SMC Hosts Hedgebrook One-Day Women's Writing Retreat

The MFA Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary's College and Hedgebrook, the prestigious women's writing retreat and nonprofit, announce Bridging: A One-Day Hedgebrook Writing Retreat for writers who identify as women. Held on Saint Mary's beautiful campus on Saturday, June 10, 2017, the second annual retreat is rooted in the student-centered immersive writing approach of Hedgebrook and will feature a keynote address by award-winning writer Karen Joy Fowler.  The keynote address by Fowler is also free and open to the public.

Karen Joy FowlerThe author of seven novels and three short story collections, Fowler's most recent novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was the winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award and the California Book Award for Fiction. Her book, The Jane Austen Book Club, spent 13 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011.

Hedgebrook is a 28-year-old nonprofit dedicated to supporting women and non-binary writers across a broad spectrum, including age, citizenship status, current place of residence nationality, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and economic resources and professional experience. More than 50 percent of Hedgebrook’s alumnae are women of color, and come from all over the world and all walks of life.

“Hedgebrook is thrilled to bring the radical hospitality we practice at our retreat on Whidbey Island in Washington to SMC’s extraordinary MFA program and writing community,” said Hedgebrook Executive Director Amy Wheeler “There is such good synergy in our shared vision to create space for women to come together, in solitude and community, to write, think, engage in big ideas and work together in the movement for equal voice in the cultural conversation for women.”

Saint Mary’s MFA Creative Writing Program Associate Director Sara Mumolo said the Bridging retreat reflects a mission match between Hedgebrook and the graduate program. “We felt a deep connection between Hedgebrook's philosophy of putting radical kindness first and women writing for change within our own social justice tradition, which is unique to our MFA program.” 

During the retreat, attendees can participate in workshop sessions on developing artist statements and press kits; exploring story, plot, and character development, and flash nonfiction; and gain important insights into applying for writing residencies. Participants work with celebrated authors and receive important feedback on their work from other Bay Area women writers and Hedgebrookalumnae, who include Saint Mary’s MFA Creative Writing Program faculty and graduates. 

Where: Hagerty Lounge, De La Salle Hall, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, Calif. 94575.

When: 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday, June 10, 2017

7:30 p.m. Karen Joy Fowler Keynote (Soda Center)

Cost: $130—Includes keynote by Karen Joy Fowler, choice of one of four writing workshops, happy hour reception (non-alcoholic options available), three meals with evening cake and coffee (vegan and gluten-free options available), and networking opportunities with Bay Area women writers groups. Limited partial scholarships are available.

For more details about the Bridging: A One-Day Hedgebrook Writing Retreat between Hedgebrook and the Saint Mary's MFA Creative Writing Program, contact Bridging coordinator Joanne Furio at 415-686-8695 or by email at Learn more about the retreat online at

Founded in 1995, the Saint Mary's MFA Program in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study leading to the MFA degree in creative fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. More than 350 students have received degrees from the MFA in Creative Writing program. Alumni have published over 60 books, been published in numerous journals and periodicals, and won many distinguished literary prizes.