Bookshelves Full of Women Writers

By Hedgebrook Staff

Categories: Women's Voices,
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.

The one hiccup in these parent teacher conferences was the question that my mother asked of all my English teachers:

“What is the ratio of female to male authors you’re teaching my daughter?”

I remember that the teachers would shift in their chairs uncomfortably. I was perplexed. Partly because the attention was no longer focused on me, and partly because I didn’t yet comprehend the weight and importance of this question. It made my teachers squirm, year after year.

By now, I’ve hung up my presidential aspirations. In some ways, I miss my younger self and her confidence. As an adult, my voice doesn’t ring out as loudly or with as much certainty as it once did. In a way, I feel like I’m learning to reclaim my voice a little bit each day.

I have the great honor of working for Hedgebrook. We’re all about empowering women writers. Our mission statement: 

Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come.

I now understand why my mother asked my English teachers that question. My work at Hedgebrook has helped me realized the gravity of it. And I’m proud that she had the courage to ask.

Today is Giving Tuesday. It follows the frenzy of holiday shopping that spanned Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Thousands of people across the world donate to the non-profit organizations of their choice. Please consider making a gift to Hedgebrook.

Jane

Sharing a laugh with one of my favorite writers, Jane Hamilton, at VORTEXT.

Think of it this way: instead of (or in addition to) sponsoring an animal to help end hunger, your donation helps to sponsor a writer. This writer will be given the time and space to write at Hedgebrook and create work that will fill the bookshelves at home and in classrooms. This will help us achieve a world where mothers can stop asking about the ratio of female to male authors their daughters are reading at school.

 

P.S. If you donate online today, I’ll pick out a piece of Hedgebrook merchandise to send you along with your thank you letter!

 

 

 

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Katie Woodzick is a feminist, actor, director, writer and videographer. She is passionate about non-profits and arts organizations and currently works as an External Relations Manager for Hedgebrook. Learn more at http://www.katiewoodzick.squarespace.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members. 

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