Oregon Writers Colony founders built the organization from a small group of writers who wanted a writing retreat at the beach into a nonprofit organization that offers support, networking, and a retreat house for writers. The annual Founders Day celebration at Colonyhouse each August celebrates the achievement of that dream.
Colonyhouse is a four-bedroom, two-bathroom log cabin in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. The house is a retreat house for writers owned and operated by OWC, a 501(c)(3) corporation managed by members/volunteers.
Colonyhouse has four bedrooms that are configured as follows:
- Daylight basement room: two twin beds
- Main floor bedroom: two twin beds
- Upstairs, dorm room: one queen bed, one double bed and one single bed
- Upstairs, ocean view: two twin beds
The bathroom on the main floor has a tub and shower, and the daylight basement bathroom has a shower.
Note: Colonyhouse sits on a hill, and there are many steps up into the house. Those with restricted mobility should email Marlene Howard for more information.
OWC members may take advantage of using Colonyhouse in two ways:
- A member may reserve the entire house for individual use or to share it with writer friends for a week or a weekend. Off-season (Sept. 1–May 31) rates are $500 for a five-day week and $350 for a weekend. Extra weekdays may be added at $100/day. Summer rates (June 1 –Aug. 31) are $625 for a five-day week and $400 for a weekend. Extra weekdays may be added for $125/day. To reserve Colonyhouse, send Marlene Howard an email requesting a specific date. Please choose a second and third choice to speed up the process. Put COLONYHOUSE RESERVATION REQUEST in the subject line of the email. Marlene will reply either confirming or denying the requested dates’ availability. Each writer who is included must be an OWC member.
- Writers Weeks and Writers Weekends are time set aside for individual members to share the Colonyhouse on a first-come, first-served basis, to spend time writing. Each person will have his/her own room, and share kitchen, living room, and bathrooms (common areas). The cost for a five-day Writers Week is $165 ($190 in summer) per person, and Writers Weekends are $135 ($165 in summer) per person. Maximum number of members signed up per week is four. These dates fill up quickly. You may request a list of available Writers Week dates from Marlene Howard.
Inquiries regarding reservations must be presented to Marlene Howard in writing (email or through postal mail to Marlene Howard, c/o Oregon Writers Colony, P.O. Box: 15200, Portland, OR 97293-5200). Telephone reservations are not accepted. A reservation form will be emailed to the house user, and one copy must be returned to OWC with a $50 deposit. A second copy of the form with the balance owed is to be mailed to OWC three weeks prior to the reserved dates. On receipt of the balance, the house key is mailed to the house user, along with directions to Colonyhouse and instructions on opening and closing the house.
The $50 down payment is nonrefundable, but may be transferred if cancellation is made 21 days before the reserved date. Oregon Writers Colony does not accept Paypal payments for house use. Send checks or money orders only.
Length of stay
Weeks begin Sunday at 4 p.m. and end Friday at 2 p.m. Weekends begin Friday at 4 p.m. and end Sunday at 2 p.m.
What to Bring with You to Colonyhouse
- Your own sheets and blankets or sleeping bags and pillows (most of the beds are single size; see above)
- Towels and toiletries
- Wood for fireplace
Provided at Colonyhouse
- WIFI — password and instructions are in red notebook in dining room
- A few extra blankets
- Well-equipped kitchen with stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher
- Dishes and flatware for over 20 people
- Keureg coffee maker that uses “pods”
- Pots, pans and serving bowls—bring your own if you have special needs
- Limited variety of spices and staples (varies, so don’t count on it)
- Dishwasher detergent, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies
- A TV set where DVDs may be played
- HP pfc 1610 inkjet printer (takes #94 ink cartridge). There is a disc with the printer drivers you can install on your laptop. Bring your own paper.
- A portable emergency ladder is in the closet in the upstairs oceanside bedroom
You are expected to leave Colonyhouse as clean as you found it. Instructions are in the red notebook in the dining room. Cleaning supplies and equipment are provided. Please allow time to clean the house, take out the garbage, and run the dishwasher before the next group arrives.
At the 2011 Founders Day Celebration, Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen dedicated a Poetry Pole on the lower lot at Colonyhouse. We encourage writers using Colonyhouse to place poetry at the pole.
- No smoking
- No pets
- Silence in the house during Writers Weeks and Writers Weekends, unless the group agrees otherwise
- Do not make a copy of the Colonyhouse key. If you do and we think it is necessary to change the locks, you will be billed for the new lock and keys.
Yard and Garden
Please admire the work that volunteers have been doing on the oceanside garden, and don’t leave bottles or cans outside.
An automatic watering system is set to operate four times a week in summer. Please don’t use the dishwasher, outside hose or shower while it’s on.
Use the hose on the south side of the house to wash sand off your feet before going inside. Sand clogs up the plumbing.
Directions to Colonyhouse
From Portland: West on Highway 26. Take Wilson River Highway 6 turnoff about 20 miles west of Portland. Take Highway 6 west to Tillamook. Turn right on Highway 101 and go north past BayCity and Garabaldi to Rockaway Beach.
Go past downtown Rockaway Beach to NW Ninth. Turn left and go over the railroad tracks and take a left on Miller Street. The number 882 is on the garage. Go up the steps to the left of the garage. Enter by the door at the corner of the house. Travel time from Portland is 90 minutes to two hours.
Once inside, go up the steps to the main floor. Don’t use the outside eastside stairs (facing the lake). That door opens only from the inside.
Note: These directions are to get to Rockaway Beach from the south. Some people may wish to take Highway 26 to Cannon Beach and turn south on 101 to reach Rockaway Beach. This is the long way around, but fun if you have lots of time. Travel time is approximately two and a half hours.
Please don’t drop by for a spur-of-the-moment visit to the house. Most likely, the house will be in use by working writers, who won’t be available to give a tour of the house. (Naturally, if the writers there invite you, that’s a different matter.) Founders Day is a wonderful opportunity to visit and tour the house.
For questions about Colonyhouse email Marlene Howard.