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The Writers' Retreat

Folly Beach, South Carolina, USA

Folly Beach is a barrier island, sometimes called Folly Island. Here, you will discover the warmth, beauty, and diversity of Folly Beach—fondly referred to by locals as the "Edge of America." The painted sunrises, sunsets, rich history, good cuisine, expansive beaches and its dedicated arts community makes this a unique and charming island.

The Writers' Retreat at Folly Beach is located on a shady, quiet street lined with palm trees and live oaks—just a three minute walk to the ocean, and just one block away from quaint shopping and restaurants. The Writers' Retreat at Folly Beach is part of a historic coastal complex built in 1940 where some of the late 40’s and 50’s famous musicians ate barbecue—Pat Boone, Ray Price, and even Elvis Presley, the King himself—to name a few. 

The two accommodations are truly charming and inspiring! They offer all modern amenities, off-street parking, private entry, private deck. You'll find seacoast inspiration here!

The Guest Cottage features a cozy sitting area with built-in sofas where you can read and relax. Sitting at the writing desk, you'll enjoy the garden view. For your convenience, there's air conditioning and a kitchenette with a full-size fridge, microwave, coffee machine and toaster oven, a bathroom with shower. A spiral staircase leads to a sleeping loft with a comfortable queen-size bed. To accommodate screenwriters, a wireless TV/DVD player combo is provided. Adjacent to the guest cottage is a small garden area with lounge chairs and an outdoor hot/cold shower (great after the beach!). Off-street parking is also available.

The Guest Suite, annexed to the host cottage, offers as much privacy as the Guest cottage. You have your own private entrance, private patio, and deck. The Guest Suite features air conditioning, queen-size bed, writing desk and chair, bathroom with tub and shower, a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee machine. To accommodate screenwriters, a cable TV with built-in VCR is provided. Off-street parking is also available.


Wireless Internet is throughout the retreat, so bring your laptop!

Residents may borrow reference books and videos from the on-site library located in the writers' workshop studio. 

On-site mentor in Folly Beach, South Carolina:  Mary Ann Henry, writer.

Mary Ann Henry currently teaches creative writing at the Charleston School of the Arts. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Writers Workshop and the Director of the Lowcountry Writers' Studio where she conducts classes for both beginning and advanced writers in fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting.  

She produced and sold many video/film projects including a half-hour comedy and a documentary that aired on The Learning Channel and PBS. She has published several short stories and just completed a novel and a nonfiction piece.


Your Host and Retreat Operator:  Mary Ann Henry.

Region:  Calm and relaxed, Folly Beach is a great place to enjoy the waves or walk to the lighthouse. A fishing pier and beautiful views make Folly Beach an authentic beach town.

Charleston is a city rich in history, tradition, and Southern culture, and is one of the top destination cities in the country. Located 15 minutes from Folly Beach, residents have the best of two worlds: the culture and sophistication of Charleston, and the laid-back charm of Folly Beach. The Historic Downtown District has stood throughout Charleston’s history as the cultural capital of the South, and is considered by many to be a living museum. The New York Times called it the "Jewel of the South" for its fantastic restaurant scene and its low country cuisine.

Visiting Charleston for the architecture alone is worth seeing. The houses and gardens are known worldwide for their historic authenticity which is part of the reason why so many Hollywood films have been shot here. Stroll along the waterfront of the Battery where you'll see the historically beautiful Charleston harbor on one side, and rows and rows of multimillionaire's carefully restored mansions from the 1700's on the other side, and you'll begin to understand the breathtaking beauty of this Southern City. It is a city to walk in—to take your time and explore. There are literally hundreds of small art galleries and many, many cafes where you'll experience lowcountry specialties such as she-crab soup, shrimp 'n' grits, and true Southern hospitality. Y'all come and see us, hear?

Location:  Folly Beach is located on the Atlantic Coast, a 15-minute drive from Charleston, the most historically preserved city in the United States, and a 2-hour drive from Savannah, Georgia, and a 30-minute drive from the Charleston International Airport.

Closest airport:  The quickest way to Folly Beach from the Charleston International Airport is taking 26 to downtown Charleston, 17 through downtown to the James Island connector, and Folly Road straight to Folly Beach.  Once in Folly Beach, Folly Road becomes Center

Tourism information:  Explore this Web-site if you wish to discover beautiful Charleston.


Studio Name Description Weekly Rates
Guest Cottage Cottage features a bedroom loft with queen-size bed, bathroom, sitting/writing area, kitchenette, garden access, A/C, wireless TV/DVD player. $725 / $92
Guest Suite One-room suite with queen-size bed, bathroom, kitchenette, and TV/VCR. This room has a private entrance, private patio, and deck.  $625 / $825


  • High Speed
  • Wireless
  • Refbook
  • Weekmaid
  • Kitchenette
  • Mini fridge
  • Phone near
  • Private bathroom
  • TV/DVD

Payment terms:  To guarantee your Folly Beach reservation, you will be confirmed upon receipt of 30% deposit. Balance is due upon arrival.  Two ATM's are available within walking distance from the retreat or Banks and ATM's in Charleston. All currency is in US dollars. Tax included in the rates.

Cancellation policy:  If at least 60 days prior to arrival, deposit will be refunded less $50 administrative fee. Cancellations under sixty days will not receive a refund.  Trip cancellation insurance is strongly advised and can be obtained through your travel agent.

A sampling of memories from our residents

T. Sherrill Just a quick note to say that I will always treasure the time spent at your little cottage at Folly Beach. It was both an escape and a rescue. I was able to fully focus on my writing and work through a particularly difficult chapter of my novel- a hurdle that had to be crossed before I moved on. I left with 7 chapters and 42 pages! I am thrilled. And best yet, I am over the hurdle. Your insights were extremely valuable in keeping me on track with the story and the characters. I look forward to working with you again.

S. Griffis I showed up at the Folly Beach Writers 'Retreat with a lifetime of research stored in file boxes and a rough draft of a first chapter. Working with Mary Ann, I went from there to three polished chapters and a complete chapter outline in one week. We've continued to work together and I'm in the home stretch, with a publisher waiting for the manuscript. We've worked together online but nothing beats Folly Beach where I always stay in the Writer's Suite and it welcomes me back every time. It’s a nurturing place for a writer.

P. Callahan To arrive with one vague story start and leave with five drafts, a better understanding of the process, and renewed confidence in my writing abilities, is my idea of a successful week. Mary Ann Henry was impressive with her insight and dedication to my work. And to stay on Folly Island, with a cottage to myself, steps away from the beach, was a wonderful way to nurture my writing. I look forward to returning to cottage on Folly again- this time not because I need to but because I want to.

The Writers' Retreat
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