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Hedgebrook Webinar Series


In this time of uncertainty and self-isolating at home, we recognize that people need connection now more than ever. Even writers like you, who may be accustomed to working in solitude, need other writers from time to time to cheer you on, provide feedback, support, and fresh ideas. We’re offering this series as one way for you to meet some of those writerly needs. As Victoria Redel says, this will be a “gathering of our voices and an opportunity to claim our writing selves in the midst of the unknown.”

Many people are experiencing unprecedented losses in this time of global pandemic. In acknowledgment of different circumstances, we are offering these classes at a range of registration rates. From “Supporter” (pay more than cost) to, “Pay-what-you-can” and free, we honor our community’s need to empower one another in our respective crafts, and to stay connected and inspired. We know that if we are to move toward a future of greater equity, health, and justice, women’s stories need to be equally heard — even during a global pandemic. We hope these classes help give you the strength and resolve to tell your stories and raise up your voices in whatever ways you can, wherever you are in the world.

For over 30 years, Hedgebrook has supported visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. Hedgebrook teachers are offering their wisdom and expertise through these live webinars open to all. We look forward to welcoming you to the conversation, and we’ll see you on Zoom. 

For questions, please read our FAQs. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact programs@hedgebrook.org.

Writing Inside and Outside Our Selves

with Victoria Redel

May 9

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 100 students


Instructor Biography: Victoria Redel is the author of five books of fiction and three books of poetry, most recently the novel Before Everything (Viking Penguin 2017), which the BBC has said is a novel that “brings to mind Virginia Woolf’s, The Waves.Loverboy was awarded the 2001 S. Mariella Gable Novel Award and the 2002 Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize and was adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. She has taught in the Graduate Writing Programs of Columbia University, Vermont College and was the 2013 McGee Professor at Davidson College. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment For The Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center. Redel is on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College.

Class Description:

For weeks we’ve all been managing a wildly unfamiliar, dislocating moment while confined mostly to our homes, a place of great familiarity. What is the tension between that comfort and discomfort and how might it even be useful for us as writers? To bear witness and to imagine are two primary jobs of the artist. We have each been doing so in large and small ways every day during these weeks. The trip to the market. The morning birdsong in the blossoming trees. The onion layers on the cutting board. Our breath. A droplet held in the air. Much of what we encounter everyday and perhaps don’t consider has now been brought acutely to our attention. There is an opportunity in this. In this generative workshop, through a brief writer’s talk, prompts and Q&A we will consider images, stories, moments of possibility and mystery that we have all accumulated in these weeks. For some of us it resonates with history and with stories we’ve been needing to tell. For some of us it speaks to the future. For others these moments open narrative possibilities of celebration or grief. For all of us it will be a gathering of our voices and an opportunity to claim our writing selves in the midst of the unknown. 

This webinar will close when full. Upon registering for this webinar, you will receive an automated receipt, with details you will need to pre-register for the Zoom event. Registration for this class will close on Friday, May 8 at 5 PM PDT or when full.


Registration is closed

Storying the Self - Class Full

with T Kira Madden

May 23

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 100 students

This webinar will be video recorded

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Instructor Biography:

T Kira Madden is a writer, photographer, and amateur magician. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Tin House, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo, she serves as the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is the author of the 2019 New York Times Editors’ Choice memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Class Description:

How do we amplify the narrative electricity in the mundane? How do we take the sprawl of life and distill the right moments to deliver that umph of the most effective stories? This seminar will focus on distillation and compression. When a “traditional” narrative arc does not feel possible, the artist’s job is to write into the corners, to find spark in the simple acts of noticing, to create a satisfying set-up and payoff for readers. The scaffolding behind published works of “micro prose” will serve as blueprints and gateways for our writing exercises. We will discuss the structures and strategies one uses to render a piece of ourselves, and the compromises and thrills that come with it.

This webinar will close when full. Upon registering for this webinar, you will receive an automated receipt, with information you will need to be able to access the event on Zoom. Registration for this class will close on Thursday, May 21 at 5 PM PDT or when full.



Registration is closed

Writing Rituals—Centering Your Writer Self Amid Chaos of Everyday Life – Class Full

with Elmaz Abinader

June 6

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 100 students

This webinar will be video recorded

Elmaz Abinader

Instructor Biography: Elmaz Abinader is an author and a performer. Her most recent poetry collection, This House, My Bones, was The Editor’s Selection for 2014 from Willow Books/Aquarius. Her books include a memoir: Children of the Roojme, A Family’s Journey from Lebanon, a book of poetry, In the Country of My Dreams… which won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. Her plays include Ramadan Moon, 32 Mohammeds, and Country of Origin and have been performed worldwide, with a culminating performance at the Kennedy Center. She has a frequent contributor to Al-Jazeera English. She has been anthologized widely including the New Anthology of American Poetry, Radical Hope, Truth to Power, and in The Colors of Nature. Most recently her fiction has appeared in Fifth Wednesday and NimrodShe is currently completing a novel called Almost a Life, about a woman living in the Lebanese Civil War. Elmaz is one of the co-founders of The Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices) a writing workshop for writers-of-color. She teaches at Mills College and is an instructor at the Oakland Y.   www.elmazabinader.com 

Class Description:

Tapping into our inspiration, finding our writing core, giving ourselves space to do our real work feels impossible. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Our lives are packed, and our world is daunting. How can we sit in the quiet space of our minds and hearts when we are challenged on every level? How do we separate from the anxious world and move into ourselves? Particularly, how do we tap into our writer-selves and free them to write in a state of grace? Developing rituals that prepare us to write, that create transitions from the everyday, that quiet our souls, can help us cross the bridge to writing. By using guided meditations, writing exercises, and preparing our space, we will share quick and thoughtful ways to prepare to dive in. We will use our body, breath, space, and writing to practice writer-self-love and motivation. Whether we are approaching a new project or continuing a larger work, we discover ways to center ourselves, clear out the chaos, and spend at least a few hours in the place we love: writing.

This webinar will close when full.  Upon registering for this webinar, you will receive an automated receipt, with information you will need to be able to access the event on Zoom.  Registration for this class will close on Thursday, June 4 at 5pm PDT or when full.



Registration is closed

Speak the Truth: Write Like a Kid - Class Full

with Anastacia-Renee

June 20

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 30


Instructor Biography:

Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018, James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington Artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the Seattle Civic Poet from 2017-2019, and the 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. Anastacia-Renee is a two-time Pushcart nominee and 2017 Artist of Year (Seattle). She is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Black Ocean) 26, (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press) and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press) and has received writing fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Whiteley, Mineral School and Hypatia in the Woods. Her cross-genre writing has appeared in a TEDx talk and the anthologies: Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution, Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks and: Ms. Magazine, Split this Rock, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, The Fight & the Fiddle, Duende, Poetry Northwest, Synaethesia, Banqueted, Torch, Mom Egg Review, The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal, Pinwheel Journal, and many more. She teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops at Hugo House, libraries, universities, and high schools.

Class Description:

We will be guided by our inner children to inspire writing that sees the world through rose-colored glasses—and simultaneously speaks unfiltered truth. Using “kid” supplies like crayons, stickers, children’s books, cartoons, and games, we will remind ourselves that we are still capable of joyfulness, vulnerability, and unconditional love. We will use that state of mind to write poetry and prose that reflects that child within us, now living in the adult world.

This webinar will close when full. Upon registering for this webinar, you will receive an automated receipt, with information you will need to be able to access the event on Zoom. Registration for this class will close on Thursday, June 18 at 5 PM PDT or when full.



Registration is closed

Finding Your Character’s Voice with a Little Help from Acting - Class Full

with Sarah Ladipo Manyika

 July 5

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 14


Instructor Biography:

Sarah is a writer, academic, and overall lover of stories. She was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, Zimbabwe, and England. Sarah is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Her debut novel, In Dependence, is an international bestseller while her second novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, has been translated into a number of languages. Sarah serves on Hedgebrook’s Board of Directors.

Class Description:

We all know great characters when we meet them—they leap off the page like real people. But how do we write convincing, fully-fleshed characters that will linger in a reader’s mind long after they have finished reading? And how do we write convincingly of characters who are very different from us in life and experience? And how do we capture necessary nuance and complexity in our characters in a way that feels natural and seamless to the reader? In this Zoom webinar we will attempt to answer these questions in order to tap deeply into the voice of our characters. To help us do this, I will be drawing from lessons I have learned from actors. This is a live Zoom webinar for everyone, and requires no previous experience of acting. 

This webinar will close when full. Upon registering for this webinar, you will receive an automated receipt, with details you will need to pre-register for the Zoom event. Registration for this class will close on Friday, July 3 at 5 PM PDT or when full.

Registration is closed

Writing/Righting Our Lives: Releasing the Fear and Activating the Fierce – Class Full

with Amy Ferris

July 18

11AM-1PM PDT / 2-4PM EDT

Maximum Capacity: 20 students

This webinar will be video recorded

Amy Ferris 2

Instructor Biography:

Amy Ferris is an author, editor, screenwriter & playwright. Her memoir, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis (Seal Press) was adapted into an Off-Broadway play at CAP21 Theater Company in 2012. She has written for both TV and film. Her screenplay, Funny Valentines, directed by Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and was nominated for a Best Screenplay award (STARZ/BET) in 2000. She co-wrote the film, Mr. Wonderful, directed by Anthony Minghella. Amy has contributed to numerous anthologies and magazines. She is the co-editor of the anthology, Dancing at The Shame Prom (Seal Press, 2012) and most recently the editor of SHADES OF BLUE, Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue (Seal Press, 2015). She is the author of the (YA – Young Adult novel), a greater goode (Houghton Mifflin, 2000). Amy writes a weekly column – WRighteous and she created The Ovary Office (in collaboration with Women’s eNews, which will be launching this coming September). She recently co-authored a book for Harper Collins, which will be published January 2020.

Amy serves on the advisory board of the Women’s Media Center, the Board of Directors at Peters Valley School of Craft, and co-founded (in 2015) The Milford Readers and Writers Festival. She is on faculty at Kauai Writers Conference, where she co-teaches an extensive master class.

Amy was named and awarded one of Women’s eNews 2018 21 LEADERS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

Class Description:

This is for all writers, all genres, all levels. This is for non-writers, or folks who don’t believe they are writers. This is for anyone. This class is not about the craft of writing, it is about the craft of living and telling our truth. The stories we keep hidden, out of view, tucked away. The stories in diaries and journals, scribbled on post-its and napkins that are in the back of a drawer hidden; the ones we are afraid to share. Those are the very stories we will bring to life and write about, the stories that will give us the freedom to write the book, the play, the memoir, the novel, the novella, the poem that we have longed to put out into the world. That needs to be out in the world. We will dig deep and excavate those stories through a writing exercise and a few prompts. By the end of this class, whatever was blocking you, holding you back – you will move through all of that – and you will be left unfettered with your story to tell. We will be companions and friends, collaborators; we will walk taller and be braver and find out that our stories not only save us but save others.

Registration is closed

Q: What is a live webinar?

A: The live webinar will feature the teacher, and all the students who have registered for this class. Students have the option of joining with video, or without. For those that join with video, all the participants in the class will be able to see one another in “grid” view (the icon that looks like a grid in the upper right corner of your screen).


Q: I’m not familiar with Zoom. What do I need to do to get setup for my webinar?

A: Please check out Getting Started With Zoom, and take some time to familiarize yourself with the options that best fit your needs before your webinar starts. You may click the link to join the Zoom webinar a few minutes before the scheduled start of the webinar to test out your audio and video. If you have a headset or earbuds, we recommend you use those for best quality sound. You will be invited into the webinar once it starts.


Q: How will I receive the information I will need to get into Zoom for the webinar?

A: Once you register via Hedgebrook, (e.g. make a payment, donation, or request free access), you will receive an automated email receipt with the instructions you will need to access the webinar. For most of the webinars, you will receive an email from programs@hedgebrook.org on the Monday before the webinar starts with a link to pre-register. Once you are pre-registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the link you will need to save and come back to when the webinar starts.


Q: How do I register for a webinar for free?

A: Send an email to Jen and Britt at programs@hedgebrook.org and let them know you would like to take the class at no cost.


Q: I don’t want to join the webinar with my video on. What can I do?

A: Once you click the link to join the webinar, you will automatically join with your video turned on. You can turn your video off by clicking the icon of the video camera in the lower left-hand side of your screen. You will know your video is off when there is a red slash through it. For writing exercises, and for the classes with 30 students or less, we highly recommend that you try the video feature, as a way to feel connected to the other students and the teacher.


Q: I’m concerned about audio. How does it work?

A: When you click the link to join, your audio will automatically be muted. We recommend that you test your audio to make sure it works before the class begins. To do this, unmute yourself (icon that looks like a microphone) and test your speakers. Please mute yourself when you are not speaking. If you have a question, please use the chat box (icon that looks like a thought bubble).


Q: How do I ask a question while the teacher is speaking?

A: You can use the “raise hand” button and when there is a pause, the teacher will try to call on you. You can also use the chat box (click the icon that looks like a thought bubble) to type questions, answers, or to share a link, etc. Hedgebrook staff will be monitoring the chat room and will be able to assist there.


Q: Will a transcript of this webinar be available after the webinar ends?

A: We will provide an audio version of the webinar to all who attend, along with shared resources.


Q: Is closed captioning available on these webinars?

A: Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide closed captioning for this series. With future online classes and webinars, we will plan to offer this feature.


Q: What if I have trouble accessing the Zoom webinar?

A: First, visit this link on troubleshooting in Zoom. If your issue isn’t resolved, please send an email to programs@hedgebrook.org.


Q: Can I join the webinar if I have pre-registered, but need to join after the start of the webinar?

A: Yes, you will be able to still get in after the start of the webinar. Click the join link.


Q: I’m trying to register, but the class is full. Is there a waitlist?

If the class is showing as full on the website, or you are unable to access the registration form, the class is at maximum capacity. Email programs@hedgebrook.org with Webinar Series Waitlist in the subject line. Please tell us which webinar you want to waitlist. We will reach out to you only if a spot in the class becomes available.


Q: What does it mean that some of the classes will be video recorded?

A: We will be making a video recording of some of the classes. Students and their screens will be edited out, and the video will feature just the teacher and staff. You can choose to keep your video off if you have concerns about the video recording. Audio will be intact. These video recordings may be shared or re-run at another point in the future.


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