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by Sharon Magliano

For writers, autumn can be a great time of inspiration. Days get shorter, the nights get cooler, and everything slows down. There is more time to nestle in with a favorite sweater, warm mug, and explore our creativity. It’s a wonderful time to come together with other women writers and revel in the gifts of the season.

While we are, of course, partial to our fall Master Class offerings, there are several women’s writing retreats, conferences, and festivals happening around the country for you to explore.

Festival of Women Writers


September 6-8, 2019

Hobart, New York

This Festival takes place in “the reading capital of New York State” and offers writing intensives, workshops, readings, and receptions.

Women’s Fiction Writers Association


September 25-29, 2019

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Women’s Fiction Writers Annual Retreat will feature talks and interactive lessons from novelist, speaker, and journalist Nicole Blades.

A Workshop for Women Writers of Color

October 6-10, 2019

Pendle Hill

Wallingford, PA

Pendle Hill is a Quaker retreat that welcomes all for spirit-led learning and community. Led by Melchor Hall, a black feminist scholar-activist, this workshop offers strategies for writing alternative epistemologies into, against, and through the canon.

Women Writing the West Conference


October 10 – 13, 2019
San Antonio, Texas

Women Writing the West is celebrating its 25th year with the theme “Writing to Remember – Remembering Why We Write”. The conference features workshops, pitch meetings, editorial reviews, tours, and a reading from 2018 Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa.

C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference


November 8-9, 2019

University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas

The mission of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference is to recognize, promote, and encourage women-identifying writers with special emphasis given to writing inspired by or written in the south.

The conference includes writing workshops, panels, talks, and an editorial review of works in progress.

Fall 2019 Hedgebrook Master Classes

Master Classes combine Hedgebrook’s retreat experience with the unique opportunity to be in residence and study with a celebrated teacher on beautiful Whidbey Island.

We are offering several Master Classes for Fall 2019. Participation in each class is limited to 6-8 writers to ensure individual attention and create an intimate, supportive writing community.

Writing/Righting our lives:  releasing the fear and activating the fierce 

October 11-18

Led by: Amy Ferris


This is for all writers, all genres, all levels. This is for non-writers, or folks who don’t believe they are writers. This is for anyone. This class is not about the craft of writing, it is about the craft of living and telling our truth. Writing/Righting our lives: releasing the fear and activating the fierce. The stories we keep hidden, out of view, tucked away. The stories in diaries and journals scribbled on post-its and napkins that are in the back of a drawer hidden; the ones we are afraid to share. Those are the very stories we will bring to life and write about.

Apply here.

Beginners Mind: A Master Class to Turn Your Yearning to Write into Words

October 21-28

Led by: Heidi W. Durrow


This class is tailored for the person who has always wanted to write for a living and wants to grow their craft as a writer (focusing on character, voice, description, and scene) in addition to exploring how one develops their writing resume even before one publishes their first word. This class will emphasize generating new work through the use of writing prompts, guided in-class writing exercises and reading and discussion of literary models.

Apply here.

Take it to the Next Level

November 8-15

Led by: Erica Bauermeister


So, you have a first draft of your manuscript — now, what’s the next step?  This class will focus on the tricks and joys of editing, from the global (story arc and character development) to the lyrical (making those scenes/images/sentences sing) to the completely granular (commas and grammar and repetition, oh my). We’ll dig in, get messy, and find and polish the story waiting inside your manuscript.  Upon acceptance, students should arrive with a completed first draft along with an open mind, ready to receive and give constructive feedback.  Included will be a one-on-one session review of 30 pages of your manuscript.

Apply here.

Next Level Writing

November 18-25

Led by: Hannah Tinti


The solution to a piece of writing is always hidden just beneath the surface. In this editorial-focused workshop, we will dig deep, giving close reads to a piece of your writing (10-25 pages, max 6,000 words) and exploring each layer, from the seed of the idea that first inspired you to the places where you’re feeling lost or stuck. Together we’ll identify the strengths and weaknesses, shore up the structure, identify patterns and find ways to bring your work to the next level. 

Apply here.

Hedgebrook offers a variety of opportunities for writers to hone their craft year-round at our retreat on Whidbey Island, Washington. Click here to learn more. To learn about our online offerings, which brings our famous radical hospitality to you wherever you write, visit this link.

Sharon Magliano
About Sharon Magliano
“I’ve spent much of my career focused on creating safe spaces for women to express themselves. I’m honored to be part of the important work that Hedgebrook is doing to amplify women’s voices and tell their stories.”

1 Comment

  • Brigid Amos
    5:45 PM - 5 September, 2019

    This is a great resource! Thank you!

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