The Body Love Conference, 2014

Posted on April 10th, 2014 by Rachel Goldin
enhanced-buzz-19750-1369063628-1Over the weekend, here in Tucson Arizona, the inaugural Body Love Conference happened on the third floor of the student union  at the University of Arizona. This was the brainchild of Jes Baker, who made national news last May with an elegant “f**k-you” to Abercrombie & Fitch.
This was an amazing day of workshops, lectures, activities, and opportunities to meet incredibly strong women, and to help each other find the beauty within and without each of us. Read the rest of this entry »

Hedgebrook Taught Us These Things

Posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Leah Lax

Upstairs my desk faces a broad window that looks out over the Oregon coast just north of Tillamook, where two silhouettes are strolling the wet beach that looks like a mirror and a wag-tailed dog is running around them, into the foaming surf and back again. Six of us Hedgebrook alums have created our own little writing retreat in the Oregon Writers’ Colony Colonyhouse in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. We sleep each night with the steady low ocean roar as backdrop to our dreams. Read the rest of this entry »

Hedgebrook Master Class with Deborah Harkness

Posted on March 27th, 2014 by Nicole Evelina


Our Master Class group, including teacher Deb Harkness

Our Master Class group, including teacher Deb Harkness


How do you begin to describe the opportunity of a lifetime? Knowing me, it’s not with few words, but I’ll try to limit myself.





IMG_0500Many of you know that I just got back a week ago from attending a Master Class led by #1 NYT Bestselling author Deborah Harkness. It was held at Hedgebrook, a magical area of land on Whidbey Island, about two hours outside of Seattle that is dedicated to advancing female writers.

I found out in mid-January that Deb would be teaching a class on using history in fiction when she tweeted about it. At first, I didn’t think I could afford it, but then a wise soul (my mom) pointed out that it would not only be a great opportunity to learn about writing, but also allow me to cross off several items from my bucket list (meet Deb Harkness, take a class from her, go on a real writing retreat, see the Pacific Northwest). So I applied and was one of six writers chosen. Deb later told us that she hand-picked us because she saw potential in us and our writing, plus we were creating stories about strong women that she wanted to read. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday, Gloria Steinem

Posted on March 25th, 2014 by Ann Hedreen

Happy Birthday, Gloria Steinem. If you are what eighty looks like, then there is hope in this world. And it is high time I thanked you for a few things.

First: Six years ago, for two weeks of my life, you gave me courage to get out of bed. It was April 2008. A cold April: frost every day, even a few snow flurries. Each morning, I huddled under the covers in the loft of Owl Cottage, reading your brilliant book of essays, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Read the rest of this entry »

How Hedgebrook Sheltered Me from the Cossacks

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by Elaine Elinson

I brought my grandmother with me to my last residency at Hedgebrook.  Together we settled into Oak Cottage, lit the fire, put the water on for tea.

Over the next two weeks, with her photo as my screensaver, I pored through her diaries, lovingly handwritten in pencil, in Yiddish, on yellowing paper held together by fraying and chipped brown cardboard covers.

In the comfort of the cottage, I tried to shape a story from her stories.  Should it be about her working until midnight in a Chicago garment factory, wishing she were a poet?  Should it be about a lost love, the one who married another but still slid his hand on her thigh at political meetings?  Should I start with me reading the diaries or her harrowing tale of having to leave Russia after the pogroms terrorized Jews in her shtetl and all around her. Read the rest of this entry »