Why and How I Made a Book Trailer

By Donna Miscolta

“Look, Mom. I wrote a book!”

Approval from Mom. That’s all we want, isn’t it? Well, maybe when we were three and Mom equaled the world. But now, isn’t it the world’s attention we’re really after? Okay, maybe not the world. But some very modest portion of it. A sliver.

Because writers spend a good amount of time writing, rewriting and worrying over it, because we endure rejection and self-doubt, we imagine that in recompense our book will at long last arrive, if not to pageantry and spectacle, then at least to some applause, a salute, a thumbs up.

Which did happen back in June to me and Wendy Call at our joint book launch party where we felt feted, buoyed by well-wishers. But once the guests had left, the musicians had packed up their instruments, and we had folded up and hauled away the rented chairs, well, the party was over. The manager of the gallery wasted no time in pushing a broom across the floor to remove the remnants—candy wrappers, napkins, toothpicks, paper plates, and fallen petals from congratulatory bouquets. Soon the room was clean. Empty, except for the question insinuated by the pile of post-party debris: Now what?   Read more

No Longer Missing

By Sheila deShields

We may be exiled, or considered black sheep, if we go away or astray.  Not so with Hedgebrook.  Somehow my email address was lost for ten years, and then they found me, and life hasn’t been the same since.   Read more

Hedgebrook(lyn)

By Iquo B. Essien

A small group of alums met for a day of writing, reading and fellowship at Hedgebrook(lyn)—organized by alums Mary Armstrong and Holly Morris, who runs the PowderKeg, an urban writers’ retreat where we met.

At ten o’clock in the morning we had tea and fruit and chatter in the kitchen.  We later planted ourselves at a handful of ancient writing tables spread throughout the loft, overlooking a row of windows with a view of Flatbush Avenue.  I picked a table in the center of the room, just far enough from the windows that I wouldn’t be tempted to stare outside. Sitting there in quiet community, a story visited me about black women, depression and suicide that has been circling my creative mind for years.  It is something like Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, but different.   Read more

Hedgebrook Vocals

By Nancy Bardue

At Hedgebrook, when you hear “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all…” the call is not coming from the Farmhouse kitchen but from the depths of the forest. Our vocal – often loud mouthed – resident Barred Owls are making all the racket. Indeed, most alums can attest to waking up in the middle of the night from “noises like I have never heard before” or “a sound that scared the sh*t out of me”! It’s really fun when writers come to the office and verbally try to imitate the call, “No, no it was more like a hooooaahh, hooooaahh!” I love that they are also called Le Chat-huant du Nord (french for The Hooting Cat of the North).

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The Art of Communicating

By Lesley McClurg

My job is to communicate information. The method and means change depending on what professional role I’m playing. Some days I use flyers, e-blasts, newsletters and the universe of social media to promote events and news about Hedgebrook. On other days I am a journalist working for either public television or radio. Whether I’m marketing or reporting, I’m required to use a number of different tools to try and capture an audience’s attention. And this tool kit seems to be growing exponentially by the day. It’s hard to keep up with the varying social media sites, broadcast outlets and electronic devices continually hitting the market.   Read more

Writing in the Small Moments

By Jackie Shannon Hollis

For awhile, after three delicious weeks at Hedgebrook, I thought maybe the problem had become worse, that Hedgebrook had ruined me for anything but long interrupted spells of writing. And, by long spells, I mean days and weeks, not hours. But, while it’s true that long interrupted spells bring something particularly to my writing, I know it’s not realistic, not if I want to produce. So I’ve been looking at ways to take advantage of those times when I have just a few hours, or even less. I thought it might be fun to share a couple of these techniques and it would be fun to hear some of yours.   Read more

Yvette’s Response to Exit Question # 4

By Yvette Heyliger

Dear Ones:

It is my last few hours here at Hedgebrook. I just completed my exit questionnaire and thought I’d share my response to this question:

4.  What would you like others to know about your experience here?

As an alumna (Oak 2008) I was well aware that there are many ways to be nourished as a writer in mind, body and spirit here at Hedgebrook. During my return-stay, I managed to get in all three, resulting in a well-rounded, holistic two week visit! Here are a few highlights:   Read more

Ah, The Grace of Time

By Jackie Shannon Hollis

Some of the best experiences are the hardest to describe. I began each day at Hedgebrook with a deep appreciation for the gift that was given in being selected to come here. And from the moment I stepped onto the property, I carried that gift and took it in. The staff welcomed me in an open-armed welcome. They sheltered me, as they do all of the residents here. Vito Z. gave me a tour and then showed me to Cedar cottage, my cottage for the time. It was spotlessly clean and had only and exactly what I needed (one plate, one bowl, one mug, one water glass, one wine glass…) perfect! A fire was ready to light in the woodstove. Ah, the woodstove.

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