The 1920’s era bungalow sits in such a quiet spot, snuggled behind azaleas, magnolias and camellias, that it’s been ignored by many. But if people only knew what a hot-spot of the literary world The Wolff Cottage is, they would certainly take notice.
Charming Wolff Cottage, or more officially, Fairhope Center For The Writing Arts, is a haven for writers who seek solace and peace. A place to organize thoughts, notes and get down to the business of crafting a good, good story.
I write a simple blog and weekly newspaper column, and often go crazy trying to find time to focus and meet deadlines. Jumping up to throw in a load of laundry, start dinner (I know, you thought I had a staff. Sorry to disappoint), run here and there – all makes for disjointed work time. This cottage takes the busyness out of the day, and offers writers solace for serious concentration.
Still in the process of accepting donations of furniture, accessories and artwork (and good ole’ American ca-ching $$!) to give the house a needed “fluff,” the space is coming together and continues to be a get-away for authors who agree in exchange for the use of the cottage, to make appearances and conduct workshops in town. The house has already hosted many notable writers, and started things off several years ago with Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg.
Books of local authors and beautiful artwork line the shelves for inspiration. Forget about coming here on a writing retreat, I’d be thrilled if they just let me in to take a nap!
Native Alabama pine floors run throughout the one bedroom cottage, which is located in the downtown area, directly behind the public library. Not sure what the little trapdoor – looking thing is, maybe a secret passageway – Oooo! A good story!
A small dining area offers a place for a quick meal alone, or with a few local friends. What if the authors invite
crazy colorful local people over to get ideas for some of their off-the-wall characters? I’ll have to be wary of any invitations! Ooo! Another good story!
Wolff Cottage, was named in honor of Betty Joe Wolff, a literary powerhouse in our area who first opened the popular Page and Palette Bookstore, which is now owned and operated by her granddaughter, Karin Wolff Wilson. It wasn’t until after I took the photo of the historical marker that I noticed “Wolff” is misspelled on the plaque! (Wolfe) Hey! This is a writer’s cottage! Spell check! Spell check!
This autographed door was once located in “Over The Transom Bookstore,” a downtown shop that specialized in old, out-of-print books. Owner and local author and editor, Sonny Brewer, began inviting other authors to visit Fairhope, and surprisingly enough . . . they showed up! When the well known writers would come to town, they were amazed at the rich local history and love of the written word.
One of our most famous local authors, Winston Groom, has his book displayed on the shelf. I’m sure his other books, including, “Forrest Gump” have a place in the house as well.
You can become a member of the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts and receive invitations to the welcome receptions for new writers-in-residence and other fun literary events throughout the year. Click HERE to read more about the cottage, and send a message to FCWAnews@gmail.com to learn how to join.