Staying Inspired: How to Host a Public Reading

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Worick

I have a desperate need to have my voice heard…on the page. But sometimes life and paying gigs get in the way. So my voice becomes strangled or mute, as I struggle to make time to write. I get overwhelmed by the scope of my project, even while muttering “bird by bird” in front of the keyboard.

So I’ve had to find solutions to stay inspired. Since I have a hard time being accountable to myself, I’ve taken classes and workshops, joined a writing group, and attended writing conferences (such as the Whidbey Island Writers Conference next month!). I’ve applied for residencies, such as Hedgebrook, and submitted to contests and publications. Read the rest of this entry »

Before Scaling the Heights of your Rewrite…

Posted on September 11th, 2014 by Dara Marks and Deb Norton

Manuscript MountainSo, after weeks, months, or even years, you have finally completed your first draft. Congratulations! Crack open the champagne, throw a party, fly to Paris! However you choose to celebrate, I’m sure you deserve it. Writing is hard work; you are literally blazing a trail into the uncharted wilds of the human imagination. This is why getting to “The End” can feel like you’ve just clawed your way to the top of Mt. Everest.

Of course, this isn’t the case, and in the back of your mind you know the terrible truth—you’ve only just made it to the first base camp. But celebrate anyway because the really arduous, death-defying work of the rewrite still lies ahead and it will most assuredly leave you too pooped to party by the time you reach the summit.

To help chart the course for your rewrite, here are a few navigational tools that will help you negotiate the rugged terrain that lies ahead: Read the rest of this entry »

Five Questions for Julie O’Brien

Posted on September 4th, 2014 by Hedgebrook

If you’ve ever called the Whidbey retreat or sent an email asking about one of our programs, you’ve probably talked to our Program Associate, Julie O’Brien. Julie started working at the retreat this year, making sure our programs run smoothly, orienting writers, and baking vegan cookies in the Farmhouse kitchen.

We recently sat down with Julie to ask her a few questions.


1) You’ve been working at the Whidbey retreat since January. What have been some of the most memorable moments so far?

So many!!! Here are just a few:

• Playwrights’ Festival – where magic unfolds daily. Seeing works in their infancy change, grow, rebirth. Scripts flying around, pages tossed, new pieces penciled in. Edits on the fly as readers try out the words and authors hear them out loud for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Jennie

Posted on August 28th, 2014 by Jennie Shortridge

As a Hedgebrook alum, I feel a little like Dear Abby, because I’ve received quite a few letters like this:


Dear Jennie,

I’m applying for a Hedgebrook residency and I’ve heard they’re nearly impossible to get! Do you have any advice, or tips or tricks for improving my chances to get in?


Ima Writer Read the rest of this entry »

A Sentence

Posted on August 21st, 2014 by Allison Green




“This, too, is America: two middle-aged women, one North American and one Central American, eating cheese and apples in campsite #4 of the Mountain View Campground on Little Redfish Lake.”

I wrote this sentence in a notebook six years ago as I began a writing project that would become the soon-to-be-published Trout Frying in America: A Literary Pilgrimage (Ooligan Press, spring 2015). The sentence did not make it to the final manuscript. It did not even make it into the first draft because, by the time I sat down to write the scene in which Arline and I picnicked in the campsite where Richard Brautigan and his wife and baby stayed in 1961, the idea I was trying to express no longer fit the scene. Read the rest of this entry »