Question: What is Rockvale Writers’ Colony?
Answer: Rockvale Writers’ Colony is a haven for writers of all genres and backgrounds. RWC exists to support, promote, and educate writers by:
- providing a safe, comfortable, and inspiring space for writers to settle in as “writers-in-residence” and work on a specific writing project;
- utilizing our social media and promotional platforms to celebrate and share writer accomplishments and publications; and
- offering valuable workshops and retreats to enrich and sustain a writing life, and introduce writers to new ways of relating to and enjoying creativity
Question: Where is RWC located?
Answer: We are located in College Grove, Tennessee, about 40 miles south of Nashville, on 65 acres of rural land.
Question: When is RWC open?
Answer: We are open year-round. Closings for major holidays, repairs, or construction occur at the discretion of the director and will always be communicated well in advance. We are closed for the last three weeks of December.
Question: Who is eligible to attend Rockvale Writers’ Colony?
Answer: Any writer of any genre, age 21 and up, who is actively working on a writing project.
Question: How do I apply? If accepted once, do I have to pay another application fee if I want to come back?
Answer: Apply by clicking on the Application Page and carefully following all directions included there. There is an application fee of $30.00.
Returning Writers: If you’ve already applied, paid the application fee, and been accepted, you do not need to apply again, but you will need to fill out the Returning Writers Residency Request. A link to this form on Submittable can be found on the “Apply” page.
Question: How much does a residency at RWC cost?
Answer: RWC charges a highly subsidized rate of $425 per week for rooms in the Farmhouse and Cabin. Weekly stays in the larger, more private Ogilvie Granary cost $475.00 per week. Mini-residencies of 1-3 nights are charged at the nightly rate of $100.00.
Additional fees include a non-refundable application fee of $30.00 (for first-time applicants) and a mandatory room cleaning fee of $30.00. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit per requested week due upon acceptance. The remaining balance is due upon arrival at the colony.
Question: What is the refund policy?
Answer: There is a non-refundable $100 per requested week deposit due upon your acceptance, i.e. if you request 1 week, the deposit is $100, 2 weeks is $200, etc. In case of cancellation, this deposit may be applied to a rescheduled residency within the same calendar year. Residents will be asked to confirm their new dates upon their cancellation. If a rescheduled residency is not possible, the deposit will be forfeited.
Question: Is there financial aid available? What about scholarships or fellowships?
Answer: We are in the process of establishing a fellowship and scholarship fund to assist writers with the cost of attending a residency. Presently, as a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of donors to build that fund. If you have the financial ability to donate to our scholarship fund, please know your generosity will be highly appreciated and you will be giving another writer the chance to change the world with words. We love that.
Question: How long can I stay?
Answer: Writers can stay at the colony for 1 to 4 weeks. Writers who wish to stay at the colony for less than 1 week may be accommodated if space is available. Residencies of 1 week or greater are given preference.
Question: Can I bring my partner, child, and/or pet with me? How about having visitors while I’m a resident?
Answer: No. RWC is designed for individuals working on a specific writing project. No visitors are allowed at RWC. You are encouraged to meet friends in any of the towns or cities that surround the colony – College Grove, Chapel Hill, Spring Hill, Franklin, and/or Nashville.
Question: How about 2 writers collaborating on one project?
Answer: Both writers need to apply separately and be accepted separately. Separate payments of fees will be required. We also ask that if the collaboration requires conversation, the quiet hours of the colony are respected and all talking be done out of the hearing range of the other writers. One way for writers to collaborate is for one to stay in the private Granary and one in the farmhouse. The sitting area in the Granary can be used as a meeting and collaboration space.
Question: Do I need a car? If I arrive by plane, how do I get to the colony?
Answer: A car will come in handy, as we are located in a rural area. The colony is about an hour south of Nashville International Airport. Rental cars are available at the airport. Taxis and Uber/Lyft are also available. For additional information, please read the Location and Travel page on the website.
Question: Do you have internet and how is the cell phone coverage? Is there a landline I can use?
Answer: We now have fiber which has sped up the internet connection greatly. Cell phone coverage depends on the provider and can be iffy. We no longer have a land line. We encourage writers to WIFI enable their phones.
Question: Are meals provided?
Answer: Writers are responsible for supplying their own food, preparing their own meals, and cleaning up after themselves. We have spices, oils, condiments, coffee, and tea available for everyone to share. We have a large kitchen that can be used 24/7 and writers have access to pantry and refrigerator space for their supplies. The nearest large grocery store is Publix in Berry Farms, Franklin. It is about 20 minutes from the colony.
Question: How is the day structured? Are there quiet hours?
Answer: Every writer is free to structure their day as they wish; however, working hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. are strictly enforced quiet times. Also, we ask writers to respect the needs of other writers and restrict noise after 10:00 p.m. Music should be played using headphones or earbuds. We suggest you prearrange a visit with another writer rather than knocking on their door. If you wish to chat within quiet hours, there is ample outdoor space to do so.
Question: What about accessibility? Is the colony wheelchair accessible?
Answer: Writers with special needs should discuss this with the director in-depth before they apply.
Question: What should I bring with me? Do you have a computer and printer I can use?
Answer: We provide bedding and towels, paper products, basic kitchen supplies, a comfortable environment, and lots of creative inspiration. You should bring everything else! We do not have a computer or printer available for resident use, so bring your laptop and your portable printer. We have a limited selection of reference and writing craft books that are available for use. These are in the bookcases in the library.
Question: Can I use the swimming pool and tennis court? Can I explore the 65 acres of land at RWC?
Answer: Absolutely! Our pool and tennis court hours are sunrise to sundown. Please note the use of these facilities is at your own risk. There is no lifeguard on duty at the pool. We suggest you wear appropriate shoes if you want to hike on our land. We have 3 hiking trails with more planned. The Limestone Glade Trail is 0.5 miles long. The Perimeter Trail is 1.2 miles long. The Fern Moss Trail is 0.25 miles long. Like all rural outdoor areas, we have mosquitoes and ticks, so we suggest you use bug repellent.
Question: I care about the environment. Is RWC eco-friendly?
Answer: We care about the environment too, and believe in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” philosophy. We provide recycling receptacles for our residents and encourage the conservation of water and electricity.
Question: What should I do if I feel stuck and can’t write?
Answer: We’re glad you asked. It is not unusual for writers to need a couple of days to settle into a residency. Our busy lifestyles at home take a toll on our ability to relax and new settings always require a period of time in which to feel comfortable. Our advice is not to fret or feel pressure to produce work during your first couple of days. Breathe and let the serenity of the colony find you wherever you are in your creative journey. Don’t push against the barriers which time will eventually dissolve for you. Be patient. We’ve provided several alternative activities and exercises on the shelves of “The Un-Bookcase” (Unleash, Unlock, Unplug, Unblock) in the Dining Room. Explore the ones that interest you. Don’t forget that walking and enjoying nature can do wonders for stress and anxiety. We’re confident that if you open yourself to the possibilities and meet your creative heart however and whenever it presents itself, you will find the words you need. Come talk to us if you need a little decompressing or encouragement. That’s what we’re here for.
Question: What is your smoking and alcohol policy?
Answer: Smoking and vaping are prohibited on our property. Drinking alcohol is a matter of personal choice, but we ask that you exercise moderation and be thoughtful of others. This goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway: any use of drugs prohibited by Federal or State of Tennessee law is prohibited by Rockvale Writers’ Colony. The director reserves the right to end a residency at any time deemed necessary in order to protect the property of RWC or the well-being of other residents. No reimbursement of fees will occur. We expect all writers to be respectful, considerate, and law-abiding.