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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


Well-known as a leading light among feminists, Gloria Steinem is a journalist, author, and activist. She is a founder of Ms. Magazine, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and the Women’s Media Center, and the celebrated author of Revolution from Within , My Life on the Road, and other books, including the recent The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!She has received many distinguished awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Carolyn Forché


An award-winning poet, translator, and memoirist. Carolyn Forché’s most recent book, What You Have Heard Is True, was nominated for the 2019 National Book Award; other works include Blue Hour, The Angel of History, The Country Between Us, Gathering the Tribes, and Against Forgetting (editor). Carolyn has been honored with the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award for Peace and Culture, and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Dorothy Allison

A National-Book-Award nominated author, Dorothy Allison’s work includes Bastard Out of Carolina, Cavedweller, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, Trash, and The Women Who Hate Me. Her book of essays, Skin: Talking About Sex, Class, and Literature, won the Lambda Literary Award.

Nassim Assefi

Working at the intersection of many worlds, Nassim Assefi is a physician, teacher, author, health tech consultant, and civic innovator. Her novels include Aria and the forthcoming We Belong to Each Other. Among other honors, Nassim is a TED Global Fellow.

Carole DeSanti

Retired from a long career as an acquisitions editor at top publishing houses, where she was known for championing independent, original women’s voices, Carole DeSanti is herself a novelist, author of The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R, and a professor of language and literature at Smith College.

Karen Joy Fowler

A PEN/Faulkner and California Book Award winner, Karen Joy Fowler is especially well known for her bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, and for her Booker-Prize-nominated novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, as well as other novels and short story collections.

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

Best known as the author of A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth, both selected by the Oprah Book Club and made into films, Jane Hamilton has been widely recognized for her novels and has received the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction.

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.