About Ryder

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Ryder Ziebarth holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College in Executive Coaching, and a BA in Communications and Creative Writing from New England College, including a year at The University of London, studying Art History and English Literature. 

As founder and director of the Cedar Ridge Writers Series, she hosts one-day workshops featuring guest instructors and speakers world-wide. Ryder is  currently an associate editor with Brevity: A Concise Journal of Literary Nonfiction.  She is also a committee member with the Nantucket Book Festival in Nantucket, MA.

An avid seat-of-the-pants gardener, Ryder has chaired the Garden History and Design committee for the Somerset Hills Garden Club for more than a decade. This years, she will be the New Jersey Zone IV Garden History and Design representation for the Garden Club of American, guiding the seventeen clubs in that Zone.    

Her thirty-acre hay farm and gardens are listed with The Archives of the American Gardens of the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.,which is dedicated to preserving and documenting unique and important gardens and landscape architecture throughout the United States.

Ryder who’s interest in American history is deep, is a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New Jersey and a Mayflower descendant. In 1998, she was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Jacobus Vanderveer House in Bedminster, New Jersey, a meeting place for General George Washington and General Henry Knox during the Revolutionary War. The house is now listed as a historical and national landmark and museum.

Her current work has appeared in N Magazine, The New York Times, Punctuate, The Brevity Blog, Tiferet, Assay, Proximity,  Punctuate, Hippocampus, Signal Mountain Review, Talking Writing, and  Minerva Rising Press, plus other literary journals, blogs, and newspapers.

 She spent her childhood on Cedar Ridge Farm, an 18th century hay and black Angus operation, living with her parents and siblings, great-grandmother, grandparents, an uncle, visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides of her family. She then moved to Redding, Connecticut with her parents in 1967 at age twelve.  After college, and twenty plus years of working  in New York City, she was able to move back to Cedar Ridge 1995.

Ryder is currently writing about her childhood there, emphasizing gratitude to her parents who made it possible for her and her husband, Michael, to purchase, restore the house and property .

You can listen to the story of her farm as told to Jennifer Jewell, host of NPR’s Cultivating Place, a weekly gardening radio broadcast.

The farm is full with family, friends, horses, a host of wildlife, and three West Highland Terriers: Petal, Atticus Finch, and a puppy named Nick.