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Online Writing Series

Welcome to Hedgebrook’s online 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. 

Jourdan KeithWitness and Resistance: Using Your Personal Story for Social Change and Action

August 14 – October 2, 2019

You may register and start the class at any time during this period and take it at your own pace, as many times as you’d like before October 2.


This workshop will focus on how you can use your personal stories to connect people to social change and taking action.  This is a perfect workshop if you write across genres because we’ll be using poetry as well as personal essays.   The class will look at the connection between the larger context of the story you have to tell, and framing that story in a way that allows people to hear the vulnerable issues that are shaping our world, and hopefully, compel them to take action. Through writing, you’ll explore how to move essays, poems and conversations from “bumper sticker,” to a place where the vulnerability of our own stories comes through and invites people to hear something they might not be as comfortable hearing otherwise.  The class will read from Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action WritingYou and Yours by Naomi Shihab Nye, “Federico’s Ghost” by Martin Espada, and from Jourdan’s own poem, “Homophobia’s Hidden Carbon Count,” illustrating how a personal story can move people to see the connection between homophobia and climate change, which affects us all.

Class open: August 14 – October 2


Jourdan Imani Keith is a poet, essayist, playwright, naturalist, and activist. She received a 2018 Americans for the Arts award for “Your Body of Water,” the theme for King County’s 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses program based on her TEDx Talk. Keith’s Orion Magazine essays, “Desegregating Wilderness” and ” At Risk” were selected for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology (Houghton Mifflin). She has been awarded fellowships from Hedgebrook, Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, and Jack Straw. Her memoir in essays, Tugging at the Web is forthcoming from University of Washington Press.

~Jourdan “Take care of your blessings” ~Essex Hemphill Follow me on twitter @griotworks Blog: http://jourdankeith.wordpress.com/

Fee: $80

Please note that we are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this program.

For Questions please contact: onlineclasses@hedgebrook.org


How does the class work?

The class is a videotaped session, divided into chapters, featuring the teacher and a small group of students at the Hedgebrook retreat. Each class includes lectures, practical writing exercises, and class discussion.

Is there homework?

The class is one continuous session, divided into chapters, with writing exercises woven in. There is no homework, though you may choose to incorporate some of these experiences into your everyday writing practice.

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 with a fast internet connection to access class videos and materials. You will find that having a notebook and pen or your computer to do the exercises will be helpful.

Please send other questions to onlineclasses@hedgebrook.org