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Women Authoring Change at Oak Spring

Blog Posts

Women Authoring Change at Oak Spring


A Writing Residency in Partnership with Hedgebrook

We are excited to announce a new residency program in partnership with Hedgebrook– a literary arts nonprofit that supports women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. Hedgebrook is based on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest and has supported all genres of women writers for 30+ years creating a global community of women storytellers influencing the cultural conversation.

Six women writers will be awarded a residency on the Oak Spring estate for 3.5 weeks from August 2-28, 2020. The women writers must be influenced by a sense of place, including the natural world and humankind’s place in it, which aligns with Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s (OSGF’s) mission to engage and inspire people in the world of plants.

This new Hedgbrook-affiliated residency joins OSGF’s growing number of Residencies for artists, scholars, researchers, and writers. The Hedgebrook-OSGF awardees  will follow a modified version of the OSGF residency model designed to embrace the ‘radical hospitality’ that is a cornerstone of Hedgebrook residencies. The writers taking part in the Hedgebrook-affiliated residency will have a chef living on-site and creating their own culinary works of art to fuel the resident’s work. The chef will be utilizing produce from our newly-minted Bio-Cultural Conservation Farm (BCCF).

“We’re so lucky to be able to dip into Hedgebrook’s competitive pool of applicants, leverage their long-standing processes for recruiting, selection, and building alumnae community; and infuse their residency model into our own. In turn, we’re able to open up more opportunities to women writers who are tackling pressing issues concerning the natural world,” says Marguerite Harden, OSGF’s Program Officer. “It’s a win-win-win for Oak Spring, Hedgebrook, and, of course, women writers who will benefit from the experience.”

“We celebrate the intersection of Hedgebrook’s deep commitment to centering women’s stories, with Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s inspiring commitment to centering Bunny Mellon’s legacy of beauty - in art, literature and nature,” says Hedgebrook Executive Director Amy Wheeler. “We’re thrilled by the synergy, and the opportunity to co-create this exciting new space for women writers to bring their visions and ideas to the page.”

The Hedgebrook partnership continues OSGF support to women leaders, which really began with our founder, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, who was a self-taught horticulturist and encouraged women to pursue education and their interests. Utilizing the resources held in the Oak Spring Garden Library, OSGF has worked to increase awareness of women botanical artists by curating digital exhibits in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, and by supporting the digitization of works by women artists in the collections at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Foundation also recently supported a documentary on one of America’s most significant female landscape architects, called “Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes,” which premiered in March. 

 To Apply

 Applications are now open through Hedgebrook’s call for applications, with a deadline of Tuesday, July 23.  From this Writers in Residence page, scroll to the bottom, where you will see application information and an “Apply” button to begin your application. This application includes a section where you can indicate your interest in being considered for the program at OSGF.