Writers' Retreat

The Bowers House Writers Retreat and Center for Lifelong Learning is located in the lush, rolling hill farm country of Northeast Georgia. Nearby Hartwell Lake serves as the boundary waters between Georgia and South Carolina and just to the west are the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Bowers House was constructed in the early 1920s as a hotel to accommodate railroad passengers, many of them businessmen in the cotton trade, who traveled the line that passed by a mere hundred yards from the hotel’s front entrance. The hotel failed during the Great Depression, and at that time the structure—with its eight bedrooms and some 4,000 square feet of space on two floors featuring classic southern columns and wraparound porches—was purchased by Foreman’s grandparents and converted to a private residence.

Family came to the old Bowers house for an afternoon of iced tea and stayed six months.

So begins The Lessons of Lilies, a memoir written by Laura Bowers Foreman (part of the collection of family memoirs, My Mother’s Tattoo) about The Bowers House. The home passed down to Foreman’s parents and then, at the death of her father, to her. Under her father’s guidance, the Bowers House was fully renovated to its original historic beauty in the early 1990s.

In partnership with Stephen Corey, editor of the award-winning Georgia Review, the Bowers House is a place for literary activities from conferences to workshops to readings. Most importantly, the house is a place where writers may stay and find the peace and seclusion so necessary for their work.

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