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by Hedgebrook ED

“Why is Hedgebrook important?

When we started, I believed it was because we nurture the writer. That was our impact.

Now, 25 years later, I believe that what’s important is how the writer’s work –

what she creates here – impacts all of us.”

~ founder Nancy Nordhoff


25 years ago one woman had the vision to build six cottages on a 48-acre property on Whidbey Island, and turn it into a retreat for women writers. Now, a quarter century later, we’re celebrating everything that has happened because of her action.

Nearly 1,500 writers have lived in those cottages – and written, researched, read, slept, dreamt, sang, paced, prayed, meditated, laughed, cried, whooped – talked with their ancestors, danced with their spirits, wrestled with their demons and their angels. If these cottage walls could talk, the stories they’d tell.

The ripple effect is exponential: literally millions of people the world over have experienced, and been changed by, the work that’s been generated in Hedgebrook’s cottages.

Throughout this 25th anniversary year, we’re celebrating Nancy’s legacy and vision—and our global alumnae community, the embodiment of her vision—by doing what Hedgebrook does best: convening conversations, like those around the Farmhouse dinner table each evening, and inviting others to envision the future with us.

Over the weekend of August 23-25, we’ll host a 25th anniversary alumnae reunion at the retreat: an opportunity for our alumnae to come together from around the world and engage with Hedgebrook’s staff, board, Nancy and some of our national partners and explore essential questions together:

What change that needs to happen over the next 25 years because women are raising their voices?


What role might Hedgebrook, and our extraordinary community, play in the movement for women to gain equal voice?

It is an extraordinary time to be a woman writer, and an organization supporting women who write. The statistics published by VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, and the conversation sparked by 50/50 in 2020 in the theatre world, are catalyzing a national conversation about gender disparity. The message is clear: it’s time that we hear more from women, and from more women, for the health and well-being of our planet.

Hedgebrook is actively partnering with like-minded organizations across the country to expand our collective support of women writers—forging networks, building relationships, and creating new models to shift the paradigms so that work by women is being published and produced in greater numbers.

One woman’s vision can change the world. Imagine what the energy of thousands of women coming together can do.

We hope you’ll join us at events and gatherings throughout the fall to celebrate this important milestone marking Hedgebrook’s 25 years of support for women writers, and envision how we’ll continue the legacy well into the future.


If you’re an alumna interested in attending the reunion weekend in August, learn more here


Hedgebrook ED
About Hedgebrook ED

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