By Hedgebrook Guest

The Prize is in the Process

Another year, another Hedgebrook application. Okay, so actually this was just my second time to apply, but it’s already feeling like a periodic exercise in futility, kind of like cleaning the dog-hair off the sofa, or casting my vote as a democrat living in East Texas. And yet, just like cleaning and voting, it’s important to remember that the prize is in the process, not the outcome. The truth is, I’ve already reaped a benefit from Hedgebrook and all I did was answer a few questions and pay them $30.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Interview with Strays Author Jennifer Caloyeras

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Caloyeras, author of Strays (published by Ashland Creek Press in May). Jennifer will be back in coming weeks with an excerpt from the book and more. ~ Sheila Webster Boneham

 

Sheila: Tell us a bit about your latest book.

Jennifer: My latest novel, Strays, is about a teenage girl with anger issues who is sentenced to a summer rehabilitating aggressive dogs. Here, she’s matched up with a three-legged pit bull rescue named Roman, who ends up teaching Iris more than she ever thought possible.    Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

The Insidious Promise of “Busy busy busy”

Each time I forced myself go to the old rocking chair in the little cabin on the Mojave mesa, and just sit, I told myself that I was hugely lucky.  I’d signed for an improvised 45-day in-home treatment program. I’d agreed to not use any of the multitude of fixes I suspected no longer worked; to check in with my sponsor regularly; and to stop everytime I wanted to get busy.  “You’re lucky,” I muttered. “You’re not raising a handful of grandkids because one of your own children is a tweaker.  The rent’s paid for this month and you’ve still got a few hundred bucks left on your credit cards and a social security check.  You have nowhere to be for most of the day.  You aren’t battling multiple sclerosis or cancer or dementia.  You are responsible for no one except for the ungrateful cats and yourself.  You’ve always taught your students to embrace the Big Nothing.  Well, wrap your arms around It, woman.”   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Meeting With The Mentor

Mentors come at unexpected times and in surprising places. Sometimes we seek them, and sometimes they just show up and offer exactly what we need.

My most unexpected meeting with a mentor happened by chance in a Seattle coffee shop.

The time was 2003, and the place was Victrola, a favorite Capitol Hill espresso bar, around the corner from my apartment. I’d moved to Seattle from grad school in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and was supporting myself with odd jobs I’d cobbled together: a couple of teaching gigs, and a part-time job in the receiving department of the City People’s Mercantile. Making ends meet.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

The Zig Zag Festival

“Women authoring change.” Women are the driving force behind a lot of what I do, during my day job and in theatre. I see women promoting the ideas, laying the ground work for what’s to come, and making the decisions, specially at my artistic home, Annex Theatre.

Annex Theatre has become a place for women to author change in Seattle. For nearly 30 years, Annex has continued to produce bold new work while maintaining deep traditions of operating in a unique anarcho-democratic structure.   Read more

By Ellen Sussman

Knocking at Hedgebrook’s Door

Originally published June 19, 2014, this post by Ellen Sussman remains one of our most popular blog posts. We are re-posting it because we received an update from Ellen she wanted us to share with you. 

UPDATE 7/2015: When I posted this blog about my many years of Hedgebrook applications and my many rejection letters — then finally… an acceptance! — I didn’t expect the strong response from readers. One woman told me she had taken her rejection so personally that she had stopped writing for a while. Other women told me they certainly wouldn’t apply again after a few years (only a few years?!!) of rejection. Months later something wonderful happened — many of those same women emailed me to say that they took another chance. They applied again. And this time, they got in. 

And some women emailed me to say: well, I didn’t get in. Again. But I’ll keep trying. 

Here’s another chance, fearless women writers. Take a risk. Apply for a residency at Hedgebrook. Believe in yourself and your writing. It’s essential to what we do.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Three Weeks at Hedgebrook

The year was 1996. I recently finished graduate school and had started teaching in the California Poets in the Schools program.

Desperate to complete my first book, I wanted to find time and space just to write. Though I lived alone in a small cottage by a creek, I was constantly teaching, reading, commenting on the poems of my students, making ends meet. I was involved with many friendships and embroiled in family matters. It’s an old story.

I needed to find sustained, unburdened-by-demands-of-real-life time to put pen to paper. I needed space and quiet to focus. So I applied to Hedgebrook. I applied for a six-week stay. I applied during the summer, when I wouldn’t be teaching.    Read more

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