Rockvale Writers’ Group

Rockvale Writers’ Group is comprised of two separate writing-related entities. Although these entities share the name Rockvale, the same founder, and are linked via their websites, they operate separately. Think of them as 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 and retreat center 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 poetry by established, emerging, and beginner poets and pairs each poem with a piece of art or photography chosen by a featured artist. A featured musician/composer responds to 3-5 accepted poems in each issue with an original piece of music. Poetry, visual art, and music live side by side in Rockvale. 

Please make sure you choose the correct Submission / Application form! 

For many of us, the start of a new year means setting goals and deciding what we want to accomplish in the next twelve months. But after a year like 2020, we need to pause, consider ways to plan for our future without carrying the stress of the past or the fear of another year of unknowns.  At RWC, we believe in goals and moving forward intentionally with our writing, but we also believe it may be time to turn “goal setting” on its head. Instead of thinking “go big or go home,” we’re thinking go small, go deep, and understand the home inside yourself. 

In our 2021 Goals Retreat, the emphasis will still be about setting goals, but we’ll learn new ways to do it—kinder ways, with more space and grace. We’re going to “tend” the new year like we’d nurture something we love. We’re going to decide where we’d like to go by first acknowledging where we are now. We’ll grant ourselves permission to move past the disorder of 2020, not by demanding order, but by gently reordering the things that are meaningful in our lives, the things we want to keep. Using meditation, breathing exercises, the experience of labyrinths, writing prompts, learning tools for goal-setting, and perhaps most important, quiet time for personal reflection, this retreat is offered as a respite and balm, a chance to think ahead without distractions into the new year’s beautiful potential.

Join RWC director, Sandy Coomer, and writing coach and labyrinth facilitator, Terry Price, for a weekend of discovery as we set goals that honor both the head and the heart.   


Place: Rockvale Writers' Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN

Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, January 1 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, January 3, 2021

Cost: $400.00 (tax included) We will not collect payment until closer to retreat date.

Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, 4 workshops, special gift, community with other writers, and tools to explore and celebrate the potential waiting for us in 2021

Thoughts about Health and Safety: Depending on the status of the pandemic, we will implement careful procedures with cleaning, face coverings, and social distancing. RWC is large enough that we can spread out and safely hold this retreat. The number of retreaters is limited to 7. Please read our Covid policies and precautions for more information.

First Time Applicants:

We accept applications year-round and only through Submittable. A non-refundable $30.00 application fee applies to all first-time applicants who are applying for a residency. We highly suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with the purpose of RWC by reading our website, especially "What is a Writers' Colony"

Rockvale Writers' Colony does not offer scholarships at this time; however, our weekly rates are highly-subsidized. Food and travel are the responsibility of the writer. The following fees apply to all accepted applicants:

  • Weekly Residency Fee - $350
  • Cleaning Fee - $25
  • Sales Tax of 9.75% and Occupancy Tax of 4%

PLEASE NOTE: Filling out the application completely and in detail is extremely important. Make sure you read the notes beside each question as these can guide you in providing answers. 

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. 

Please read the following requirements and guidelines carefully and in their entirety before applying. If you have questions, email Sandy at

The Writing:

  • The Rockvale "Believe" Fellowship is open to writers of Creative Nonfiction. We define CNF as memoir, personal and lyric essay, and literary journalism. 
  • The writing must present serious illness as its main theme and explore the impact illness has on life and relationships. A personal connection is paramount. We put no limitations on the definition of serious illness. 
  •  The writing, as a whole, should not be previously published. We will consider work in which small portions (such as individual essays in a book of essays) are published. The writer should disclose this information in the application.  

The Application:

  • The application fee is $30. This is non-refundable.
  • The application requires a description of the writing, an excerpt, and a paragraph detailing how the fellowship would aid the writer. 
  • Fellowship applications are accepted between March 1 and December 31, 2020.

The Prize:

  • The recipient of this fellowship will receive a 2-week writer's residency at Rockvale Writers' Colony in College Grove, TN. The residency must be completed before December 31, 2022. 
  • A small stipend of $200 will be given to the fellowship recipient upon arrival at the colony to compensate for travel and food. Expenses beyond $200 are the responsibility of the writer. 

The Details:

  • All rules and policies of Rockvale Writers' Colony are in effect during this fellowship. The recipient will be expected to sign the writer's contract before arrival. The recipient should familiarize themselves with RWC (our setting, our mission, and the way residencies work) by carefully reading our website. We strongly advise reading everything under the "Residencies" tab, especially "Information" and "FAQ's".
  • Writers not selected for the fellowship will have the option of scheduling a residency at the usual RWC rates.