Writer’s Retreat: Day Use

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 has spectacular light and the best views of the farm. It has three levels and contains a full kitchen, a small library, a wood-burning stove, and 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 persons with limited mobility.

 We reserve the right to send any resident home who is not abiding by the farm rules.

Note: all proceeds of 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.

Day Use Residency is designed for local writers who have their own transportation and need a quiet, lovely place to write.

  • The retreat may be rented for day use Monday through Thursday. Weekends are not available for day use. 
  • Day use hours are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Day use fee is $45. per day for the first person; $20 for each additional person.
  • Fee must be paid upon reserving the retreat or three weeks in advance via check, card, or Paypal.
  • Cancellation must be made 72 hours before the reservation; otherwise, the fee cannot be returned.
  • We reserve the right to cancel at any time, given reasonable cause (e.g., bad weather, etc.)
  • The retreat can accommodate as many as 8-10 writers (a workshop group, for example).
  • The retreat can be used for special groups, meetings, etc. Please inquire.
  • The full loft apartment is for Day User’s use, including the kitchen, but we ask that you do not use the bed or washer/dryer.
  • The loft apartment has free WiFi but no computers or printers.
  • The loft apartment has a modern wood-burning stove, with a free supply of wood
  • Day Users must clean up after themselves.
  • No Smoking inside: smoking permitted outside, 10 feet from buildings
  • No children, please.
  • No pets. (We have animals.)
  • No “guests” or visitors.
  • No drugs; no heavy drinking
  • We do not provide meals, food, or beverages, except for 5 or more. Inquire about catering options for 5 or more.
  • The apartment includes a small back porch that overlooks the property
  • Day users are free to walk the property

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.

Farm Rules:

    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Temperature: The barn apartment tends to be cool in the winter and  warm during hot summer days.  We provide a complimentary wood pack for the wood-burning stove in winter (and more wood at a modest fee) and there are ceiling fans for summer.
  • 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.
  • Vegetables and Flowers: Please do not remove or pick any flowers, fruit, or vegetables.
  • 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.

Click here for an overview of the property.

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