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

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.

First, there’s the Barn Loft: a spectacular, contemporary loft apartment in the farm’s main barn. The apartment has terrific natural light and the best views of the farm. Also (per our mission): it’s a good example of “adaptive re-use.”

We also offer the Hen House Cottage residency–a super cool, ultra-comfy tiny house that was once a chicken house. It has views of the orchard and gets great light throughout the day.

Both spaces have their own libraries, dedicated wi-fi, fully equipped kitchens, full bathrooms, a generous supply of towels and linens, and more.

In support of the arts, we have subsidized the rental fees for writers in an effort to make it as affordable as possible — no other discounts are available.

Our application process is non-competitive, but all applicants must submit a resume and a brief writing sample or a link to their website.

Please keep in mind that all proceeds from our rentals help support the Good Contrivance Farm non-profit.


Our admissions policy does not discriminate with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability or nation of origin. However, please note that the residency apartment is not fully handicap-accessible, although it can accommodate some persons with limited mobility.

We reserve the right to send any resident home who is not abiding by the farm rules. You can find the full details about farm rules on the Retreat pages below.


Writer’s Retreat Programming

On occasion, we partner with local and regional writers and organizations to offer workshops, readings, and other events in our barn, which has a stage, a state-of-the-art sound system, and seating for 70.

Although there is no regularly schedule program, you can keep informed of upcoming events by joining our mailing list, using the form below.

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.

He has created this welcome retreat for writers at all levels, on a first-come, first-served noncompetitive basis. Please see details on the pages below for full descriptions.