Rockvale Writers’ Group

Rockvale Writers’ Group is comprised of three separate writing-related entities. Although all three entities share the name Rockvale, the same founder, and are linked via their websites, they operate separately. Think of them as three sisters within the same family – glad to be related, but with unique personalities and distinct purposes.

Rockvale Writers’ Colony, located in College Grove, TN, is a writers’ residency tucked in the beautiful rolling hills just south of Nashville.

Rockvale Review is an online poetry journal that publishes two issues a year. The journal presents 30-35 poems by established, emerging, and beginner poets and pairs each poem with a piece of art or photography chosen by a featured artist. Beginning with Issue Four, Rockvale Review intends to add audio files to showcase music composed in response to selected poems.

Rockvale Press, forthcoming in 2019, is a small, independent press publishing poetry chapbooks which are chosen through contest entry. Two to four winners will have their chapbook introduced each year. Because we are a Tennessee-based press and want to honor our home state and the writers in it, at least one of the chapbooks chosen will be from a Tennessee poet.


Please make sure you choose the correct Submission / Application form! There may be more than one open at the same time. 

 We Publish Only Poetry. Please read the following guidelines carefully and in their entirety. Disregarding our guidelines may result in your submission being disqualified.

  • The reading period for Issue Six goes from January 1 through March 31, 2020. Work submitted outside this window will not be read. The issue is unthemed and will be published in May 2020.
  •  IMPORTANTWe read blind, so don’t put your name anywhere on your work or on the title of the file you attach. If we see a name, the submission will be disqualified and we won’t read it. 
  • ALSO IMPORTANT – Send 1-3 poems, no longer than 50 lines each, in a single document. Begin each poem on a new page. 
  • Submit only once per reading period. If your work is accepted, we ask that you wait a year before submitting again. 
  •  You can add a cover letter and a 100-word, 3rd-person bio in the appropriate section on the form if you wish, but we are more interested in the quality of the work you send now than in your past achievements. If your work is accepted, we will contact you for your author’s bio.
  • Don’t send song lyrics or greeting card verse, poems with explicit language, or poems that are overtly political, sexual, or discriminatory. It is unlikely that we will publish rhyming verse. It is unlikely that we will publish translations. 
  • Please take a peek at our past issues before you submit. They are available for free under the Issues tab, so there’s no reason not to! We hope this will aid you as you select the poems you send us. Plus, we think the poems in our issues are fantastic. Prepare to be inspired!
  • We like Times New Roman and 12-point font best, so if you want to make us happy, you’ll like that too. Also, we accept only .doc, .docx or PDF files.
  • Occasionally, we may ask for a minor edit in a poem we really believe in.
  • While we’d love to compensate you for your beautiful words, we can’t do that yet.
  • We only accept work via Submittable at the link below. Simultaneous submissions are perfectly OK, but please let us know if your work is accepted somewhere else by making a note in Submittable. Previously published work is not accepted.
  • We acquire first North American serial rights for poems we publish. All rights revert to the author upon publication. Should your work be subsequently published in a chapbook or full collection, please mention that it appeared first in Rockvale Review.
  • Thank you for sending us your work. We appreciate the chance to read it. We generally respond within 12 weeks. 

 The featured artist for Issue Six is writer/photographer/beachcomber Shelley Thomas from San Rafael, CA . Shelley will pair every accepted poem with a piece of of art.


The featured composer for Issue Six is professional flute player, Michael Morton. Michael will respond to five poems with an original piece of music. 


We look forward to reading your work. Surprise us, amaze us, make us gasp! Show us the power of your words!

We accept applications year-round and only through Submittable. A $30.00 application fee applies to all first-time applicants.

If you've already applied and been accepted, this form is for you! Do not use this form if this is your first time applying to Rockvale Writers' Colony. 

In order to simplify the residency date request process, we're asking returning writers to communicate with us through Submittable. There is no fee to request a new residency for returning (already accepted) writers. 

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, is a methodology designed to access your creative muse.  If you’ve always wanted to try the Artist’s Way, struggled to finish the book, or need a refresher course, this retreat is for you. 

Join us February 7-9, 2020 for a special series of workshops led by author and educator Kristen Kindoll, as she introduces the major concepts of The Artist’s Way, drawn from the Recovering the Sense chapters of the book. Learn how to apply these themes to your writing life and nurture your inner writer.

Over the course of five workshops and periods of free writing time, you’ll Rest and uncover what is blocking you, Renew your creative spirit, Reveal your imagination, and wRite the words that express your dreams.

Cost Breakdown:
 $350.00 – Room, meals, workshops, and gifts: Includes a private bedroom/bathroom for 2 nights, 5 meals (wine at dinner), snacks, 2 yoga/meditation workshops, 2 writing workshops, 1 combined writing, yoga workshop, and special themed gifts.
 $48.13 – Applicable Taxes
 $398.13 – TOTAL

 Past RWC Retreaters are eligible to receive a $40 discount. Please note which retreat(s) you've attended in your application.
 We hope you'll join us for this new retreat. We're eager to welcome you!

Welcome spring and celebrate Earth Day with a weekend-long nature writing retreat at Rockvale Writers' Colony this April 24-26, 2020. Nature writing is often defined as environmental literature, or as the literature of place, or as landscape writing. The borders of the genre, though, are porous; after all, most writers write about nature in one way or another—some lovingly, some strategically, some politically, some lyrically. 

At this retreat, participants will hone their definitions and perceptions of nature writing. Participants will also have the opportunity to spend time outside, engage with natural landscapes, learn mindfulness practices to deepen their sensory and intuitive experiences of the natural world and practice writing about nature in inventive ways.  These practices will be designed for people who feel a desire to write directly about the land in a variety of genres, as well as for people who want to learn to develop richer, more realistic, and more meaningful settings for their creative work.

Cost Breakdown:
$350.00 – Room, meals, workshops, and gifts: Includes a private bedroom/bathroom for 2 nights, 5 meals (wine at dinner), snacks, and 5 workshops

$48.13 – Applicable Taxes

$398.13 – TOTAL

Past RWC Retreaters are eligible to receive a $40 discount. Please note which retreat(s) you've attended in your application.
We hope you'll join us for this retreat. We're eager to welcome you!