Bridging: A One-Day Writing Retreat

writing window
Bridging: A One-Day Writing Retreat
with Keynote Speaker Natalie Baszile

Hedgebrook and the SMC MFA in Creative Writing program at Saint Mary's College are collaborating to offer a one-day writing retreat for woman-identified, non-binary and genderqueer writers.

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2020

Time: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm 
Retreat Schedule

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575

Keynote Speaker

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile's novel, Queen Sugar, is being adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Oprah’s television network. Her new book,  We Are Each Other’s HarvestBlack Farming, Land & Memory, is forthcoming from HarperCollins (October / November 2020). 

Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Natalie has had residencies at the Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and the Djerassi Resident Arts Program where she received the SFFILM and the Bonnie Rattner Fellowships. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Lenny LetterThe Bitter SouthernerO, The Oprah Magazine, The, and a number of anthologies.  For two years, she was Writer in Residence at Saint Mary’s College where she taught a fiction workshop in the MFA Program. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie lives in San Francisco and Oakland.


Writing and Meditation

Marissa Handler

Marisa Handler—writer, singer-songwriter, teacher, and coach—is the author of the memoir Loyal to the Sky, which won a Nautilus Gold Award for world-changing books.  Her essays, fiction, journalism and poetry have appeared in The Sun, Orion,, Witness, Kosmos, Tikkun, 580 Split, and other publications.  Marisa earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has received numerous fellowships in Creative Writing, including a Fulbright, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize for 2017.  She has taught fiction and nonfiction at numerous places, including Mills College and Stanford University, and workshops on creativity, transformation, and meditation at Esalen, Spirit Rock, and the California Institute for Integral Studies.  She also works one-on-one as a Writing Coach and a Personal Transformation Coach.  Marisa is currently at work on a novel.  More at



Making a Writing Habit: The Spiral Notebook Technique

Devi Laskar

Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. The Atlas of Reds and Blues—winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the Crook’s Corner Book Prize—is her first novel. It was selected by The Georgia Center for the Book as a book “All Georgians Should Read,” long-listed for the DSC Prize in South Asian Literature, and long-listed for the Golden Poppy Award presented by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. The Atlas of Reds and Blues was named by The Washington Post as one of the best books of 2019, and has garnered praise in Time magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and elsewhere. A former newspaper reporter, Laskar is now a poet, photographer, essayist, and novelist. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


Resilience: Creating and Maintaining a Strong Personal Foundation for a Writing Life

Joyce Young

Joyce E. Young lives and writes in Berkeley, California. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and California Book Award. She has taught creative writing with California Poets in the Schools and at Smith College, The Oakland Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Oakland Public Library, and La Pena Cultural Center. She has received grants from the California Arts Council and Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She was awarded a Writers on Site residency through Poets & Writers, and residencies at Hedgebrook, Soapstone, Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a VONA and Community of Writers alumna. Her work has appeared most recently in WORDPEACE, and The Smith Alumnae Quarterly. Nomadic Press published her poetry collection How it Happens in 2018. She works as a tutor, writing coach and college instructor. She is currently writing more essays, a novella, and poetry. /Twitter @JoypoetYoung/ Instagram @joypoetry/Facebook Page: @writeinpeace




Attendee Early Bird until April 25 - $150
Attendee after April 25 - $180
Attendee with overnight accommodations** Early Bird until April 25 - $210

Attendee with overnight accommodations** after April 25 to May 15th - $240

Consider becoming a BridgeBuilder! Sponsor another writer who might otherwise not be able to attend and get early-bird pricing all the way until May 10th - $250 overnight -$310

Limited partial scholarships available. Email Ani Tascian for an application.   
Special accommodations available. Email Ani Tascian.

* Refunds are not available. Proceeds will benefit Hedgebrook and the Hedgebrook Scholarship at St. Mary's. 
**Single room, shared bath; 15 available 

Cost includes:

  • Food (two meals, happy hour with h'ordeuvres, evening cake and coffee)
    Vegan and gluten-free options available
  • Networking opportunities with Bay Area women writers' groups
  • An afternoon keynote by Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar and We Are Each Other’s HarvestBlack Farming, Land & Memory, forthcoming from HarperCollins (October / November 2020).
  • Your choice of attending all three afternoon workshops 

Funds raised from the retreat benefit Hedgebrook and the newly established Hedgebrook scholarship for a St. Mary's MFA student.

Register Now