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Creative Advisory Council

Hedgebrook’s Creative Advisory Council is a group of influential women writers who embody the spirit of Hedgebrook, characterized by a commitment to champion women’s voices. Launched in 2006 by Hedgebrook alumna Gloria Steinem, the Council functions as ambassadors and brain trust, working with Hedgebrook staff, Board and alumnae to raise Hedgebrook’s visibility and impact in the world. Throughout their careers, these exemplary writers manifest our motto of “women authoring change” by penning groundbreaking work, challenging us to think outside the box and opening our minds and hearts to new ways of being in the world.

To learn more about the women below, click on the  icon below each profile.

Gloria Steinem


Gloria Steinem is a celebrated feminist writer and activist currently at work on her next book America As if Everyone Mattered, penned in part at Hedgebrook. Based in New York City, she founded Ms. Magazine and co-founded the Women’s Media Center.

Carolyn Forché


Carolyn Forché is known as a “poet of witness.” She is the award-winning author of Gathering the Tribes; The Country Between Us and the editor of the anthology Against Forgetting Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. Recently she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award for Peace and Culture. She received the 2013 Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Dorothy Allison

Dorothy Allison is a prize-winning novelist and poet from South Carolina who writes on themes of feminism, abuse, and class struggle. Her first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was a 1992 National Book Award finalist.

Nassim Assefi

Nassim Assefi is a doctor specializing in women’s health and medicine, a TEDGlobal Fellow, and author. Her second novel, Say I Am You, is set in post-conflict Afghanistan, and she is also producing a documentary film about Afghan midwives.

Carole DeSanti

Carole DeSanti is the Vice President, Editor at Large at Viking Penguin, a longtime acquisitions editor known for championing independent, original women’s voices. She released her debut novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., in 2012.

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler is a playwright, performer, and activist known for The Vagina Monologues, V-Day and One Billion Rising, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Her newest play, Emotional Creature, opened Off Broadway in 2012.

Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler is a cross-genre writer whose most recent book, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, was partially penned at Hedgebrook and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014. Other works include Sarah Canary and The Jane Austen Book Club.

Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is known for her internationally best-selling mystery novels. Her Inspector Lynley series has been filmed for television by the BBC and broadcast in the US on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. She is also authoring a YA series set on Whidbey Island.

Mary Gordon

Mary Gordon is the author of several bestselling novels and works of non-fiction, including The Rest of Life and Good Boys and Dead Girls. She teaches writing at her alma mater, Barnard College.

Jane Hamilton

Jane Hamilton has written six novels, some of which have been made into films and some of which have won awards, including the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. The Book of Ruth and A Map of The World were selections of the Oprah Book Club.

Suheir Hammad

Suheir Hammad is a Palestinian-American poet and activist. She is an original cast member and writer for the Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and writes a literary column for Stress magazine. Published works include Born Palestinian, Born Black and breaking poems.

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness is a student and scholar of history. An alumna of Mount Holyoke College, she currently teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Deb has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Science Foundation. She is the author of internationally best-selling All Souls Trilogy.

Pramila Jayapal

Pramila Jayapal is the founder of OneAmerica and author of Pilgrimage to India: A Woman Revisits Her Homeland in 2001. She writes regularly for numerous publications, including Reuters, The Nation and Crosscut.

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is a New York-based Tony Award winning playwright and performer, known for her one-person show Bridge & Tunnel and her newest work Sell/Buy/Date. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Ellen McLaughlin

Ellen McLaughlin is a playwright and actor. Her anthology The Greek Plays includes Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Trojan Women, and others. As an actor, she is best known for originating the role of the Angel in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. She currently teaches playwriting at Barnard College.

Honor Moore

Honor Moore is a poet, memoirist, playwright, and editor, known for the anthology Library of America’s Poems from the Women’s Movement and for her memoir The Bishop’s Daughter, for which she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.

Holly Morris

Holly Morris is an author, producer and television correspondent known for her award-winning PBS series, “Adventure Divas” and book, Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine. Her most recent film is The Babushkas of Chernobyl.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is a self-described “wandering poet” of Palestinian-American heritage who has spent 33 years traveling and leading writing workshops. Among her many books of poetry is Words Under the Words. She is also the author of the children’s book Sitti’s Secrets.

Dael Orlandersmith

Dael Orlandersmith is a playwright, poet and actor. Her play Beauty’s Daughter won an Obie Award. She is the recipient of a 2005 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award, among others. Dael traveled extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and attended the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab repeatedly. Her most recent work, Forever, opened in New York in 2015.

Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her film Halving the Bones was shown at Sundance, and her book A Tale for the Time Being, penned in part at Hedgebrook, won the 2014 LA Times Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Robin Swicord

Robin Swicord is a screenwriter and director known for adapting novels to the screen, including Little Women, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Jane Austen Book Club. She is a Trustee of the Humanitas Foundation and known for championing women in the film industry.

Monique Truong

Monique Truong is an essayist, librettist, and novelist known for national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book The Book of Salt. Her other novels are Bitter in The Mouth and The Sweetest Fruits, forthcoming in September 2019 from Viking Books.

Gail Tsukiyama

Gail Tsukiyama is the author of seven novels, including Women of the Silk and A Hundred Flowers. She has received the Academy of American Poets Award and the Pen/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. She has taught at UC Berkeley and Mills College.

Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is an award-winning author, known for her historical fiction featuring lesbian protagonists. Her novels include Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, shortlisted for the 2002 Man Booker Prize, and The Paying Guests. She lives in South London.