The Writer’s Retreat at Good Contrivance Farm


What We Are

Good Contrivance Farm is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and restoration of small, historic farms in Maryland. Toward that end, our farm serves as a model of historic preservation and sustainable nurture.

The Writer’s Retreat Residencies, Programming, and More

1) As part of our public outreach, we offer The Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat: two spectacular spaces for overnight residencies where a writer can settle into a peaceful country getaway and get some good work done: the Barn Loft Apartment and the Hen House Cottage (see below for details).

2) “The School House” is our new programming space, also available for day and evening use for individuals and small groups. (See below for details.)

3) We offer programming in the form of workshops and craft talks. Our offerings are in response to a recent survey of writers and followers on our ever-expanding mailing list.

Workshops and Craft Talks for 2023 start May 6!


Ethelbert Miller

Credit: Tom Wolff

renowned poet, educator, memoirist, literary activist, and recent grammy award nominee:

Workshop, Saturday, May 6; 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM in the Schoolhouse (limited seating!)

Catching One’s Breath: Reading and Remembering Before Writing the Memoir.

Craft Talk: Saturday May 13: 5:00 PM in the big barn (limited seating!)

The Writing Life and How to Write the Political Poem.


Steve Almond

New York Times bestselling author, award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, co-host of Dear Sugar podcast

Workshop, Saturday, May 27; 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM in the Schoolhouse (limited seating!)

Writing into Deep Truth

Craft Talk: Saturday June 3: 5:00 PM in the big barn (limited seating!)

How to Create an Irresistible Narrator

Tom Horton

renowned nature writer and environmentalist, former SUN columnist (34 years), native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, published in National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and many more

Workshop, Saturday, July 15: 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM in the Schoolhouse (limited seating!)

Elevating the Mundane—celebrating and communicating the everyday aspects of life and living in nature

Craft Talk: Saturday July 22: 5:00 PM in the big barn (limited seating!)

The Bay is dead—long live the Bay

Jennifer Haigh

PEN award-winning and New York Times best selling novelist

Workshop, Saturday, August 12: 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM in the Schoolhouse (limited seating!)

How to Start a Novel You Can Actually Finish

Craft Talk: Saturday August 19: 5:00 PM in the big barn (limited seating!)

Sentence-Making for Storytellers

Credit: Joannna Eldredge Morrissey

Editors’ Roundtable: a diverse group of local/regional/national editors will answer your questions and discuss the current state of publishing and writing in America.

Postponed till next year–watch for it!

Literary Editors

Who Runs the Writer’s Retreat?

Ron Tanner directs the Writer’s Retreat. Ron is a well-published writer of fiction and non-fiction and has won many awards for his writing, including a Pushcart Prize, a gold medal from the Faulkner Society, a James Michener Fellowship from the Copernicus Society, and many more.

All GCF operations are overseen by a board of directors, which meets twice a year or more frequently, as needed.

GCF Writer’s Retreat Writing Coaches

A diverse array of award-winning writers to help you make the most of your writing.