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.


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. This September 13-15, join us at Rockvale Writers’ Colony for the “In the Name of the Land,” Weekend Retreat, where participants will hone their definitions and perceptions of nature writing. Participants will also have the opportunity to 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.

We are excited to be joined once again by Melissa Jean, 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.

Are you a woman who writes? Join us this September 20-22, 2019 for an exclusive weekend retreat designed just for you!

What if women placed more importance on internal beauty rather than outer appearance? What if women recognized and trusted their own intelligence and abilities? What if women claimed equal status in society, in their work, and in their homes? What if women realized the power of their words? What if these women stood together instead of judging each other? And what if all these women were writers sharing their voices with the world?

Women can make an impact with the power of their words. Women are strong. Women are capable. Women are creative, unique, and talented. But in order to claim that, we need to let go of the labels that define us and become the women we’re meant to be. We need to believe.

In What If . . . A Retreat for Women Who Write, we welcome author and wellness coach, Sarah Hays Coomer, who will help us consider the connections between our mental and physical health and our creativity. We’ll draw from our own unique perspectives to construct honest and noteworthy pieces of writing. Together, we’ll discover our role as Women Writers.

This retreat is an opportunity for true community, a time of safety to examine our own “What ifs.” Join us as we explore how to confront our insecurities and become authentic, intentional writers and learn how this awareness can seriously impact what we create. We welcome women of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience.

**Please note that the themes of this retreat could be triggering for those working through traumatic events.

Cost Breakdown:

$340.00 – Room, meals, and workshops: Includes a private bedroom/bathroom for 2 nights, 5 meals (wine at dinner), snacks, 5 workshops

$46.75 – Applicable Taxes

$386.75 – TOTAL

*Past RWC Retreaters are eligible to receive a $50 discount. Please note which retreat(s) you’ve attended in your application.

 We hope you’ll join us for this unique and power-packed retreat at Rockvale. We’re eager to welcome you 

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.