Now through June 28, women writers can apply to Hedgebrook for a fully-funded 2-6 week residency on Whidbey Island in Washington state.
This place is magic. Matt, the kids and I visited during their Open House last September. The place is a pastoral fantasy with farm buildings, handcrafted cabins, woods, ponds, a flower garden, a farmhouse kitchen producing organic meals, and territorial views of the Puget Sound, just to name a few of its charms. Thoreau never had it so good.
The landscape is breathtaking, but what's truly beautiful about Hedgebrook is the haven of safety and support it offers its residents. Playwright Paula Vogel spoke about Hedgebrook's "radical hospitality," where women are mothered and nurtured in a culture that all too often neglects these vital aspects of a woman's development. "We spring fully-formed like Athena from the mind of Zeus," she said of this lack of mothering so many women experience, forced to adulthood and autonomy far too young, the burdens of previous generations of women laid upon our backs. Hedgebrook is a place for women to nurture and be nurtured. A tremendous gift indeed.
Whether my application finds me a place at Hedgebrook this next year or not, the charge for women to support and care for each other as creatives and as sisters is one I intend to seek out and live out wherever possible. In many ways, this is what KINDRED magazine is seeking to accomplish and I'm honored to participate in the effort alongside women I admire so completely.
Earlier today a writer friend came over for a cuppa while I showed her resources online as she prepares to query agents for the first time. Later tonight that same friend and the other women of my critique group will be meeting to offer feedback on some chapters I've been working on recently. We need each other. We really do. Radical hospitality isn't found in a place. It's a cause we carry inside us, just as surely as it is an ache we long to see fulfilled.