best poets and I felt like a fraud. I must be the token nobody; I thought. I lived in fear of being found out. It took all of the six weeks I spent at Hedgebrook to recover my self esteem. Here the extraordinary writers treated me as equal and the care and kindness of everyone helped me find my own worth.

International Impact

A writer from Ghana comes to Hedgebrook to document women’s experiences with sexuality, abortion, and African sex education, then returns to Ghana to forward women’s rights. A poet from the UK returns from Hedgebrook and uses poetry to support women living with pre-natal and post-natal depression, helping them find a language for what has left them word-less. An author from India writes about immigration, diaspora, and queer rights – challenging political and spiritual norms. These stories of international impact are examples of what makes Hedgebrook exceptional.

Imagine the ripple effect when you multiply these stories by the thousands of writers who put pen to paper in our programs. Hedgebrook program participants from over 30 countries have become a catalyst for social change in their home country and abroad.

“Hedgebrook supports women so they can speak the truth, tell the messy, sometimes unpopular stories, break taboos, find their voice, their outrage, their delight, their power in the world.”

 

~ Eve Ensler, Hedgebrook Creative Advisory Council member

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