Participants may sign up individually or in groups for one to four weeks. Four bedrooms are upstairs and one is downstairs. A desk or writing table is provided for each room. Two bathrooms are upstairs and one is downstairs. The bathrooms have both showers and claw-foot bathtubs. There is both central heating & air conditioning at the house. The retreat has room for three to six independent writers in residence. Group event sizes range from 7-12 people, depending on sleeping and bath arrangements.
There is a large living room with ample comfortable sitting. A smaller parlor is upstairs which has a writing table, comfortable chairs as well as a sleeper sofa. The large country kitchen is fully equipped and has the original oak table – a great place to gather. The kitchen door swings open into a large formal dining room, which can also be used for meetings as well as non-formal meals! Groups may decide to join forces in cooking and dine together at night. Evenings offer opportunities for reading to each other and creating supportive critique sessions.
The house has expansive wrap-around porches both upstairs and downstairs. Numerous rocking chairs and a porch swing are available for use. There are tables set up on the porches near electrical outlets so writers can work outside in nice weather. There is also a screened-in area off the kitchen where writers can work.
On occasion the Bowers House hosts readings, concerts, art shows and workshops that are open to the public. Residents are invited to attend.
Should you prefer eating out, there are a number of restaurants in the Royston, Lavonia & Hartwell area. Ellen Davenport, the Program Coordinator, will have updated information and directions.
When writers need to get outdoors for a bit, both kayaking (Slow Water Outfitters) and Victoria Bryant State Park (a natural woodsy park) are within five miles of the house. A public golf course is adjacent to the Victoria Bryant State Park. Informational brochures regarding these and other areas of interest are available.
The Bowers House is a private membership facility and retreat and event organizers who wish to rent the facility must make application by calling Charlie Read at 954-888-8948, where members are assigned a creative ambassador to help them plan their retreat or event at The Bowers House.
The Bowers House conducts several music, film and creative and fine arts events and retreats each year, as well as promoting the work of its ambassadors. As a Resident or Retreat Organizer you will coordinate with one of these ambassadors for rental terms and accommodation. Members are expected provide an end result or in progress learning experience for creative accomplishments made during your stay. This might include or involve a video interview, a public or private concert, reading, production, performance, usually video recorded on site. Materials are provided to the artist for promotional use as well.
Membership as an artist resident (as part of a group or as an individual) entitles resident and alumni to subsequent stays at discounted rates, when available. Member artists and writers are expected to provide their own food, do their own cooking and clean up afterwards. The Bowers House provides some basic staples (some spices, flours, sugar, laundry soap, paper towels, and toilet paper). There are good grocery stores in nearby Royston and Lavonia and one that offers “exotics” in Hartwell. Arrangement can be made for food service during your event or catering in advance. Transportation and local tours may also be arranged.
When writers are in residence, their stay takes precedence, and quiet consideration in the house is required. So that writers can work, there is a “7 to 5 quiet time,” unless other arrangements have been made to accommodate a group. Guests are expected to be respectful of other writers at night so that sleeping is not disturbed.
A four stall artist studio is under works in the 2000 SF attic, and plans are rolling for the renovation of a 2400 SF 100 year old commercial building know as 100 Depot Street, the domain’s address in Canon, Georgia.
Mary Anne Mitchell is photography ambassador and Kim Shockley Karelson and Daphne Covington share fine arts. Jonny Hibbert is music ambassador, Ryan Lannom and Karol Molina, new media, Max Woo, dance, and Jorge Ortoll is theatre ambassador. Charles Prier is writing ambassador, heading a monthly local meeting in the house for The Bowers House Writers’ Guild and 2022 will host various writers from The University of Georgia’s, THE GEORGIA REVIEW programs. Karen Gelhaar heads marketing and editorial writing groups and Dorjan Williams of VOXPOPATL partners with the house producing The Bowers House Hour, a television and news media network highlighting the creative activities at the facility. The goal is providing creative outlet and peace and quiet to create for the artist and education and exposure of their work via broadcasting.
Ellen Davenport, Manager and Program Coordinator, can address any concerns you might have. She makes sure the staples are replenished and she can answer any questions you might have. Your assigned Creative Ambassador will make sure the needs or your stay at The Bowers House exceed your expectations, and customized event considerations are the norm.
Alcohol is permitted (please drink with consideration for others). No smoking indoors. A washer and dryer are available for writers’ use. Laundry soap is provided. In order to keep the Bowers House affordable, creative residents and writers are expected do light housework. Clean sheets and towels are provided, however members are expected to make their beds when they arrive & strip them before they leave. A vacuum cleaner is provided for room cleaning and the bathroom should be kept cleaned.
The Bowers House Library graciously accepts development and sponsorship donations, gifts of literary magazines and books guest writers recommend or books they have written.