Writer’s Retreat: Overnight and Extended Stays
The Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat provides a 1200 square foot barn loft apartment on a small, historic farm in central Maryland, 25 miles north of Baltimore.
The loft apartment has spectacular light and the best views of the farm. It has three levels and contains a full kitchen with dishwasher, 1.5 baths, a small library, a wood-burning stove, and free high-speed wifi.
Our admissions policy does not discriminate with regard to race, sex, 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.
Admissions is non-competitive, on a first-come, first-served basis. However, all applicants must show evidence (resume and writing sample) that they are writers.
Overnight Residency is designed for writers who have their own transportation and need a quiet, lovely place to write. A resident can arrange to stay for as long as 4 weeks.
Description & Amenities : the Retreat is a spacious loft-style apartment with a large open living room, dining area & kitchen on the first level. Wood burning stove in LR, with wood provided by the hosts. Radiant heat on first floor and 2 ceiling fans.
Modern kitchen with stainless stove, fridge, and dishwasher — but no garbage disposal, as we’re on a septic system. Small bathroom with clawfoot tub and stackable W&D on first floor. Library on 2nd floor loft area. Bedroom with antique double bed and 1/2 bath on 3rd floor. Bedroom has wall unit AC. There is a small balcony overlooking a walled flower garden.
The six acre grounds contain a large kitchen garden, a chicken run, many historic outbuildings, open fields, many lovely flower beds, and many places to sit and relax. The farm is conveniently located near major shopping areas and highways.
Fees are subsidized to make long stays affordable for most writers. No other discounts are available.
All proceeds from our writer’s retreat go to the support of our 501-C3 non-profit, focused on the restoration of Good Contrivance Farm as part of our mission to promote the preservation and restoration of historic family farms.
- Overnight fee is $90. per night for the first person; $35 for a second person. Residency check-in is at noon. Check out, the next morning, is at 10:00 AM
- You must book a minimum of a two-night stay.
- Weekly rate (seven nights) is $550 for one person; $650 for two. (This is not transferrable.)
- Two- and Three- week rate is $500 for one person per week; $600. for two. (Not transferrable.)
- Four-week rate is $450 per week for one person; $550 per week for two. (Not transferrable.)
- Payment must be made upon making the reservation or three weeks before r earlier (credit card or Paypal).
- Security deposit: $150 via Paypal or credit card.
- Cancellation policy for stays under a week:
cancellation must be made no later than 72 hours before your scheduled reservation. Late cancellation of a reservation (within 72 hours of the reservation) will forfeit one day’s rental fee.
- Cancellation policy for stays of a week or more: cancellation must be made no later than 7 days prior to the reservation; late cancellation will forfeit 3 day’s rental fee.
- We reserve the right to cancel at any time, given reasonable cause (e.g., bad weather, etc.)
- We reserve the right to send any resident home who is not abiding by the farm rules (see below).
If you’re interested in day use only, go to the day-use page.
How to Get Here
About Food, Shopping, and Services
We accept reservations on a first come, first served basis. Please read “farm rules,” below, before making a reservation.
You can make a reservation by using the form at the bottom of the page.
- Policy on Smoking, Drinking, Drug Use: No drug use or heavy drinking. No smoking inside the apartment. Smoking is permitted outside, as long as you do so 10 or more feet from the buildings.
- Accessibility: The apartment is not wheelchair accessible but it is accessible to persons with limited mobility.
- Water: Please bring your own bottled water or use the water distiller in the apartment. Tap water is from a well and is unfiltered, though it is drinkable.
- Bathtub: currently there is a clawfoot tub in the bathroom: it’s not the easiest to get into and out of. We do have plans to put in a more user-friendly bathtub and shower.
- Food & Beverages: We do not provide food or beverages, although there are a refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker in the apartment, as well as a supply of cookware, utensils, dishes, etc.
- Cleaning Up: Please clean up behind yourself, leaving nothing behind, not even food or beverages. If you use the bed or shower, please leave sheets or towels in a pile to indicate they need washing. Once a week, on Sunday night, you take the apartment’s garbage can and recycling bin to the roadside for next-day pick-up at the farm gates.
- Electronics: Free wifi is provided, and there is also a smart TV in the apartment. We do not provide a computer or printer.
- Dust and Old Things: This is an old farm with old furniture and many things that don’t work perfectly. We have placed signs in the apartment about how to use the appliances.
- We try our best, but are not perfect housekeepers–sometimes there will be dust in the apartment
- Wildlife: There is a lot of wildlife on the farm some of which many people don’t like, including mice, snakes, bats, hawks, owls, fox, and deer. Although we try to prevent it, mice do at times get into the buildings, including the barn apartment.
- Dogs and Cats: We have dogs and cats on the property, some of which live in the house, and some of which live outside (barn cats). Under no circumstances are they to be allowed inside the barn apartment. You are free to pet them outside.
- Barn Cats: Please respect the barn cats, allowing them their space. Some of them are friendly and others are fearful of strangers.
- Writers vs. Guests: Each person using the apartment must be a writer. Children, spouses, partners, and guests defeat the purpose of making this a writer’s retreat, so no family or guests are allowed other than the working writer(s).
- Noise: We expect that the visiting writers will respect the quiet of the farm, and will not play loud music. However, understand that this is a working farm. The farm owners may be working on the property at any time and you may hear tractors, mowers, power tools, etc.
- The Grounds: You are free to walk the grounds at your leisure but understand that farm terrain can be rough–with uneven ground, holes, rocks, roots, vines, animal burrows, poison ivy and other obstacles. This is why Good Contrivance Farm is a heels-free walking zone. No high heels. The farm can be a dirty place, and there are many thorny plants on the property. Please dress appropriately. Guests must wear sensible shoes when walking the property–no heels or bare feet.
- Temperature: The barn apartment tends to be cool in the winter and very warm during hot summer days. We can provide wood for the wood-burning stove in winter and there are ceiling fans for summer, as well as an air conditioner.
- Farm Buildings and Machinery: Please do not touch any farm machinery (very dangerous!) and do not enter any sheds or buildings without our accompaniment, other than the barn in which the apartment is housed. Tours of the farm buildings and/or the farmhouse may be arranged.
- Property Lines: Please note that our property is six acres enclosed by a fence. Nobody is allowed to enter the surrounding farmland outside the fence, as it belongs to someone else.
- Guests must contact the owners asap if something in the apartment breaks or malfunctions.
- The owners have the right of entry into the apartment in event of emergencies.
- Vegetables and Flowers: Guests must not collect flowers, eggs or food from the vegetable garden or food-bearing plants without permission from the owners.
- Parking is available in the front lot and on the ramp to the barn. Occasionally one or more of a larger group may have to park in the rear parking area. Please do not block the farm lane or access for other drivers. See property map for parking locations.
- Unforeseen delays: we are not responsible for refunds due to delays caused by traffic; please plan your trip accordingly–both Baltimore and DC beltways are notorious for bad traffic.
- We do not provide meals, food, or beverages
Click here for an overview of the property.