Downtown Asheville, N.C. is home to an eco-friendly historic inn with a storied background. The Gray Rock Inn was constructed in 1911. For the past 111 years it has offered rooms to short-term guests and long-term residents while also serving as a stoic witness to eccentric Asheville through the boom of the Roaring Twenties, the bust of the Great Depression, the eras of Segregation, Integration, Urban Removal, Revitalization, and more.

As the saying goes, “If these walls could talk …”  Well, maybe they can. John Senechal purchased and renovated the Inn in the early 2000s, making the building an energy efficient, low carbon footprint place to live or visit. He also began digging into the Inn’s colorful past, the stories of its guests, and the notable moments in local, national, and world history that passed within and beyond the Inn’s walls.

To collect those stories, Senechal has created The Gray Rock Inn Writing Project. The initiative seeks authors, journalists, and writers to craft short stories based on the Inn’s history. The stories can be works of fiction or creative nonfiction but must use historic details of both Asheville and the Inn itself. One character in each story must be a guest, resident, or employee of the Inn. Stories will be commissioned by the Inn for publication in sources such as a blog, print anthology, podcast, and social media content.

A select number of writers will be commissioned to create a 1,000-2,000 word story within a 30-day time period. Payment is $200. Publication rights will remain with The Gray Rock Inn Writing Project, though all commissioned writers will be credited in each publication of their work and welcome to share and cite links to the published projects.

Interested writers should submit a cover letter, resume, and links to published works of fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and / or historic research to

Learn more about The Gray Rock Inn at

For questions or additional details about The Gray Rock Inn Writing Project, contact Alli Marshall,