Master Classes combine Hedgebrook's retreat experience with the unique opportunity to be in residence and study with a celebrated teacher on beautiful Whidbey Island.
Creative writing workshops in a diversity of formats and genres are offered to women writers at all levels of experience. Participation in each class is limited to 6-8 writers, to ensure individual attention, and create an intimate, supportive writing community.
Master Class experience: We offer a variety of classes to suit writers at different levels of experience and phases in the writing process. Some are generative, designed to inspire new projects or breakthroughs in your process, while others focus on craft or developing a project already underway. Over the course of the week, teachers give generously of their time: leading a series of writing workshops, talks on craft and constructive group feedback sessions, meeting one-on-one with each writer, and sharing evening meals with the group. Writers also enjoy time in retreat to write and rejuvenate.
Retreat experience: Each writer is housed in her own handcrafted cottage in the woods. Delicious meals are prepared by Hedgebrook's chefs, featuring produce harvested from our organic garden. Our land features beautiful wooded walking trails, ponds and meadows teeming with wildlife, nearby Double Bluff beach, and breathtaking views across Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier in the distance. While the setting is rural, nearby towns offer shops and amenities.
Please note: Each Master Class has a priority deadline listed below, and classes often fill with a wait list. Applications are reviewed by Hedgebrook staff and teachers on a rolling basis, so we strongly recommend interested writers apply by or before the priority deadline.
If you have questions about whether a specific Master Class is appropriate for you or your project, or any other question about the Series, please be in touch with us at 360-321-4786.
2014 Master Classes
Past Tense: History as Resource and Inspiration
Dates: March 3-10, 2014
History is full of characters. Writers use the past, whether it’s the personal past or the historical past, as resource and inspiration, to enrich, inform and shape their work. In this class we'll view history as a playground for your process, starting with character as the root. We’ll address questions of how much "truth" do you need, how much "story," and what is the right amount of detail. Through writing exercises, we’ll explore ways to plumb historical materials so that they open up fresh ideas, new characters, or scenes in your work, freeing your imagination rather than becoming a strait jacket that confines you. The story doesn’t have to be 100% "right" in every historical detail to be "true."
Open to writers in any genre at any level, at any stage in the process, from generative to works already in progress. If you have a question about whether this class is right for you, please be in touch.
Wrestling with the Problem Child
Karen Joy Fowler
Karen Joy Fowler has had her share of "problem children" to contend with in her work, and she's discovered that wrestling with them has been rewarding and fruitful. A prolific cross-genre writer, Karen has produced beloved works of fiction and science fiction; most recently the stunning We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves released in 2013 and hailed by Barbara Kingsolver as "...a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get..." Previous works include Sarah Canary, Sister Noon and The Jane Austen Book Club, and several short story collections, including What I Didn't See. Learn more at www.karenjoyfowler.com
Priority deadline: May 12, 2014
Fee: $2400 (Covers lodging, meals and workshops; all taxes included. A portion is tax-deductible, and payment plans are possible. Please note that we are unable to offer financial aid or scholarships for this program, since it provides a vitally needed earned income stream for Hedgebrook.)
Our six hand-crafted cottages–Oak, Fir, Owl, Cedar, Willow and Waterfall–were designed by architect Chuck Dougherty, who worked with the Amish in Pennsylvania. While all the cottages have a similar design, they are built of a variety of woods and have unique color schemes and furnishings. Stained glass windows, pottery sinks, and other features were designed and crafted by local artisans.
Each cottage has an upstairs sleeping loft with a hand built double bed, lamps, rocking chair, chest of drawers, and a small closet. With advance notice, it is possible to accommodate a bed downstairs for those who don't feel they can climb the ship ladder to the loft. The main floor has a work area with ample desk space, a sitting area with window seat looking out into the woods, and a comfortable, overstuffed armchair. Bookshelves have space for the writer’s personal library, as well as a cottage journal in which each resident is invited to make entries during her stay. With entries dating from Hedgebrook’s genesis in 1988, the journals are the cottage’s living legacy–and a way for writers to connect with those who have come before, and those will come after her stay.
A small half-bathroom and a fully equipped efficiency kitchen finish out the main floor. All cottages have electricity and are heated primarily by wood stoves. Writers share a centrally located bathhouse equipped with two showers, old-fashioned bathtub, two sinks, drawers for each cottage, heated floors and a washer/dryer.
The historic Farmhouse is the center of the Hedgebrook community, where residents gather for dinner at a table overlooking Deer Lagoon and Puget Sound. All meals are prepared by Hedgebrook’s chefs, using organic food from our garden and local farmers. The Farmhouse living room, with a library full of Hedgebrook writers books, serves as a gathering place for residents to converse and share their work.