A New Writing Retreat in Walla Walla

Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Hedgebrook Guest

I feel oddly indebted to a less fortunate unnamed writer, without whose misfortune I wouldn’t have enjoyed one of the most satisfying experiences of my life: attending Claiming Your Truth, with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, last year. I’d applied when the class was already full and so I was waitlisted. And then the call came on Sunday afternoon, with the retreat already in progress: A writer had fallen and broken her leg. Would I be interested in taking her spot? My husband had invited nine of his colleagues over for dinner the following night, Monday—associates from all over the world. Cook or leave my husband in the lurch and go off and retreat? I was ready to beg and cook in advance. My wonderful husband quickly assented and lasagnas, appetizers and salads were hurriedly prepared. I was going to Hedgebrook for six days to write. Just to write. To give and receive feedback on writing. In the company of writers. Read the rest of this entry »

Holding Each Other Up Hedgebrook Style

Posted on December 11th, 2014 by Hedgebrook Guest

“We’ll need to hold each other up.” That’s what Anita Gail Jones Roerick (Fir 94) wrote in an email when I informed her of my plan to launch a support group for women writing our first books. I hadn’t met her; all I knew was that she was a Hedgebrook alum (94).

In the fall of 2009, shortly after my first summer residency, Hedgebrook staff spearheaded the formation of leadership councils in a number of cities. I had the good fortune of attending a meeting and becoming part of the council in the Bay Area. The Hedgebrook Mothership, as we called it, was somewhat vague about what it wanted councils to do and gave us space to coordinate activities that grew organically out of the interests of local alums.

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What You Read Matters

Posted on December 4th, 2014 by Hedgebrook Staff

Who’s on your reading list?

On a daily basis we encounter various perspectives in the news we read online, our literary entertainment, the movies we see, and the songs we hear. Often, who we hear from is just as important as the message itself.

According to recent statistics, women make up the majority of those writing, reading and buying books, but are significantly less likely to be published or reviewed by major literary establishments. Only 17% of plays produced around the US are written by women. Women accounted for only 10% of the workforce of film writers in 2014.

We believe that storytellers shape our culture, and that who gets to tell the story is a critical question.

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Bookshelves Full of Women Writers

Posted on December 2nd, 2014 by Hedgebrook Staff
Practicing international teddy bear negotiation skills at age seven.

Practicing international teddy bear negotiation skills at age seven.

When I was a little girl growing up in the suburbs of Madison, Wisconsin, I was convinced that I would grow up to be president.

I was an only child and attracted to situations where I was in charge. While some might call it bossiness, I’d prefer to reframe it as early evidence of leadership skills.

Always eager to raise my hand with the correct answer, I was straight A student in school. I savored parent teacher conferences, as I would ask to sit in on them, so I could be showered with the praise of my teachers. Read the rest of this entry »

Pregnant With Possibility

Posted on November 25th, 2014 by Hedgebrook Guest

My son pulled the nipple from his mouth and Coke shot straight up his nose. He snorted, and coughed. I shushed him. He was barely heavy enough to hold the movie seat in the down position. Before 6pm a movie cost two dollars; my son got in free since he was still in diapers. The movie was Purple Rain. We were watching it for the fifth time.

In the middle of my first year of high school, I became pregnant with my son. I was fifteen, and amazingly, knew everything. Nobody could tell me how to live my life. I planned to leave school, have my baby (who would adore me at all times) get an apartment with a hammock for a bed, and a fancy job at an office. There, I would wear cat-eye glasses, and a pencil skirt, while taking dictation. First, I’d need to learn dictation, but that was a technicality. Read the rest of this entry »