COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Protocols

Updated March 3, 2021

As the state of Arkansas begins to loosen its COVID mandates and restrictions, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow will continue to abide by our COVID Protocols. New, highly contagious, strains of COVID-19 have been identified, and many of our staff and writers are not yet vaccinated. The following protocols have been communicated to staff and will be provided to all residents prior to, and upon arrival.

Writers are asked not to travel to WCDH for a residency if they are unvaccinated and at risk due to an underlying health issue, aware they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or are feeling sick. WCDH, does not charge change or cancellation fees for last-minute adjustments to residency schedules.

Social Distancing

WCDH continues to observe social distancing practices. Writers are asked to be consistent about maintaining a distance of at least six feet between themselves and other residents and staff. A face covering is required in all common areas at all times. Writers should spread out while using the great rooms, kitchens, decks, and porches at 515 and 505 Spring. All common areas at WCDH are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly with particular attention taken to high-touch areas.

Individual writers’ suites and common areas are stocked with disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer. All frequently touched surfaces in common areas are regularly disinfected. WCDH will provide a disposable mask or new, washable, reusable cloth mask if needed.

Large public gatherings at Dairy Hollow, including Poetluck, are canceled until further notice, although virtual versions may be offered. We continue to follow the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and will modify protocols and programming accordingly.

In-person workshops held in the great room of the main building will be limited to a maximum of ten people. Participants will be physically distanced with a minimum of six feet between them. Protective face coverings are required. Weather permitting, windows will be opened to facilitate ventilation. Writers in residence not participating in the workshop will be advised of the class schedule. The back door may be used to access the kitchen during the workshop.


Should you prefer a private entrance, please request one of these four suites when you make your residency reservation. The back door to the kitchen is kept locked. During office hours, it can be unlocked upon request to provide access to the kitchen without going through the office.

WCDH will use contactless check-in until further notice. A welcome packet containing directions to your suite, current WCDH COVID-19 protocols, and suite keys will be put in a clearly marked envelope in the blue mailbox on the front door at 515 Spring Street. Each packet will also contain cell phone numbers for Michelle and Chad. Please call or text if you have questions or if there is any way we can help.

WCDH has implemented a contactless check-out procedure. A copy of your invoice will be provided with the welcome packet. Barring any changes, we will email you a link which will enable you to pay securely online with a credit card. If you prefer to pay with cash or check, please leave it on the desk in the 515 lobby in an envelope. You will find envelopes on the lobby desk.

After checking out, please leave your keys in the blue mailbox on the front door at 515 Spring Street.

After each guest stay, suites are cleaned and disinfected per CDC standards as follows: all frequently touched surfaces including suite keys, chair backs, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, and sinks will be cleaned with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Bedding will be washed with detergent and disinfectant. Dishes will be washed in the dishwasher at the hottest setting, and cutlery pre-soaked in a bleach solution.


We understand that one of our residents’ favorite things about The Writers’ Colony is the weeknight communal meals prepared by Chef Jana. Due to social distancing restrictions, we have discontinued serving family-style meals. Weeknight dinners will be plated for each writer restaurant-style. You may choose to have your meal left outside your suite at 6:00 pm, pick up your meal in the kitchen after 6:00 pm at your convenience, or enjoy your dinner with other writers physically distanced in the dining room with a minimum of six feet between diners and a maximum of six people dispersed throughout the room.

Writers are encouraged to limit visits to the communal kitchen at 515. Please consider bringing supplies for multiple meals to your suite and storing them in the mini-fridge and kitchenette area provided. Cafeteria trays and to-go containers are provided for this purpose. Writers are asked to follow the disinfection procedures posted on the refrigerator at 515 immediately before leaving the kitchen with their meals or after enjoying them in the dining room.

Building Community

Getting to know fellow writers-in-residence through communal meals and daily interaction can be a highlight of one’s residency. To that end, we will provide residents with contact information weekly for all writers who are in residence during their stay. This will provide a means to communicate about the use of the common areas, share information, or schedule socially distanced walks or other activities. If you do not want your contact information shared with other residents, please advise us in advance of your arrival.


WCDH staff are committed to these health and safety guidelines and have agreed to stay home if they feel sick or if they know they have been exposed to COVID-19. Temperatures are checked daily.

Staff is available by phone or email to assist during residencies should writers have personal circumstances that need attention. We are happy to offer personal assistance with local (Eureka Springs) errands such as delivering mail and picking up medications or other necessities. Please provide as much advance notice as possible if these services are needed.

Should you have questions or concerns regarding an upcoming or proposed residency, please contact Michelle Hannon, Executive Director, at 479-253-7444 or


“The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow offers writers a safe escape during the pandemic -- from the touch-less check-in to sanitized rooms to the easy accommodation of totally independent writer retreats, this is the place to come now when you need to find silent, safe retreat time for your writing.”

~ Jocelyn Cullity – May, June, July, and August, September, and November 2020, January 2021

“This is such a balm for the soul, and we are blessed beyond blessed to have Michelle, Chad, and Jana taking such good care of this place and us! Between Eureka Spring's signs, banners, and practices promoting masks and distancing, and the excellent COVID protocols from the staff here, I can't imagine a more secure place to hole up and write (and eat incredible dinners).”

~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg - June 2020

“All the elements of the Writer's Retreat at Dairy Hollow – the idyllic location, the well-appointed suites, the friendly and efficient staff, the gourmet evening meals with congenial fellow-writers – work serendipitously to help a writer achieve their goals. In this regard, the way Dairy Hollow has adapted to the pandemic is exemplary – the very sensible protocols that have been put in place undoubtedly make it much safer than most places the residents might have travelled from, and only serve to highlight its many benefits to the serious writer.”

~ Prakesh Younger – June, August, and October 2020, January 2021

“I felt very safe during my residency. I found that my fellow residents adhered to the mask policy, and it was easy to maintain distance from everyone. The option to eat meals in your room made it possible to complete a residency without coming close to anyone.”

~ Jonathan Vatner – August 2020

“I got a lot of work done, but I also managed to explore a lot of the area, which is abundant with hiking and swimming sites, and a first-class museum in Bentonville. COVID protocols were handled very well. I look forward to coming back!”

~ Eric Sasson – August 2020

“Your Covid-19 policies are thorough and made me feel safe in both buildings. Thank you for taking staff and visitor health seriously.”

~ Sabine Schmidt –September 2020

“I love the fact that the town is within an easy walk or trolley ride and yet the colony is far enough away to make it feel like you're out in the woods camping. I love the setup of the suites, too, with the writing nook separated from the bedroom and outdoor spaces for working outside widely available, and every suite having its own bathroom. I love that you're keeping COVID protocols and thus making it possible for us to stay there when so many other colonies are closed. Love that you provide essential cleaning supplies. Love the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff.”

Janet Allured – September 2020

“Staff and fellow writers at the Colony are supportive of my writing projects and concerned that I receive what I need to achieve my goals while I'm here. Thank you for restoring my "writer's fire" and -- this year of Covid -- for providing a safe space to work.”

~ Gwen O’Brien – October 2020

1,014 views0 comments