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By Jenny Neill

Writer Residencies: Oh the Places You’ll Go

The Hedgebrook Alumnae Leadership hosted a panel discussion about writer residencies and conferences at Hugo House on Wednesday, October 24. Many Seattle Writergrrls were among those who packed the room that night to hear advice from Susan Rich, Donna Miscolta, and Claudia Rowe. While much of the discussion covered retreats, the speakers also touched on finding grants to help offset costs for programs that don’t offer a full ride.

Susan Rich, an accomplished poet, has attended over 10 residencies all over the world. Novelist Donna Micolta has already participated in more than half a dozen writer programs despite having started writing seriously later in life. Claudia Rowe is presently in the Jack Straw Writers Program and left New York City to move to Seattle after her residency at Hedgebrook.

Each panelist spoke about how to find residency programs and how to prepare for the experience once accepted. Rich encouraged us to reach for our dreams while treating the search for the right placement like trying to get into grad school. She stressed staying organized, creating a cohesive narrative, and conducting research because no two writer or artist communities have the same mission or culture. Talking to past residents is a great way to decide whether and when to apply.   Read more

By Humanities Washington

5 Questions for Amy Wheeler on Hedgebrook and the LGBTQ Themes in Her Plays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Wheeler came looking for a place to write … and stayed.

Since 2006 the playwright has held a “day job” as executive director of Hedgebrook, a 24-year-old retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, where she first came seeking a place to craft her stage plays.

While Hedgebrook has granted creators including author-activist Gloria Steinem, erotic novelist Megan Clark, and poets Carolyn Forché and Suheir Hammad a relaxed space to fulfill their work, it’s also given Wheeler a fulcrum on which to balance the demands of steering a major nonprofit and concocting drama that rewards an audience.

“I’m writing more than ever now,” Wheeler says, “and I’m very, very excited about the new work I’m generating.”

Wheeler earned her master’s from the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop and proceeded to create eight produced plays – some of them gestated at Hedgebrook, where she first came after winning a residency in 2002. That year, she wrote her first draft of a three-act play during five days in a Hedgebrook cottage … and the production went into rehearsal two months later. Her gratitude to Hedgebrook led her to join the board the following year, and finally throw her hat in for the directorship.   Read more

By Storme Webber

Estrogeniously Yours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estrogenius; a form of brilliance found only in the thoughts and imaginations of women. See: Hedgebrook.

So of course Hedgebrook brought the voices of women to Seattle’s art fest Bumbershoot, bringing five writer/performers (including visionary Director/author Amy Wheeler) to the Words & Ideas stage.

Storme Webber, Karen Finneyfrock, Tara Hardy & Rose Mc Aleese made up the chorus of intertwined and solo voices and it was good.     Read more

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