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 accept applications year round and only through Submittable. A $35.00 application fee applies to all first time applicants.

If you are a previously accepted writer and it has been 12 months or more from your first application, you may apply under the “Returning Residents” tab and pay the application fee of $25.00. If you return for residency at RWC within 12 months of a previous residency, no application or application fee is required, but you will need to email the director at sandy.rockvale@gmail.com to discuss dates. If you have questions about this policy, please email and we can discuss your specific situation in detail.

Please Note Updated Policy: If you are interested in a 1-3 day mini-residency, no application is necessary. Please email the director sandy.rockvale@gmail.com to discuss dates.


A Unique Full-Week Residency Experience: July 7-13, 2019

Join us for a power-packed week of poetry! We’ve invited three powerful teacher/poets to teach one workshop each during the week. With engaging topics and inspiring discussions, writers can take what they learned in workshop to generate new poems. Three different teachers means three different approaches to teaching and three different views of poetry. This is a unique opportunity!

This special retreat packs two valuable writing experiences into one week. First, writers will enjoy a full residency with independent writing time and the freedom to choose how they spend the majority of their day. Writers provide and prepare their own food (with the exception of the Welcome Dinner and Lunches on M, W, and F). We provide plenty of pantry space and a large kitchen is available for use around the clock. Second, writers will attend a 2-hour writing workshop on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 to Noon. In addition, writers will enjoy detailed feedback on 3 poems within a 30 minute consultation. The time of structured learning balances the free time so that every writer receives both community and solitude, time to be engaged and time to be at the page. 

The cost of this retreat is $750.00 plus applicable taxes. Total cost is $853.13. Total payment is due June 24, 2019.

Cancellation Policy: If cancellation is made within 2 weeks of the retreat, we will refund all fees paid minus 25%. 

We hope you’ll join us for this unique and power-packed retreat at Rockvale. We’re eager to welcome you and help you discover how to make your poems as powerful as they can be.


A Full-Week Fiction Retreat - July 21-27, 2019

Join us as traditionally published author & experienced book coach Sheila Athens shares the secrets she’s gained by providing developmental edits on dozens of manuscripts.  In addition to workshops and plenty of writing time, you’ll get individualized feedback on the first ten pages of your novel.  You’ll learn the elements that make literary agents, acquiring editors and readers latch onto a story & fall willingly under its spell. 

This special retreat packs two valuable writing experiences into one week. First, writers will enjoy a full residency with independent writing time and the freedom to choose how they spend the majority of their day. Writers provide and prepare their own food (with the exception of the Welcome Dinner). We provide plenty of pantry space and a large kitchen is available for use around the clock. Second, writers will attend a 2-hour writing workshop each day from 10:00 to Noon led by author and book coach Sheila Athens. The time of structured learning balances the free time so that every writer receives both community and solitude, time to be engaged and time to be at the page. 

We hope you’ll join us for this unique and power-packed retreat at Rockvale. We’re eager to welcome you and help you discover how to make your stories as strong as they can be.

The cost of this retreat is $750.00 plus applicable taxes for a total of $853.13.  Full Payment is due by July 8, 2019. 

Cancellation Policy: If cancellation occurs within 2 weeks of the retreat, we will refund all fees paid minus 25%. 


Sheila' Credentials:

• Traditionally published novelist with a major publishing company

• Experienced book coach, both via her private practice & via Author Accelerator, one of the nation’s most well-respected providers of book coaching & developmental editing services

• Current Chair of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Agent Pitch Events, which means she’s communicating on a regular basis with agents who are currently open to submissions

• Gained her knowledge by attending many of the nation’s foremost writing conferences & seminars, such as Robert McKee’s Story seminar & Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel.

• Experienced presenter & facilitator, including: 

  • Former Training Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
  • Former Vice President of Human Resources for a Fortune 100 company
  • Has presented writing-related topics on both a regional and national level