Owsley Fork Writers Sanctuary is a gorgeous 30-acre retreat appropriate for writers and artists working on special projects. The peaceful getaway is in the unincorporated area of Bighill, Kentucky, about seven miles from the quaint college town of Berea and thirty-eight miles from Lexington.
Owsley Fork Writers Sanctuary has a private cabin — Gloria’s Rest — where a writer can work in complete solitude. The cabin has everything you would need, including a stove, microwave, shower, woodstove, heater, and other necessities. The cabin has a cozy piney wood interior and a view of Owsley Fork Lake with an expansive backdrop of the deep forested hills of the Cumberland Plateau. A wonderful fact: the cabin is called Gloria’s Rest because author and feminist icon Gloria Steinem was one of the first guests. This cabin is available for up to two weeks at a time. Click here for more information.
Redwing Cottage, a shell cabin on the property for those who prefer a more adventurous setup. This cabin is expansive but does not have as many amenities, but it does have electricity, an RV toilet, laundry sink, refrigerator, and microwave. This cabin is appropriate for weekend stays. Click here for more information.
The main log house has an open layout appropriate for workshops.
Owsley Fork Sanctuary Founder & Director, Linda Bryant is a poet and journalist. She was inspired to create the sanctuary after visiting Berea for a writing workshop at Berea College in 2017. “When I walked into that workshop, I had a powerful sensation of coming home, “Bryant says. “I didn’t really know what it meant other than I was quite fond of this area. Then things started to happen, and a series of unplanned occurrences led me back to Berea. I didn’t even know I was looking for land — much less land where I could start a retreat for artists — but the opportunity to buy the Owsley Fork property arose and as soon as I walked into the main house and gazed out the window, I just knew I was home.”
Owsley Fork Sanctuary Co-Directror, Coleman Davis, is an organic farmer, poet and painter. Since moving to Owsley Fork Sanctuary he’s dedicated himself to growing medicinal native Kentucky plants on the surrounding acreage. He also became a devoted student of guitar and dulcimer. He spent much time as a construction worker on the West Coast and brings with him a full-set of maintenance, design, and construction skills. As a resident of the sanctuary he’s usually available for forest tours and guided hikes. Coleman is willing to help with anything from making s’mores to identifying wildflowers and birds. If he’s not busy fixing something or doing some trail maintenance, a kayak trip on Owsley Fork Lake is not out of the question.
Owsley Fork Sanctuary Assistant Director, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, is an author, editor, & ghostwriter. He is Author of two poetry collections, Visiting Hours & Ghost Gear; Editor of Apocalypse Now: Poems & Prose from the End of Days; Acquisitions Editor for Upper Rubber Boot Books; Founder and Editor of PoemoftheWeek.com and The Floodgate Poetry Series; and professor of creative writing at Colorado Community College. Learn more at AndrewMK.com.