“Clifford Henderson writes with depth and ease. Her writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

Novels by Clifford Henderson

Rest Home Runaways


Maye’s Request


Spanking New


The Middle of Somewhere


About Clifford

Baffled by reality, Clifford Henderson has fashioned a life where she can spend most of her time in make believe. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including a Foreword Magazine Gold Medal Book of the Year, an Independent Publisher’s Book Award, a Golden Crown Literary Award, a Rainbow Award, and several Lesbian Fiction Reader’s Choice Awards. When not writing, Clifford and her partner of twenty years run the Fun Institute, a school of improv and solo performance where they teach the art of collective pretending. They are the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Gail Rich Award for their cultural contributions to Santa Cruz County. Clifford is currently working on a fifth novel.

Recent Thoughts


I know, I know, it’s the thing you never thought you’d hear me say: “Dixie and I got married!”

Cutting Tomatoes at Esalen Institute

One of my oldest friends recently told me a story about herself that involved a place I love. The friend has asked that I give her a pseudonym, so I’ll call her Wise Old Owl. The place is Esalen Institute. If you’ve never heard of Esalen, it’s time you did.

” … the Garrison Keillor of lesbian fiction.”


Maye’s Request

“All in all, (Maye’s Request) is an uneasy reunion of an unorthodox family, further complicated by a shocking adolescent secret that Jake has been keeping from Jen for decades.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“(In Maye’s Request) Clifford Henderson takes the reader on a frightening journey of physical, emotional and spiritual illness to a place of love, enlightenment, healing and forgiveness.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“(Henderson’s) writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“Henderson grabs her readers in a firm grip and never lets go. The Middle of Somewhere is a wonderful laugh-out-loud read filled with pathos, hope, and new beginnings.”

– RLynne, Just About Write

“Spanky, the narrator of this delicious novel, [Spanking New], is an unborn baby who can flit from one character’s thoughts and emotions to another’s – a storytelling perspective that, from a less able author, might have come off as a diaper-load of a gimmick. …Already a “best” of 2010.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“While the author addresses serious issues, [Spanking New] is fun, fun, fun!  The playfulness, curiosity and fresh naivety as portrayed through the eyes of the storyteller is refreshing and often humorous.   It is pure genius on Henderson’s part to write from this perspective.”

– Anita Kelly, LGBT Coordinator,
Muhlenberg College

“Funny and touching, this story held my interest and kept me turning the pages.  Ms Henderson’s novel is brilliantly written and full of delightful observation. It would make a wonderful movie in the style of ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.”




Clifford & Dixie as Earl & Bubba
A short clip from “The Grapes of Laugh,” a completely improvised play by Loose Cannon Theater, the improv troupe which Clifford and Dixie artistic direct.

An improvised story by Clifford—part of “Nightfall,” another show by Loose Cannon Theater.


“Power in the Blood”
Actor/playwright Clifford Henderson, in a 1999 performance of “Power in the Blood,” a monologue she wrote.