Friday, August 24, 2012

The 2013 Hedgebrook WA Retreat for Women Writers

Post date: Friday, August 24, 2012
Deadline: 10 September 2012

Hedgebrook retreat for women writers is on Whidbey Island, about thirty-five miles northwest of Seattle. Situated on 48-acres of forest and meadow facing Puget Sound, with a view of Mount Rainier, the retreat hosts women writers from all over the world for residencies of two to six weeks, 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 or on nearby Double Bluff beach. In the evenings, they gather in the farmhouse kitchen to share a home-cooked gourmet meal, their work, their process and their stories. The Writers in Residence Program is Hedgebrook’s core program, supporting the no-cost residencies of approximately 40 women writers at the retreat each year.

Hedgebrook also invites several established women writers to be in residence each year. These invitational residencies expand Hedgebrook’s community to include high-profile writers who embody Hedgebrook’s spirit and mission. Invited writers stay in a 7th residence, Meadowhouse, originally the groundskeeper’s cottage. In exchange for their residency, Invited writers offer to raise Hedgebrook’s visibility in the world by being guests of honor and keynote speakers at our public events.

NOTE: In celebration of our 25th anniversary, Hedgebrook is dedicating our entire 2013 season to Alumnae of our Writers in Residence Program, placing all new residencies on hold for a year. The application for the 2014 season will be available in June of 2013.

NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS: Decision results will be emailed to you by mid-December 2012.

ELIGIBILITY: Hedgebrook is open to all women writers, published or not, without regard to race, religion, nationality, age, professional experience, sexual orientation, place of residence, or economic background. To be eligible for a 2013 Alumnae Celebration Residency, you must have previously received a Writers In Residence stay, and thoroughly and thoughtfully completed the 2013 application. Your application will be reviewed by Alumnae Leadership Council peers. All acceptably answered applications will be submitted into a final round lottery weighted to ensure the greatest diversity of residencies.

FEES: There is no fee for residency. A non-refundable processing fee of $15.00 (U.S. currency) is requested with each application. Application fees must be paid by credit card.

DEFERRALS: If you are awarded a residency but are unable to accept your invitation, you will need to reapply. Residencies may not be deferred beyond the residency season for which you applied.

2013 ALUMNAE CELEBRATION RESIDENCY SEASON: Alumnae Celebration Residencies are awarded for one to two weeks, from the beginning of March through the end of October, 2013.


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 writer’s books, serves as a gathering place for residents to converse and share their work.


Our selection process occurs once a year, in the fall. Through a completely anonymous, two-round process, approximately forty writers are invited for residencies of two weeks to six weeks. Our residency season runs from February to November.

In the first round, applications are carefully reviewed by Hedgebrook alumnae. Working in pairs, they read each application and consider how the applicant would benefit from a Hedgebrook residency. Out of this round, approximately 100 applications move to round two.

In the second round, a Selection Committee comprised of writers, educators, agents, literary managers and editors read the applications 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.


For queries: contact Residency Director, Vito Zingarelli at

For submissions: apply via the online application page