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The Winds They Are a'Changin': Important updates at The Writers' Colony


Under the Executive Directorship of Michelle Hannon, The Writers’ Colony has become a thriving, self-

sustaining resource for writers. Our occupancy is up, with reservations stretching out well into May of

2023. We’ve provided an array of programming, including readings, workshops, and events like Poetry

Happy Hour and Meet the Storymaker. And we’ve grown our fellowships and scholarships to enable

more writers to come with far less expense. Michelle’s leadership brought The Writers’ Colony into a

new era.


But because of this success, it’s time for us to make some changes to modernize, streamline, and

automate so we can continue to grow and provide better service to our writers.


Below we’ll discuss some of the changes that will affect our writers the most!


Introducing our Managing Director, Jeanne Glass


If you’ve been here the last year and a half, you’ve probably had the delight of meeting Jeanne

Glass. We’ve found her indispensable as she’s provided the much needed support for our most

essential operations. The Writers’ Colony Board of Directors gave her the more applicable title

of Managing Director, and Jeanne’s now overseeing all of facilities, residencies, and a few other

of our most important functions that keep The Writers’ Colony going.


Online booking


For years we’ve been working within a very colorful spreadsheet for bookings to prevent

overbooking, help us schedule meals and housekeeping, and even provide data for grants. But

it’s all manual and susceptible to human error. After looking at several programs, the Board

approved to partner with innRoad, an online booking system. Through innRoad alumni can

check availability of suites before making their reservations, make their deposit, and even make

full payment upfront. The best part is that InnRoad will allow our Managing Director and

Executive Director to attend to other duties to help make The Writers’ Colony even better.


Deposit and Cancellation policies


Since we are streamlining our booking process, we need to look at how we can ensure the

schedule our alumni see through innRoad is accurate. In August alone we had cancellations of

130+ residency nights (out of 248 possible) with over $11k in lost revenue! The worst part is that

many of these cancellations were made near last minute, so we couldn’t fill them even though

there had been inquiries previously. To help prevent loss in income to keep The Writers’ Colony

going…and to ensure writers get every opportunity to make reservations that best meet their

schedule…we’ve implemented a new deposit and cancellation policy.


In summary, individual reservations must provide a deposit of 25% of the total residency.

Retreats that book the entire 505 and/or 515 facilities require a 50% deposit. If reservations are

canceled at least 60 days before date of arrival, the deposit is fully refunded. However, if you

reservations are canceled within 30-60 days before date of arrival, only 50% of the deposit will

be refunded, and if reservations are canceled within 30 days before date of arrival, the deposit

will not be refunded.


Rates for The Culinary Suite


As you probably know, The Writers’ Colony was founded by culinary writer Crescent

Dragonwagon and her husband Ned Shank. To honor Crescent’s legacy, The Writers’ Colony

worked with Crescent, KitchenAid, and Renovation Style to invest in developing a suite

specifically for culinary writers to test recipes, entertain, and hold workshops. Due to the appeal

of the space, though, we have many writers of other specialties spending their residencies in our

Culinary Suite and it has decreased availability to culinary writers. So to open availability of The

Culinary Suite, we have increased the rate to $125 for alumni and new residents alike.


We know these are a lot of changes all at once, but please know we are focused creating sustainable

practices so we can continue serving our writers. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from

you. Please feel free to email us at director@writerscolony.org.

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John Dorroh
John Dorroh
Nov 04, 2022

What are "505 and/or 515 facilities"? Not sure about that.

Thanks,

John Dorroh PS Other than that, the changes sound reasonable to me.

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Hi John! 505 and 515 are the addresses of our buildings. The main building with the offices and dining room is at 515 Spring Street. The remaining suites are in the Usonian-style building at 505 Spring Street.


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