FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

At Wellspring, we get a lot of questions about what residents can expect before, during, and after the application process. Below, you’ll find some answers to our most often asked questions regarding booking, arriving, and your stay at Wellspring.

If you have a question that’s not listed, feel free to email us at wellspringhouseretreat@gmail.com

How do I know what your current vacancies are? 

You may always email us directly to inquire about current vacancies or upcoming availabilities. Likewise, we will often promote these in our Quarterly Newsletter or our Facebook page. Be sure to “follow” us in order to receive these important updates.

How far in advance should I book my stay? 

We get a lot of applications for residencies at Wellspring. As a result, summer months especially tend to fill up quick. That said, if you know that you’d like to book in the summer, we recommend applying at least 3-6 months in advance. The rest of the year runs a bit slower, so we recommend at least a month in advance. However, we may have last minute cancellations or smaller chunks of time that become available. The standard residency period is 1-2 weeks, though residents are also welcome for stays as short as a couple of days, or as long as a month.

At Wellspring, a standard week begins on a Saturday. We encourage residents to plan their arrivals for a Saturday whenever possible, though mid-week arrivals for shorter stays (1-3 days, typically) are also acceptable. Feel free to email us whenever you need to to check on dates and availabilities. We’re so sure you’ll love your stay here, that we want to do whatever you can to book you a room.

What can I expect with the application process? 

If you’re a first time applicant, visit our application page and submit your application. If it is accepted, you will get an email from one of our writers-in-residence notifying you of whether your requested dates are still available and what the pricing information would be. At this time, we will mark you ‘tentatively’ in the calendar, and you should mail a check to “Wellspring House” for your deposit (50% of your total balance). You can send this to: PO Box: 2006, Ashfield, MA 01330. Once we receive your deposit, that room will be held for you and you will be on your way to Wellspring!  (The remaining balance is payable via check before the end of your residency.)

If you’re a returning Resident, you do not have to fill out another application. Simply email us at wellspringhouseretreat@gmail.com with your requested dates, and we will be in touch to confirm or provide alternatives for your requested residency dates.

How do I get there? 

There are a number of ways you can arrive to Ashfield, MA. If you’re driving your own car, simply enter our street address into your GPS or other Maps service (We are located at 284 Main Street, Ashfield, MA, 01330).

You may also fly into an airport nearby (the closest regional airport is Westfield Barnes). Keep in mind that regional airports are often smaller, more costly, and more limited in terms of numbers and times of flights. The closest major airport is Bradley International Airport. However, this is about an hour away from Ashfield, MA. You can rent a car and/or Uber or taxi from the airport. For an additional $80 charge, one way, one of our Resident Writers can pick you up from the airport, depending on their schedule and availability. Please email them to inquire about this service. 

You may also take a bus or train to Northampton, where one of our Writer’s-in-Residence can pick you up. These rides, however, are not always available, and are often to the discretion of their schedule. Always check with them at the time of booking your transportation to ensure they can accommodate your needs. Otherwise, you can Uber or taxi to the house. Pick-ups are an additional charge, $40 one way. Please email our Resident Writers to inquire about this service. 

Is there WiFi? What’s the cell reception like?

Unfortunately, there is no cell phone service at Wellspring. Though this isn’t intentional, our past residents have always found it to be a ‘blessing-in-disguise.’ We celebrate this as an opportunity to unplug, detach from our social networks, and to spend your time focused on your craft. That said, residents are able to freely connect to our Wi-Fi network, and there is a landline available free-of-charge for emergency or short-distance calls. For long-distance calls, we ask that residents contribute a small fee.

Are meals included in the Residency? 

While meals are not included as part of your Residency, you will have a reserved space in our kitchen and fridge. Please feel free to store any groceries and personal kitchen items in your designated spaces (fridge and pantry). There are also a number of communal items and food that you are welcome to use.

As a common courtesy to the shared space, we do ask that you clean up after yourself, as well as keep your spaces clean and tidy. We offer FREE coffee to our residents, so enjoy a cup on us!

Will there be laundry on site? 

We do have laundry machines on site! As a courtesy to the shared space, we ask that residents use the laundry facilities between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., Sunday through Friday, and between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturdays, in order to keep noise disturbance to a minimum. There is no need to purchase laundry detergent. We are happy to supply this to you. There are also extra towels and linens located in the second floor hallway–please help yourself to these as needed.

Will I have access to my own bathroom/shower? 

There are three bathrooms on site: one on the lower floor which offers toilet access, and two upstairs which offer both toilet and bathing. One bathroom offers a sit in tub, while the other offers a shower. These are all shared spaces, so please be respectful about keeping or storing items in these rooms.

You can find out more about your room here.

Will there be anyone on site to assist me during my stay? 

We have two Writers-in-Residence who are happy to assist you during your stay. Like you, their primary focus at Wellspring is their own creative work. However, feel free to approach them with any urgent or pressing issues. Likewise, you may email them at wellspringhouseretreat@gmail.com. They are here to help you transition, as well as to address any questions or concerns you might have throughout your stay. They also have two, small dogs which they keep confined in their Residency Wing, so please do not be alarmed if you hear an occasional bark.

Their office hours are currently from 2-5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturday.
Stop by and say hi!

Can my pet iguana come? What about my dog or cat?

As cute as your iguana may be, unfortunately, due to the shared living space, there isn’t any place to offer extra accommodations for pets. Same goes for your dog and cat, too. Should you feel extra lonely without your pet, our Writers-in-Residence have two, small dogs that they keep confined in their Residency Wing. They’d be happy to introduce you to Thomas & Cutty!

Can my kids or spouse/partner come?

Spouses/partners are welcome to come, but we ask that they also complete a formal application if they are first time residents, and that they let us know what kind of creative, academic, or other professional pursuit they will be undertaking during their time. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we cannot accommodate children.

What if I have allergies? How may I be accommodated? 

Depending on the allergy, we can generally accommodate your needs. If you have dietary restrictions, we suggest storing dry pantry items in your room, or we can make a separate space for you. The fridge and freezer are shared spaces, so if you have major restrictive issues or need to avoid cross-contamination, it may be more difficult for us to accommodate that need.

If you have additional allergies, please mention them in your application so that we have ample time to plan for an accommodation. We want to make your stay at Wellspring as lovely as possible!

Are there any special events or readings that might happen while I’m there?

Occasionally, there may be special events or readings that are hosted by the Wellspring House. These often will include the residents and Preston. Generally, these are rare unless residents request it. For example, at the end of your stay, if you’re interested, you may discuss with one of the Writers-in-Residence hosting an open mic or reading. This can easily be accommodated and hosted. Plus, we’d love to hear what you’ve been working on!

Outside of Wellspring, there are always events going on in Ashfield. Check out the Ashfield Lake House for a variety of sponsored events, including concerts, open mics, and other literary readings. Click this link to explore the town of Ashfield and its amenities.

What’s worth checking out when I’m in town?

Click this link to explore the town of Ashfield and its amenities.

What if something comes up and I need to cancel my stay? Do you have a refund policy?  Can I rebook at another time?

Within two weeks of booking your stay, a deposit is due to Wellspring House (at least 50% of your total stay). The deposit is non-refundable. In the event that you are interested in re-booking at a later date — With enough advanced notice (at least 2-3 weeks in advance), that deposit can be used for re-booking at another time. If you cancel within two weeks from your planned residency, however, we cannot rebook that space, and thus, give no refunds or transfers.

What is the town of Ashfield like? What can I expect in terms of restaurants, grocers, etc?

Much of the town is within walking distance. There is a gas station and convenience store next to the Wellspring House. CountryPie Pizza Co., is a town favorite. Open daily, 11:30-9. Elmers is also popular place for locals. Open most days 7a to 2p, and offers a one-night-a-week dinner service on Fridays at 5:30.

Do you offer gift certificates? I’d like to gift a residency to a loved one. What should I do? 

If you’d like to sponsor a residency for a friend or family member, you can email us directly to arrange payment. However, we still ask that that individual fills out an application if they will be a first-time resident. If they’ve attended before, include that in the email and no application needs to be completed.

I noticed your rates have increased. Why is that? 

 Though we haven’t changed our rates in a number of years, we’ve had to update them now in order to keep up with rising costs of living, utilities cost, and costs of maintaining the house. Despite this small increase, however, we remain competitive with other writing residencies like ours.