Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come.
THE RETREATHedgebrook is on Whidbey Island, about thirty-five miles northwest of Seattle. Situated on 48-acres of forest and meadow facing Puget Sound, the retreat hosts women writers from all over the world for residencies of two weeks to two months, at no cost to the writer. Residents are housed in six handcrafted cottages, where they spend their days in solitude – writing, reading, taking walks in the woods on the property, on nearby Double Bluff beach or trails around the island. In the evenings, they gather in the farmhouse kitchen to share a home-cooked gourmet meal, their work, their process and their stories. The women who come to Hedgebrook are writing in all genres, and are of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and levels of writing experience.
WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
Application & Selection Process
Our selection process occurs once a year, in the fall. Out of a field of several hundred applicants, approximately forty writers are selected for residency each year through a two-round process.
In the first round, applications are carefully reviewed by Hedgebrook alumnae. Working in pairs, they read each applicant’s essays and consider how she would benefit from a Hedgebrook residency. Out of this round, approximately 80 applications move to round two.
In the second round, a Selection Committee comprised of writers, educators, agents, literary managers and editors read the applicant’s essays and writing samples and rank each writer according to the following criteria: quality of writing, originality of voice and strength of proposal, with an eye toward diversity in all areas.
Approximately forty writers are invited for residencies of two weeks
to six weeks. Our residency season runs from February to November.
Applications are made available each summer in mid-June for the
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. 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 writer’s 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 solely
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 writer’s books, serves as a gathering place for residents to converse and share their work.
Download application form from here: