Hedgebrook Songwriters Residency

A quiet revolution is growing on Whidbey Island, where Hedgebrook’s been supporting women writers at our retreat for nearly 30 years. In 2012, we began inviting songwriters because, as our friend and alumna Gloria Steinem says: “Word writers inform one side of the brain, but with music added, songs enter both sides. There’s a reason why every revolution needs songs! And there’s a reason why songwriters need Hedgebrook.”

Songwriters come to Hedgebrook for unprecedented time to be in residence, unplug from life on the road and in the studio, and to focus on writing new music. Here they immerse themselves in their creative process, fueled by organic meals prepared by Hedgebrook’s chefs shared each evening at the Farmhouse table, and time in their own cottage in the woods. They bring their guitars, ukuleles, harps, keyboards and fill the cottages with music. They also have access to a nearby Sound Trap Studio on Whidbey where can go for spontaneous jam sessions. Unexpected collaborations happen, such as Joanna Newsom joining Thao Nguyen to harmonize on Thao’s “Kindness Be Conceived” on her album “We the Common”. Here’s a link to the song.

Six songwriters are chosen each year through an international nominations process by people in the music industry. In an industry where they are mostly surrounded by men, it is a rare opportunity to be in the company of other female songwriters for two weeks. As alumnae, they join our global community of writers who embody diversity across the spectrum: of generation, race and nationality, LGBTQ, emerging and established, and working in a variety of musical forms.

Hedgebrook is grateful to our Songwriter’s Residency sponsors, who help make this program possible:


2016 Participants

Jenn Champion Jenn Champion

Visit Jenn’s website at Grace LoveGrace Love

Visit Grace’s website at Rasha Nahas Rasha Nahas

See Rasha perform at Jessica Pratt Jessica Pratt

Visit Jessica on Facebook Kim Warnick Kim Warnick

Visit Kim’s website at Sera CahooneSera Cahoone 

Visit Sera’s website at Krista Detor Krista Detor

Visit Krista’s website at Alison Mosshart Alison Mosshart

Visit Alison on Instagram: www.instagram.com/amosshart.