By Donna Miscolta

Why and How I Made a Book Trailer

“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

By Sheila deShields

No Longer Missing

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

By Iquo B. Essien

Hedgebrook(lyn)

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

By Lesley McClurg

The Art of Communicating

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

By Jackie Shannon Hollis

Writing in the Small Moments

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

By Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

A RADICAL ACT

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser

Twenty years ago, Anita Hill sat in front of a Senate hearing and told her truth at the intersection of race and gender.  She was publically pilloried by a panel of white men. This weekend, at Hunter College, Anita Hill was celebrated by a sold-out, star-studded conference, whose participants had a chance to thank her for enduring what she has so that women today could stand on her shoulders.

After a full conference day, the evening was filled with stories, in a hot ticket night of performances curated by Eve Ensler.  But throughout the day, there was a clear refrain that will resonate with all women writers.    Read more

By Amy Wheeler

SEX, POWER AND SPEAKING TRUTH

“I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me.”

~ Anita Hill, in response to Clarence Thomas’ 2007 autobiography

Two decades ago, a young female attorney with humble Oklahoma roots held America spellbound as she “spoke truth to power” on national television.

The year was 1991 and Anita Hill’s courageous testimony, delivered during the nominations process for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, raised the country’s awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace.

I remember being riveted to the television for the duration of the hearings, being shocked by the lewd comments and come-ons Hill reported Thomas making while she worked with him. But my outrage flared when the panel of all-white, all-male Senators began interrogating Hill, as if she were on trial.   Read more

By Kathlene Postma

A Room of One’s Own, One Way or Another

What I wanted for Christmas for ten years in a row was simple and impossible: A room of my own. Our house is a cozy bungalow, we have three young daughters (who will soon no doubt be asking for rooms of their own), and by the time the issue became pressing—I was desperate for a quiet space to write—the housing market convinced us to stay put. Small is the new big enough.

Except I really wanted—no needed—my own room.

  Read more

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