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by Corinne Cavanaugh

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Sarah Ladipo Manyika spoke to a full house at Seattle’s Rainier Club on April 26th, on the pSarah Ladipo Manyika speaking at the Rainier Clubower of storytelling to connect people across cultures and generations. Influenced throughout her life by wise women elders from as far back as her childhood in Nigeria, Sarah shared with us some of the mentors, memories, and stories which have inspired her most. Sarah embodies Hedgebrook’s tag line “Women Authoring Change”, with her first book “In Dependence” having just sold 1.5 million copies in Nigeria, where it received the great honor of being the first book by a woman author in the history of Nigeria to be added to the mandatory reading list for every university student! With Nigeria soon to be the fourth largest population in the world, this means a whole generation of students will be influenced by reading Sarah’s book. In her talk, Sarah also read excerpts, in character, from her new book “Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun”, which is shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize. The themes Sarah captivated us with are what New York Times best selling author and Hedgebrook alumna, Karen Joy Fowler, refers to as “story that argues always for generosity, for connection, for a vigorous and joyful endurance.” 

Pictured top: Sarah Ladipo Manyika speaking at the Rainier Club
Pictured bottom left to right: Rainier Club Member Dorothy Mann, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Executive Director of our community partner Y-WE Write, Victoria Santos, Hedgebrook Board Member Grace Nordhoff, & guests Betsy Passarelli & Brodie Bain.

Hedgebrook alumna Anna Vodicka is an award-winning essayist and travel writer who moved last year from Micronesia to Seattle, where she now teaches at Richard Hugo House. Anna is also an instructor for the Women’s Creative Writing Program at the King County Jail.

Anna brings lessons on “micro essays” and “mindful writing”—writing as contemplative, creative practice–to the program’s poetry and fiction focus. Program participants read and respond to prompts, and share writing with the whole group in a weekly “Golf Pencil Review” – golf pencils being the only approved writing tool.

The women look forward to seeing their own words in print, and to empathizing with the writing of others, often bringing classmates to tears, or applause, as they give voice to their struggles and hopes and prepare for the next chapter in their lives.

Pictured top: Hedgebrook alumna Anna Vodicka
Pictured bottom: King County Jail where Anna Vodicka teaches writing.


Hedgebrook welcomes a new staff member to our Seattle office – Kuri Jallow!

We are grateful to Seattle Rotary and Seattle University for hosting Hedgebrook alumna Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, from Ghana. In her talk at Seattle Rotary, Nana shared the podium with Washington Governor Jay Inslee. 

Nana then met with Seattle University African Students Assocation for an evening of fellowship and storytelling. As it turned out, Kuri Jallow’s cousin attended! A torch was lit. 

Kuri was born and raised in The Gambia, West Africa, moved to the United Kingdom, and later settled in Seattle where much of her family now resides. She is thrilled to have joined Hedgebrook where she can support women’s empowerment.  

Pictured top: Writer in Residence, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, (far right, front row) with Seattle University’s African Students Association, including (back row, far right) Kuri Jallow’s cousin from The Gambia, Pa Ousman Jobe. Pictured middle: Nana after her talk at Seattle Rotary, pictured here with Hedgebrook founder Nancy Nordhoff, and Hedgebrook’s Director of Development & Outreach, Catherine Willis Cleveland. Pictured bottom: Kuri Jallow



Vortext a Hedgebrook Program

Click here to see powerful testimonials from participants and instructors.
Click Here to Support Writers



An extraordinary weekend salon led by renowned women writers. The program, which just completed it’s sixth year, gives writers the opportunity to connect in diverse and powerful small-group workshops. Writers also enjoy dynamic keynotes and discussions about opportunities and challenges for women who write, as well as several open mics. Learn More »


Interview of Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Tell us about your work as a writer—do you write in multiple genres/forms? Sadly, yes. I’m a self-taught writer, so every time I write a book, I have to teach myself to write all over again, and it’s not a quick process…
Read blog »


The Bookshelves of Hedgebrook by Ayobami Adebayo 

When I was packing for my Hedgebrook residency, I chose four big novels and two anthologies to see me through the month I was to spend on Whidbey Island…
Read blog »

Read More


June 2017

Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival
20th Annual 

Please join us to view the premier works of five talented playwrights. You’ll hear from each playwright about her project and her time at Hedgebrook, before actors perform an excerpt from each play.  Playwrights from this program have gone on to become Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Obie, Emmy and Golden Globe award winners, as well as McArthur Genius Fellows. Come be the first to applaud these new creations!
Tickets and more »


June 2017

Bridging: A One Day Writing Retreat
Moraga, California

Come take writing workshops, be in community with women and female-identified writers, enjoy food, drink, conversation and an inspiring keynote by Karen Joy Fowler.
To register click here »


June 2017

Open House
A Taste of Hedgebrook 

Visit our retreat on Whidbey Island on June 24th, from 1-4pm as we offer radical hospitality! Enjoy food and entertainment as you stroll our 48 acre property overlooking Useless Bay. 

We will be offering you:

  • Fabulous food
  • Our own Hedgebrook label wine
  • Readings from alumnae
  • Cottage tours
  • Writer testimonials
  • Live music & much more!

This event is free of charge and all are welcome. Address: 2197 Millman Rd Langley, WA 98260
Click here to RSVP »


June 2017

Opening The Circle in Mill Valley, California 
A Day of Radical Hospitality

Four women-centered organizationsHedgebrookMoxie Road ProductionsThe Hivery, and All Things Book—have come together to empower you during this day of radical hospitality and radical exploration. When you’re nourished, creatively and physically, you have the resources to make change.
Tickets and more »


August 2017

Y-We Write 

Teen Summer Camp

Join Hedgebrook & Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)  for an amazing leadership and literacy summer camp. Hedgebrook will select four of our powerful and experienced alumnae to work closely with Y-WE youth and mentors over the course of the camp. The writers will each present on a different area of literary expression—including poetry, fiction, playwriting, lyrics, spoken word, autobiography, and more!
Application and more »


November 2017

Master Class with 
Aminatta Forna

The Writer’s Toolbox 

In this course you will learn how to think like a writer, you will immerse yourself in the imaginative and technical disciplines of story telling. Every writer at the outset of a new work must make find the most effective means of telling their particular story. The course will introduce you to specific element of the craft of writing, what I call the writer’s toolbox: tense, structure, perspective, person, voice, dialogue, character.
Learn more »

November 2017 
Screenwriters Lab

Hedgebrook’s Screenwriters Lab features a week of one-on-one mentoring sessions and workshops led by experienced writers, with Hedgebrook’s singular residency experience. Post-residency, screenwriters have opportunities to connect with Hedgebrook’s growing community of women in the film industry who can offer advice and guidance as they bring their projects to fruition.

Click here to learn more  »  


Writers In Residence

Two to Six Weeks

Six writers are in residence at a time, each housed in a handcrafted cottage. They spend their days in solitude – writing, reading, taking walks in the woods. In the evenings, they gather in the farmhouse kitchen to share their work, their process and their stories. The Writers in Residence Program is Hedgebrook’s core program, supporting the fully-funded residencies of approximately 40 writers each year.
Learn more »


January 2018

Overseas Master Class in Goa, India

Just Announced

Study abroad and ‘pay it forward’ to support our Writers in Residence program.

Stay tuned for details and open registration. For inquires please email KuriJ@Hedgebrook.org

Support Our Classes and Events


Carolyn Forché  Windham-Campbell Prize 

2017 award recipient for literature 

Hannah Tinti’s new book The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and Sarah Manyika’s Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun 

are reviewed by The New Yorker

Carolyn R. Hall launched her book Rose Concannon

A coming of age novel set in Seattle in 1963

Carolina De Robertis new book Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times

was released by Vintage May 2nd

Paula Vogel & Lynn Nottage arrive on Broadway

review in The New York Times

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ makes it

to this year’s shortlist for the Baileys’ Prize for Fiction

Two memoirs on marriage – Dani Shapiro’s Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage and Claire Dederer’s Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning 

are receiving accolades, including starred Kirkus reviews: 
Dani’s Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dani-shapiro/hourglass/
Claire’s Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/claire-dederer/love-and-trouble/

Alumnae — Please share your successes with us by emailing kurij@hedgebrook.org, and we’ll feature them in our next newsletter!


Hedgebrook Featured Article With
National Endowment for The Arts

A Cottage Of One’s Own
A wood stove is the only source of heating in the cottages at Hedgebrook, a women’s writing residency on Whidbey Island, 35 miles off Seattle…»


With your support, Hedgebrook women writers are authoring change in our communities and our world!

This year’s Equivox was our largest ever, and because of you, we raised a record of over $200,000. With your support, Hedgebrook proudly serves 80% women of color, 30% of whom are first or second generation immigrants to America, from 16 different countries of origin. Domestically, our writers come to us from 21 states across our nation.

“Here (at Hedgebrook) I get to exhale and know that the land is holding me, the staff is holding me, my incredible cohort of writers is holding me, and all the women who came before me are holding me.” – Alicia Garza, Equivox speaker & co-founder of Black Lives Matter (pictured above).

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Corinne Cavanaugh (contractor - inactive)
About Corinne Cavanaugh (contractor - inactive)
former contractor. owner/operator at donorswell.com

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