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! 

Intention: The Jeff Byers Fellowship for Musicians is intended for creative musicians who are writing music to bring joy to others.

Prize: The recipient of this fellowship will receive a 1-week musician's residency at Rockvale Writers' Colony in College Grove, TN. The recipient will stay in the Granary which is a private, separate building with its own kitchen. The residency must be completed before December 31, 2023. 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 musician.

Music: The Fellowship is open to composers of original music, which may be instrumental or choral in nature, who are working on a specific, well-defined musical project. 

Application: 

  • A paragraph detailing your musical educational background, influences, and the people (teachers, composers, musicians, etc.) who have inspired and impacted your development as a musician.
  • A paragraph describing your relationship to music as a passion, career, or purpose.
  • Description of the project which addresses these questions: Why is this particular project important to you? What is your mission and purpose for this project? Describe the music. What is it trying to express, evoke, show, or do? 
  • A paragraph explaining how the fellowship would benefit you as a musician. 
  • Uploaded samples of previously composed music recordings and/or sheet music: .mp3, .wav., .pdf files.
  • URL to streaming service version of previously published music (here), if available. 
  • An application fee of $30. This is non-refundable.

Details:

  • The Fellowship application will be judged by an impartial and experienced musician not affiliated with Rockvale Writers' Colony.
  • There will be only 1 winner of the Fellowship.
  • All rules and policies of Rockvale Writers' Colony are in effect during the 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".
  • Musicians not selected for the Fellowship will have the option of scheduling a residency at the usual RWC rates.




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


The Writing:

  • The "Language of the Land" Fellowship is open to writers of poetry. 
  • Poets may submit up to 5 poems. Each poem will be evaluated for poetic craft, attention to the theme, originality, and aesthetic/emotional impact. We want to be "moved" by the poem's beauty and honesty.
  • Poems should not be previously published.
  • Poetry will be read "blind." Do not put your name on your writing sample. 

The Application:

  • The Application Fee is $30. This is non-refundable.
  • Applications will be read through Submittable. Emailed applications will not be accepted.  
  • The application requires a paragraph detailing how the fellowship would aid the writer. Uploaded poems should be presented in one document, either pdf, dox, or docx.
  • Fellowship applications are accepted between April 1 and June 30, 2022.
  • The recipient of the fellowship will be announced by the end of July 2022.

The Prize:

  • The recipient of this fellowship will receive a 1-week writer's residency at Rockvale Writers' Colony in College Grove, TN. The residency must be completed by October 31, 2023.
  • A small stipend of $100 will be given to the fellowship recipient upon arrival at the colony to compensate for travel and food. Expenses beyond $100 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".





Information: 

"When talking about loss, the language of “move on” paints a visual for me. One that is abrupt. One where something sacred is bypassed. One where the process looks hurried and incomplete. I see a brush kissing a canvas and then drying out mid stroke. I see an impotent pen unable to touch a page.

When you find yourself in the wilderness of loss, it takes courage to walk through the forest of grief instead of quickly running back into the busy streets searching for what can no longer be found.

Your story is different now. Your precious canvas has a hole in it. May you have the courage to be with the paint and ink of your feelings as you travel through. You might feel destroyed. I know. You are being recreated."

--Octavia Raheem, Pause, Rest, Be

We’ve been living with a heightened sense of grief and loss over the past two years as we collectively navigated a global public health pandemic. Add to that our individual, personal experiences of sorrow, and the loss may feel overwhelming, even unbearable. Words are different now, changed and purified by experience. We are different now, recreated by journeying through the deep forest of grief. Still, we write, and what is written is set free. What is written is honored in light.

The intention for this retreat is to create a mindfulness-based supported space to work with and write about feelings of grief and loss. We’ll gather together for four workshops, but there will also be private time for writing, resting, contemplating, and walking our trails.

Note: Though this is a weekend intended for healing, the subject of grief can be intense. The facilitators for this retreat are writers and teachers, not therapists or counselors. Please consider whether you are emotionally healthy enough to participate before registering.


Details:
Place: Rockvale Writers' Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN
Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 4 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 6, 2022
Cost: $450.00 (tax included) $50 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. Balance is due by October 4, 2022
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, community with other writers.


Information:
What is the difference between a writer who never finds an agent or sells a manuscript to a publisher and an author who becomes a best seller? The first fifteen pages. The job, the explicit goal, of those critical first fifteen pages, is to hook agents, editors, and ultimately readers. Those first pages need to grab us, if not by the collar, at least by the sleeve, and say, “I’ve got you. Keep reading.” If your first fifteen pages don’t do that, your manuscript won’t make it past an agent’s slush pile, and your book will never land in the hands of a reader or brighten the screen of their Kindles.

During this weekend retreat, we’ll explore the elements that make the first fifteen pages of a novel, memoir, or a work of nonfiction successful. We’ll look at exemplars from each genre to see how successful authors created blockbuster stories. And we’ll talk about your stories along the way.

This retreat is for the novice with an inkling of a book idea, for writers who have a pile of “thanks but no thanks” rejections sitting in their inbox, and for those who’ve heard crickets from all the queries they’ve sent out.

Suggested Reading

During the retreat, we’ll use exemplars from a number of genres to show how successful authors build story. While not required, being familiar with the following books will be helpful. We suggest you find cheap, used copies of the books you won’t mind marking up and bring them with you.

The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Middle Grade)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Young Adult)

The Firm by John Grisham (Adult – Thriller)

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (Women’s Fiction)

Life Detonated by Kathleen Murray Moran (Memoir)

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Nonfiction)

Details:
Place: Rockvale Writers' Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN
Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 11 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 13, 2022
Cost: $450.00 (tax included) $50 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. Balance is due by October 14, 2022.
Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, 5 workshops, 2 optional writing exercises, community with other writers.

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" https://rockvalewriterscolony.org/about/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 - $385 for Farmhouse Rooms and Cabin, $425.00 for Granary and Carriage House Rooms.
  • Cleaning Fee - $30
  • 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. Do not rush through the application. Acceptance as a writer-in-residence at RWC is not guaranteed. Applications that contain insufficient answers or lack care and attention to detail will be declined. 

Also Note: Farmhouse rooms are assigned by the director the week before residency begins. Most of our writers will stay in the Farmhouse and we do not accept room requests for this building. Writers may request to stay in the Cabin, Granary and Carriage House (additional fees apply for Granary and Carriage House rooms) and when possible, we'll do our best to fulfill these requests. 

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 or previously accepted writers. 

2021 residency fees are:

$385 for Farmhouse Rooms and Cabin - plus fees and taxes

$425 for Granary and Carriage House Rooms- plus fees and taxes


We look forward to welcoming you back to the colony!


Before the hustle of the holidays, before the crush of cold weather, we offer this retreat of quiet respite. If you're feeling the need for a little downtime before December's upbeat celebrations, it's time to find peace at Rockvale.

This retreat is for writers, readers, dreamers (hey! that's you!) who seek a weekend of stillness, solitude, and reflection. This is not a retreat of "doing." It's a retreat of "being." There are no workshops, no readings, no schedules (other than for meals and meditation opportunities.) There are no expectations for participation in anything other than your own renewal. Retreaters may choose to write, journal, draw, color, read, knit, meditate, nap, think, or pray. The key is to bask in stillness, to let the quiet soak into your skin and into your heart.

Participants will stay in private bedroom/bathroom suites and will have access to common spaces such as the library, reading room, and writing porch. If they wish, participants can hike within the 65 acres of colony property and explore the winter gardens. All meals are provided.


Details:
Place: Rockvale Writers' Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN
Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 18 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 22, 2022
Cost: $300.00 (tax included) A $50 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. Balance is due on October 21, 2022.
Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, time and space for quiet peace and renewal.

Rockvale Writers Group