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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

The internationally beloved, best-selling author of 20 psychological suspense novels, Elizabeth George has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, two Edgar nominations, and both France’s and Germany’s first prize for crime fiction, as well as other prestigious prizes. She has also written four Y/A novels set on Whidbey Island, Hedgebrook’s home

Mary Gordon

Known for her revelatory novels, Final Payments and The Company of Women, Mary Gordon is a best-selling author, memoirist, and short story writer. She has been nominated for a National Book Award, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a three-time recipient of the O. Henry Award for best short story. She teaches literature and writing at 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

A Palestinian-American poet and activist, Suheir Hammad’s books include Born Palestinian, Born Black; Zaatardiva; and breaking poems. She has written for and performed in the Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway
and appears in the Cannes Film Festival Official Selection Salt of This Sea.

Deborah Harkness

The author of the internationally best-selling All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness is a student and scholar of history, a professor at USC, and the recipient of Guggenheim and National Science Foundation fellowships. She also writes historical non-fiction, including John Dee's Conversations with Angels, and The Jewel House.

Pramila Jayapal

Since 2016, activist and author Pramila Jayapal has represented Washington’s 7th District in Congress. She has a distinguished international career in public health, human and women’s rights, and immigrant advocacy. Pramila is the founder of OneAmerica and author of Pilgrimage to India: A Woman Revisits Her Homeland.

Sarah Jones

A New York-based Tony Award winning playwright and performer, Sarah Jones is best known for her theater works, Bridge & Tunnel and Sell/Buy/Date. She launched Foment Productions, a social justice-focused entertainment company, and is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Ellen McLaughlin

Septimus and Clarissa, Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, and The Persians. She teaches playwrighting at Barnard and has taught at Princeton and Yale Drama School.

Honor Moore

Known as a poet, memoirist, playwright, and editor, Honor Moore is the author of a memoir, The Bishop’s Daughter, and the poetic works, Red Shoes and Mourning Pictures. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and many other journals and anthologies; and she has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Holly Morris

An author, producer and television host, Holly Morris wrote Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine, which she developed into the award-winning PBS series, Adventure Divas. She’s an on-air host for Globe Trekker and Best Treks. Holly’s most recent documentary is The Babushkas of Chernobyl.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Named as the Young People’s Poet Laureate (2019-21), Palestinian-American Naomi Shihab Nye is beloved for the compassionate beauty of her work for adults and children. Her poetry books include Different Ways to Pray, Yellow Glove, and Fuel. She has received many prestigious awards including Pushcart Prizes, and the NSK Neustadt Prize.

Dael Orlandersmith

An actress, poet, and playwright, Dael Orlandersmith is best known for her Obie Award-winning Beauty's Daughter and the Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Drama, Yellowman. Among other awards, she is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award.

Ruth Ozeki

A novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, Ruth Ozeki is a Japanese-American-Canadian. Her novel, A Tale for the Time Being won the LA Times Book Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is also known for her first book, the award-winning My Year of Meats, and her film Halving the Bones, a Sundance selection.

Robin Swicord

Known for adapting novels to the screen, Robin Swicord is an Oscar- and Golden-Globe-nominated screenwriter for her script, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She is also known for championing women in the film industry, and for writing the adapted screenplays of Little Women (1994), The Jane Austen Book Club, and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Monique Truong

Known for her best-selling, award-winning novels, The Book of Salt, Bitter in the Mouth, and The Sweetest Fruits, Monique Truong is a Vietnamese-American novelist, essayist, and librettist. She is a contributor to O Magazine, Real Simple, and other notable publications, often writing about food, and serves as Vice President of the Authors Guild Council.

Gail Tsukiyama

The author of seven novels, including The Samurai’s Garden, Women of the Silk
and A Hundred Flowers, Gail Tsukiyama is a Japanese-Chinese-American. She has received the Academy of American Poets Award and the Pen/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. Her next novel, The Color of Air, will be published in July 2020.

Sarah Waters

Known for her historical fiction featuring lesbian protagonists, Sarah Waters is the award-winning author of The Paying Guests, The Little Stranger, The Night Watch, Affinity, Tipping the Velvet, and Fingersmith. Among numerous awards, she has been shortlisted for both the Man Booker and the Orange prizes multiple times.