Hedgebrook LogoHedgebrook Logo

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.

Creative writing workshops in a diversity of formats and genres are offered to women writers at all levels of experience. Participation in each class is limited to 6-8 writers to ensure individual attention and create an intimate, supportive writing community.

2020 Master Classes

We offer a variety of classes to suit writers at different levels of experience and phases in the writing process. Some are generative and designed to inspire new projects or breakthroughs in your process, while others focus on craft or developing a project already underway. Over the course of the week, teachers give generously of their time: leading a series of writing workshops, talks on craft and constructive group feedback sessions, meeting one-on-one with each writer, and sharing evening meals with the group. Writers also enjoy time in retreat to write and rejuvenate.

We offer a variety of classes throughout the year.

Carolina De Robertis – Writing with Joy and Power

April 21-28

“When I dare to be powerful,” said Audre Lorde, “to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” As a writer, how do you dare to be powerful? What voices, stories, truths clamor to be written through you? What will it take for you to fully render these visions on the page? Writing with joy and power—especially for women, and other marginalized people—can be revolutionary. It can shatter silences, cross borders, reshape the world. For a week, we’ll come together in this spirit, creating a crucible of discovery and support. We’ll discuss each other’s work in progress, nerd out on craft, sharpen our tools, and dig deep for the inner power sources that fuel us, make us brave, and make the writing sing. This course includes a one-on-one session reviewing up to 25 pages of your manuscript. All genres welcome.

Carolina De Robertis

A writer of Uruguayan origins, Carolina De Robertis is the author of four novels, including Cantoras and The Gods of Tango. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have received numerous honors, and awards. She is also a translator of Latin American and Spanish literature, and editor of the anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times. She teaches at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children.

Please note: Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

All levels are welcome to this Master Class.

Program Dates

Arrivals: Tuesday, April 21
Departures: Tuesday, April 28
Priority deadline: Tuesday, February 18
Notifications sent: Thursday, February 27

Fee: $3,200 (Covers lodging, meals, and workshops; all taxes included)
Deposit: $1,000, due Thursday, March 5
Final Payment Due: Thursday, March 26

APPLY NOW

Click here to apply

We are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this Master Class.

Mira Jacob – The Basics by Heart

June 12-19

This week-long intensive will cover the basics of craft in depth, with an eye toward diagnosing the areas of your own work that need strengthening, and giving you the tools necessary to rethink them. What are the mechanics of plot? How do you choose the right structure for your story? How do you make your dialogue sound genuine and even surprising? How do you decide which descriptions are serving the story and which ones can be cut? Is there a better way to revise than starting at the beginning and never really getting to the end?

Through talks, discussions and in-class exercises, we will learn to use the tools craft provides to create stronger, more vibrant fiction and/or non-fiction!

Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize. Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York TimesElectric LiteratureTin HouseLiterary HubGuernica, and Vogue. She teaches at The New School, and the MFA Program at Randolph College.

 

Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

Please note: Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

All levels are welcome to this Master Class.

Program Dates

Arrivals: Friday, June 12
Departures: Saturday, June 19
Priority deadline: Tuesday, March 24
Notifications: Thursday, April 2

Fee: $3,200 (Covers lodging, meals, and workshops; all taxes included)
Deposit: $1,000, due Friday, April 10
Final Payment Due: Monday April 27

APPLY NOW

Click here to apply

We are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this Master Class.

Molly Wizenberg – Food as a Doorway to Memoir

November 4-11

Good food writing is rarely only about food; it’s about people, places, the way we live, the meat and bones of who we are. In this generative workshop on the craft of food memoir, we’ll explore how the raw material of food can help us unlock our most fertile memories. Cooking, eating, sharing a meal—from these seemingly mundane acts of daily life, we’ll return through language to past versions of ourselves: experiences we thought we’d forgotten, the thing our father said. “A single image can split open the hard seed of the past,” writes memoirist Mary Karr, “and soon memory pours forth from every direction, sprouting its vines and flowers up around you till the old garden’s taken shape in all its fragrant glory.”

Over the course of the week, we’ll write, talk, and read, studying works by writers like Nigel Slater, Laurie Colwin, M. F. K. Fisher, Diana Abu-Jaber, and Gabrielle Hamilton. This class will be limited to six students, and each will have the opportunity to share work and get feedback from the group, plus a one-hour private session with the instructor. I hope each student will leave energized, with a stack of new ideas, approaches, and pages. No particular experience is necessary: only a love for writing, a laptop or notebook, and a sense of curiosity about your life.

Molly Wizenberg

Wizenberg is The New York Times bestselling author of three memoirs: The Fixed StarsDelancey, and A Homemade Life. She is also the author of the James Beard Award-winning blog Orangette and has written for The Washington Post, The GuardianSaveur, and Bon Appétit. She also co-hosts the podcast Spilled Milk, ten years and counting.

Please note: Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

All levels are welcome to this Master Class.

 

Program Dates

Arrivals: Wednesday, November 4
Departures: Wednesday, November 11
Priority deadline: Friday, August 28
Notifications: Monday, September 7

Fee: $3,200 (Covers lodging, meals, and workshops; all taxes included)
Deposit: $1,000, due Monday, September 14
Final Payment Due: Monday,September 28

Apply Now!

Click here to apply

We are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this Master Class.

Vanessa Hua – Writing with Empathy and Action

November 13-20

Writing is a form of self-expression, but it can also serve as an organizing tool around a cause or a concern. Stories can inspire a shift in thinking–illuminating issues and opening the way for others to tell their stories and hopefully, compel them to take action.

We’ll discuss our work-in-progress and our role as writers in these times. By honing our craft with in-class exercises and readings, as well as developing research and revision strategies, we will return to our work, old and new, with fresh eyes. Students will be able to share work with the group, and receive additional feedback in a one-hour private session with the instructor. All genres, all levels welcome.

Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of A River of Stars and Deceit and Other Possibilities. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, among other honors. A Bay Area native, she teaches at the Writers’ Grotto, Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and elsewhere

Please note: Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

All levels are welcome to this Master Class.

 

Program Dates

Arrivals: Friday, November 13
Departures: Friday, November 20
Priority deadline: Friday, August 28
Notifications: Monday, September 7

Fee: $3,200 (Covers lodging, meals, and workshops; all taxes included)
Deposit: $1,000, due Monday, September 14
Final Payment Due: Monday,September 28

Apply Now!

Click here to apply

We are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this Master Class.

Retreat Experience

Each writer is housed in her own handcrafted cottage in the woods. Delicious meals are prepared by Hedgebrook’s chefs, featuring produce harvested from our organic garden. Our land features beautiful wooded walking trails, ponds and meadows teeming with wildlife, nearby Double Bluff beach, and breathtaking views across Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier in the distance. While the setting is rural, nearby towns offer shops and amenities.

Accommodations

Our six hand-crafted cottages–Oak, Fir, Owl, Cedar, Willow and Waterfall–were designed by architect Chuck Dougherty, who worked with the Amish in Pennsylvania. While all the cottages have a similar design, they are built of a variety of woods and have unique color schemes and furnishings. Stained glass windows, pottery sinks, and other features were designed and crafted by local artisans.

Cottage_interior_smEach cottage has an upstairs sleeping loft with a hand built double bed, lamps, rocking chair, chest of drawers, and a small closet. With advance notice, it is possible to accommodate a bed downstairs for those who cannot climb the ship ladder to the loft. Other accessibility options are available on an individualized basis, and the Hedgebrook staff will work with you to accommodate your specific needs, if possible. The main floor has a work area with ample desk space, a sitting area with window seat looking out into the woods, and a comfortable, overstuffed armchair. Bookshelves have space for the writer’s personal library, as well as a cottage journal in which each resident is invited to make entries during her stay. With entries dating from Hedgebrook’s genesis in 1988, the journals are the cottage’s living legacy–and a way for writers to connect with those who have come before, and those will come after her stay.

A small half-bathroom and a fully equipped efficiency kitchen finish out the main floor. All cottages have electricity and are heated primarily by wood stoves. Writers share a centrally located bathhouse equipped with two showers, old-fashioned bathtub, two sinks, drawers for each cottage, heated floors, and a washer/dryer.

The historic Farmhouse is the center of the Hedgebrook community, where residents gather for dinner at a table overlooking Deer Lagoon, and Puget Sound. All meals are prepared by Hedgebrook’s chefs, using organic food from our garden and local farmers. The Farmhouse living room, with a library full of Hedgebrook writers books, serves as a gathering place for residents to converse and share their work.

Selection Process

The application is accessible via SlideRoom. Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed, and classes often fill with a waitlist. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Hedgebrook staff and teachers, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply as soon as possible. We anticipate decisions will be finalized within two weeks of the priority deadline.

If you have questions about whether a specific Master Class is appropriate for you or your project, or any other question about the series, please be in touch with us at (360) 321-4786.

Refund Policy

Upon acceptance into the class, participant pays a $1,000 non-refundable deposit to hold a space in the class. Should payment not be received by the deposit due date, the slot will be released to a wait-listed participant.

You will be informed of the payment schedule upon registration. The full fee is non-refundable upon due date.

If Hedgebrook, the teacher or student is unable to complete the class due to unforeseen circumstances, we will consider a partial refund on a case-by-case basis.

X