Search our Worldwide Residential Retreats
The Writers' Retreat

Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Draco Hill Writer's Retreat is nestled into a river valley on 80 acres of timber and prairie; it is located 25 minutes from the famed Iowa Writers Workshop and Summer Writing Program. Space is available from September through March. At Draco Hill, we welcome one writer at a time in a private studio with a kitchen, wireless Internet, laser printer (15 complimentary pages) and a land-line phone with long distance service included.

To get the creativity flowing, step out to picnic by the pond, stroll along the 3-mile river trail or relax on your patio. In the evenings, you may spy deer and turkeys walking across the front yard, and on winter nights, coyotes call out across the river valley and hills.

Residents enjoy watching bald eagles and red-tailed hawks soar above the Cedar River as well as the comical guinea fowl racing across the yard.

In winter, enjoy complimentary use of our snow shoes or take a break with some sledding. Musically-inclined? A baby grand piano and guitar are both located in your space.

We have two friendly dogs. You can choose to let them join you or we can keep them from disturbing you during your stay.

Less than 25 miles away, the University of Iowa and Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, offer frequent readings by famous writers and poets. We will give you links to coffee shops, book stores and events on campus and off.

Iowa City is also the best place to stock up on groceries for your stay. We can steer you to our local, member-owned food co-operative or the major grocery store.


Nature's inspiration will help you get the job done, whether it's writing a personal essay, a collection of poems, a chapter in a larger work or just spending quiet time finding your voice.

Then, when you're ready, you can sit down for a complimentary two-hour consultation with your host Suzan Erem, award-winning creative non-fiction writer and author of several books. She'll gladly offer feedback on a project or discuss your writing goals. Additional consultation and printing available for a fee.

Save money by skipping the car rental if you choose. We offer airport transportation at $50 per trip. Save more with a 10 percent discount on stays of 2 weeks or more.

Suzan Erem and her husband Paul Durrenberger, a retired anthropologist, are stewards of the land and current owners of Draco Hill and a nearby organic farm.

Suzan is a creative nonfiction writer, poet, journalist and author/co-author of several professionally-published books including her early memoir, Labor Pains: Inside America's New Union Movement, winner of the Great Chicago Stories Contest, and the trade book Do I Want to be a Mom? A Woman's Guide to the Decision of a Lifetime.

A Journalism and English graduate of the University of Iowa, Suzan has worked as the communications director of a major Chicago nonprofit, the managing editor and publisher of a monthly news magazine and as a freelance writer for unions and nonprofits.


Your Host and Retreat Operator:  Suzan Erem. Included in your stay is a two-hour complimentary consultation with Suzan.

Region:  The nearby University of Iowa writing programs have a long, esteemed history of drawing and launching some of the best writers in the country and the International Writing Program hosts public readings by accomplished international writers throughout the academic year. Closer in, West Branch is home to the only Iowa-born U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, and visitors can explore the national park and library dedicated to him. Less than 60 miles east is the fabled Mississippi River and related tourist and historical attractions including the Buffalo Bill Museum, paddlewheel boat river tours, art museums and more.

Location:  Draco Hill is located in Eastern Iowa, less than four hours' drive west of Chicago and less than five hours' drive northeast of St. Louis.

Closest airport:  Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids is 45 minutes to the north. Quad Cities International Airport in Moline is 40 minutes to the east.

Tourism information:  Iowa City/Coralville area


Studio Name Description Weekly Rates
Draco Hill Suite A three-room apartment with full kitchen, dining table/chairs, private bath, river view and baby grand piano, one bedroom with double bed and writing desk/chair, second room with futon and patio access. $575


  • Wireless
  • Printer
  • Phone
  • Refbook
  • Weekmaid
  • Kitchenette
  • Private bathroom
  • Out smoking

Payment terms:  Payment through PayPal, credit card or by check will secure your reservation. All currency is in US dollars.

Cancellation policy:  Cancellation more than two weeks prior to confirmed arrival date will be subject to 10% administration fee. Cancellations within 2 weeks of stay will be rescheduled.

A sampling of memories from our residents

The Writers' Retreat
Each retreat is independently owned and operated.

| Home | Our Team | Editing | Mentoring | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us |

Copyright© 1998 Cote International and The Writers' Retreat - All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of materials strictly prohibited.
Legal Notice