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The Writers' Retreat

Pulaski, Tennessee

Hillhouse Writers’ Retreat (artists & musicians welcome, too!) has specialized in personalized healthy pampering for over 7 years. The retreat is a 34-acre sustainable farm nestled in the hills of Tennessee in the hometown of Southern Agrarian writer John Crowe Ransom (of the Fugitive Poet fame alongside William Penn Warren). Hillhouse marries southern creative charm with alternative healing sensibility.

After a 2 year sabbatical in Oregon, owners Karen Walasek & Ron Heacock (already known for gourmet menus based on guest surveys) return to offer the added flavor of renowned Pacific Northwest culinary trends within the backdrop of a rural Tennessee landscape. Whether you are on a Paleo-diet or have food allergies— you will be cared for and nurtured like you are one of the family— Southern style.

Immerse yourself in cool breezes amid spectacular sunsets. Our small farm, surrounded by larger 1,000+ acre ranches, rests on the top of a ridge. A pastoral view beckons from every window, our wraparound porch, or swinging benches.

Since all meals are included in your stay, we will send you prior to your arrival a food survey to alert us to any special needs or favorite meals. We will then design a menu for your final approval. Dinner can be served family style amid lively conversation on craft or taken privately. We pride ourselves on using green products exclusively within the household and on the grounds.


The blue room has a canopy queen-sized bed, private fireplace, & private bathroom with a claw foot tub for soaking & a large handicapped access shower. Please inquire about mentorship, workshops & other offerings.

Ron Heacock lives with his wife, Karen Walasek, and her loyal service dog, Finn. They split their time between the farm, HillHouse Writer’s Retreat, in the hills of southern Tennessee and their home in the city of Portland, Oregon. Ron spent many years as a performing songwriter and has shared the stage with such notable artists as Alan Ginsberg and Pete Seeger. His work has been published in Connotation, PaperTape, LIMN, Gallmaufry, Elohi Gadugi, and The Pitkin Review. His forthcoming collection: Hey, This is it. I’m Going to Die, will be offered for limited release from Equalibrium Press. He is currently pursuing his MFA in creative writing at the Goddard College Port Townsend Campus.

Karen Walasek’s relationship with animals interweaves throughout her creative work and practical life. Appropriately the first story she ever published “Is your Pet a Spiritual Weathervane?” (Earth to God, Come in Please..., 1991) explores the metaphysical side to these relations. She is the Fiction Editor at Elohi Gadugi Journal and writes a blog about radical motherhood. She received her MFA & BA from Goddard College where she also studied the psychology of creative relationships. As lifelong learner & interdisciplinary graduate student at Portland State University, she is a scholar combining the rhetoric of magic & healing, debt & cultural, conflict resolution, other ways of knowing, gender studies & alternative story structures. She also teaches Storytelling for Social Change.


Your Host and Retreat Operator:  Karen Walasek.

Region:  Southeastern United States. Giles county is on the same line of longitude as Oxford Mississippi, the home of William Faulkner. The area is characterized by rolling hills, green pastures and massive sugar maples.

Location:  75 Miles South of Nashville, TN - equidistant between Huntsville, AL and Nashville. Ten minutes from interstate 65, exit 22.

Closest airport:  Nashville & Huntsville

Tourism information:  Giles County, Pulaski, Tennessee


Studio Name Description Weekly Rates
The Blue Room Private room and private bath & fireplace. All meals included in the rate (alcohol not provided). $1500


  • Wireless
  • Printer
  • Phone
  • Mini fridge
  • Breakfast
  • Private bathroom
  • Satellite
  • TV/DVD
  • Stereo
  • Out smoking

Payment terms:  We accept checks and Amazon Payments. Buttons are found on our website. Please contact us for more information.

Cancellation policy:  All payments are final. Because we purchase supplies and remove booked weeks from the availability calendar, we cannot return any deposits or payments. However, we will make every attempt to reschedule any cancellation within one year of the originally booked date.

A sampling of memories from our residents

The Writers' Retreat
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