Curiouser & Curiouser: Mindfulness for the Creative Writer

We’re so happy to announce a new mini-retreat, Curiouser & Curiouser: Mindfulness for the Creative Writer, which will take place on February 9-10, 2019! For the first time, we’ll be teaming up with Melissa Jean, a specialist in Mindfulness and Creative Writing. We are so excited to welcome her to Rockvale Writers’ Colony as she facilitates this special mini-retreat and leads you in a series of engaging, meditative workshops geared towards enhancing your experience with creative writing.

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” The relationship between mindfulness and writing is bi-directional; writing exercises can cultivate mindfulness and presence, and mindfulness techniques can be used to support a writing practice by developing helpful mental habits, overcoming writers’ block, encouraging creativity, and facilitating fruitful self-discovery. 

In these workshops, we will take a deep dive into our own inner worlds to discover how courageously befriending ourselves and cultivating a more habitual state of curiosity, openness, gentleness, and awareness can transform our relationship to the writing process and to our own creativity.

Melissa Jean is an Assistant Professor in the Mindfulness Studies masters’ program at Lesley University, where she also works as an Interdisciplinary Studies facilitator for Creative Writing MFA students. She teaches courses in academic writing, creative writing, research methods, and mindfulness and the environment. She received an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lesley, and a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management from Utah State University. Her writing has appeared in The Colorado Review and a variety of online journals, including most recently Junoesq, The Hopper, Waxing and Waning, and Causeway Lit.

Please see below for the tentative schedule:

Saturday, February 9

11 AM – 12 PM: Arrival, Get Settled

12:00 PM: Lunch; Introduction

1:30 PM: Workshop (2 hours)

3:30 PM: Free Writing Time

5:30 PM: Optional Outdoor Walking Meditation

6 – 7 PM: Dinner

7:15 PM: Workshop (1 hour)

8:15 PM: Opportunity to Share Your Writing

Sunday, February 10

7:30 AM: Guided Meditation

8:00 AM: Breakfast

9:15 AM: Workshop (1.5 hours)

11 AM – 12 PM: Check Out


Cost: $150/person includes private bed/bathroom, meals, workshops and plenty of free work time (tax included)

Payment: Paypal or Personal Check

No Application Required! Registration is on a First-Come, First Served basis. Please email Sandy at with any questions or to register. We ask that you only email if you are definite about attending and know that your schedule will permit you to do so. Spaces are very limited for this mini-retreat and we will not be able to hold spots for those who are undecided.

Updated Rate Policy for Single Night Residencies (plus some exciting news!)

Rockvale Writers’ Colony is introducing an updated rate of $100/night (plus tax) for writers who desire to stay at the Colony for a period of one, two, or three nights. This special rate includes all residency fees. No application is required. Dates are subject to availability.

These shorter stays are an excellent way to make some extra time for your writing. Please note that writers who apply for one weeks’ residency or longer will always be given preference in date selection. As a reminder, all writers who stay at the colony for any length of time are expected to use that time to work on their writing projects.

In conjunction with this updated rate, we are also now offering gift certificates! Certificates can be purchased for one, two, or three nights’ stay. Please only purchase a certificate for a serious writer who will make the most of their time at the writers’ colony. The recipient will not need to apply, but must personally book their residency with the Director within one year of the certificate’s purchase. Stays are subject to room availability.

Please email Sandy at to inquire about booking your short stay or purchasing a gift certificate. If you are interested in being a Writer-in-Residence for one week or longer, please apply via Submittable.

A New Retreat for the New Year!

Thanks to an Incredible Response, This Event is Now FULL. Check back with us for more events like this in the future!

The New Year is the perfect time to set goals and resolutions for the coming months. But we all know it’s easy to give up on those goals or lose faith in the process, and  sometimes it’s easier to not make them at all. As writers, we want to encourage you to step forth into this new year with real purpose. And so we present, From Passion to Action: Writing With Intention in the New Year.

This 24-hour mini-retreat will encourage you to take your passion for the written word and project it into real action. Our greatest hope is that you leave feeling encouraged and motivated. Our main focuses will be:

  • Setting Attainable Goals
  • Developing Successful Habits
  • Claiming Your Role as a Writer

We encourage writers of all genres and levels of experience to join us for this inspiring retreat. 

Sat, Jan. 5:

11 AM – 12 PM: Arrival, Get Settled (drinks & hors d’oeuvres provided)

12:00 PM: Lunch; Introduction

1:30 PM: Workshop

3:00 PM: Free Write/Planning Time (snacks provided)

6 – 7 PM: Dinner

7:15 PM: Workshop

8:15 PM: Opportunity to Share Your Writing (optional)

Sun, Jan. 6:

8:00 AM: Breakfast

9:15 AM: Workshop

11 AM – 12 PM: Check Out

Cost: $150/person includes private bed/bathroom, meals, workshops and plenty of free work time (tax included)

Payment: Paypal or Personal Check

No Application Required! Registration is on a First-Come, First Served basis. For more information, or to register, email Sandy at 

What’s in a name? Do you call yourself a Writer?

At Rockvale Writers’ Colony, we value writers.

If doesn’t matter if you are a poet, novelist, short story writer, memoirist, travel writer, food writer, songwriter, screenwriter, playwright, self-development writer, journalist, ghost writer, faith-based writer, sci-fi and fantasy writer, children’s book writer, YA book writer, or technical writer. If you write, we welcome your application.

Whether you are a beginner, unpublished writer or a New York Times bestselling writer, we welcome your application.

Our mission is to support, promote, and educate writers of all backgrounds who write in any genre. We are a non-profit organization, and offer a highly-subsidized and affordable rate of $350.00 a week. That’s only $50.00 a day! Currently, applications are accepted year-round and we aim to respond within 30 days, often much sooner. 

If you need a break from your usual routine, if you need an inspiring setting, if you long for peace and stillness, if you need to reconnect with yourself and your writing, you need Rockvale Writers’ Colony. 

We’re here. We’re waiting for you. 

Announcing RWC’s First Ever Poetry Mini-Retreat!

Thanks to an Incredible Response, This Event is Now FULL. Check back with us for more events like this in the future!

We’re so excited to announce Rockvale Writers’ Colony’s First Ever Mini-Retreat, Poetry of Calm & Comfort: Exploring Hygge Through Actions & Words. From Saturday, December 1 through Sunday, December 2, 2018, we invite you to take 24 hours for yourself during this busy holiday season and spend some time cozying up at the Colony in this unique poetry workshop experience.

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is the Danish art of garnering warmth, kinship, coziness, comfort, mindfulness, and relaxation. These are qualities we all strive for in our lives, especially when the cold breezes in and stress seems to be at an all-time high. During this weekend, we’ll read and celebrate poems that embody these values and provide a balm for our souls. Along with writing prompts and visual aids, this weekend will provide you with some much-needed peace and quiet, time to create, and time to share.

Our time spent together will be about simplicity, about ease of living and taking the time to be quiet and write. We hope that our schedule allows you to relax and enjoy your work, with ample opportunity for both solitude and community. The $100 fee includes a one-night stay in one of Rockvale’s private bedrooms, three meals and three workshop periods, along with plenty of time to get cozy and creative. Spaces are limited, so we encourage you to register soon! Please see below for our itinerary, cost and payment details.

We encourage writers of all talents to join us for our very first poetry retreat, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been writing for years. This is a judgment-free zone meant to encourage and inspire.


Sat, Dec. 1:

11 AM – 12 PM: Arrival, Get Settled

12 PM: Lunch, Meet & Greet

1:30 PM: Introduction to Hygge Workshop

3:00 PM: Free Write/Cozy Time

6 – 7 PM: Dinner

7:15 PM: Workshop

9:00 PM: Cozy Time, Talk Time, Bed Time

Sun, Dec 2:

8:00 AM: Breakfast

9:15 AM: Workshop, Final Share

11 AM – 12 PM: Check Out


Cost: $100/person includes private bed/bathroom, three meals, poetry workshop and private work time

Payment: Paypal or Personal Check

To register, email Sandy at 

Welcome to Rockvale – UPDATE: We’re Open!

Rockvale Writers’ Colony is nestled in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee, about an hour south of Nashville. Housed in a former country inn and surrounded by 65 acres of leisure space and green pastures, it is the perfect escape for any writer looking to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and truly be immersed in their writing.

We love the community and hospitality of Tennessee, and each room reflects the area, from The Tennessee Room right down to The Giles Hill Room, the road on which the colony is located. Each room features a private bath, complete with bathtub and shower facilities, and all rooms share a large, fully outfitted country kitchen. We invite you to stroll through our ample gardens and nature paths, delight in the horse-filled pastures, and enjoy the classic front porch for some rocking and reflecting. You can sense the property’s history as you employ our research library and reading areas, which are comfortably located in what was the original 1850 farmhouse, cedar beams and all. Rockvale has all you need to feel right at home.

Here at the Colony, we believe in the power of words. We invite you to stay and hope that it makes all the difference in your life and your writing. It’s already changed ours.

We’re excited to announce that Rockvale is now OPEN for applications! So check out our Pictures, read a little about A Day in the Life – and Apply! It’s as easy as 1-2-3. And we can’t wait to see you walk through these old farmhouse doors!