Online Creative Writing Series

Welcome to Hedgebrook’s online creative writing series. Now you can experience the radical hospitality we offer to writers at our Whidbey Island retreat in your own home or writing space, while studying with seasoned teachers from our community.

We offer classes in a diversity of genres designed to ground your writing practice and hone your craft. Classes are taped at the retreat, with the teacher and a small group of writers in the room together, so you’ll experience the alchemy of solitude and community that makes a Hedgebrook residency unique.

We also share elements of Hedgebrook’s retreat experience to inspire your writing, such as recipes from our Farmhouse kitchen and chefs, images from our land to print or use as a screensaver, and messages to energize your process. 

2017 Online Creative Writing Series

Register below and enjoy the class! More classes coming soon. To receive advance notice, sign up for Hedgebrook’s newsletter here.

Structuring Your Memoir with Theo Pauline Nestor

August 21st – December 31st, 2017 

(You may register and start the class at any time before December 31st, 2017)

After a honeymoon period of writing the initial pages of a memoir, writers often get caught up in a maze of questions regarding the book’s structure and content. In this class “Structuring Your Memoir,” memoirist and award-winning writing instructor Theo Pauline Nestor will lead you through a series of writing prompts designed to ferret out the questions that underlie your writing project and that hold the key to your dilemmas around where to begin, where to end, and what to include and what to leave out. Theo’s step-by-step approach helps you to discover the answers you already hold and offers practical ideas for putting those answers to work right away. Set in Meadow House at the retreat, this class offers the magic of Hedgebrook’s famous “radical hospitality” and the feeling of permission that women writers inevitably experience working in the Hedgebrook cottages. Class length: 73 minutes plus writing exercises.

Class open: August 21st thru October 31st, 2017
Discussion board open three dates only:  September 13, 14 & 15.
Register by Sept 8th to join the discussion board with Theo and other on-line students.

BIO: Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008)

She teaches at the University of Washington and at Hugo House in Seattle, writes the popular blog “Writing is My Drink” and produces unique events for writers that focus on craft, inspiration, and community and feature speakers such as Anne LamottCheryl StrayedJulia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg.

She’s also taught webinars such as Memoir Essentials, Writing Is My Drink, and How to Write a Modern Love (That Stands a Chance). To learn more about Theo and her work, go to:

Please note: This class is offered through December 31st. The class schedule has been extended due to popular demand. Sign up anytime in this timeframe and take it at your own pace, as many times as you’d like, until December 31st.

Fee: $80 (all proceeds benefit Hedgebrook)


How does the class work?

The class is a videotaped session, divided into chapters, featuring the teacher and a small group of students in a cottage at Hedgebrook retreat. Each class includes lectures, writing exercises, and conversation, with an opportunity for you to join a discussion board with the teacher in a designated time frame while the class is offered.

How does the discussion board work?

We’ll open the discussion board for three days (indicated when you sign up for the class). On those days, you can interact with other students taking the class, and the teacher will drop in periodically to answer questions, give advice, and hear about your discoveries. Discussion board engagement isn’t required, just an option for those who’ll enjoy the interaction. 

Is there homework?

The class is one continuous session, divided into chapters, with writing exercises woven in. Students are welcome to share their work on the discussion board when it’s open, but writing exercises will not be evaluated by the instructor. We encourage supportive comments on work that’s shared, and please refrain from critique. Thanks!

How much time will the class take?

Totally up to you! Class lengths vary, and all are designed so you can move at your own pace. Video lengths of each chapter are indicated, and do not include writing time.

Can I take the class on my phone?

No, you’ll need a tablet or a computer to access all class materials. You can do the writing exercises on your computer, or a quill and inkwell also work (though connectivity may be challenging from a medieval castle.)

Please send other questions to