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Gell Summer Intensive

Excellent.  Instructors were well prepared and attentive.  Student participation and level of writing excellent as well.

Participant – Fiction Intensive| July 2017 | Ralph Uttaro.

Excellent & inspiring.  Useful criticism, re-affirmed my enthusiasm for the craft. 

Participant – Fiction Intensive | July 2017 | Jim Byrne

As an attendee of the first “Mother Wolf”  1 Day Writing Retreat, I can only say that it was a wonderful experience.  I loved both the gorgeous retreat site, and entire program.  It was all fabulous!

Participant | May 2017 | Lisa Thompson.

We always have a great time in this space!  The porch and the beautiful landscape are the biggest reasons we have returned for our fourth year.  Thanks for making this available to members at a reasonable cost. It is truly a gem! 

Artisan Women | May 2017 | Tracy Austin.

Rochester Veterans Writing Group held a half day writing retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – This lodge provided a welcome respite for our group from the normal routine our writing workshops by listening to our guest speaker, Jen Case as an outside voice, engaging with one another, and gazing out on the radiant beauty of the surrounding hills.  In Hemingway’s words ” this clean, well-lighted place” was ideal, and met all of our needs. Many thanks for maintaining such a gem in the midst of the Finger Lakes Region!

Rochester Veterans Writing Group | June 2017 | Tim Hansen, Co-Founder.                    

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Testimonial from Writer in Residence at Gell, Kevin Clouther

Kevin Clouther reflects on his time at Gell during this residency through The Gell Residency for Writers with Children:

“I was very happy, every morning but one (when it was raining hard), to make the short walk up the hill to the cabin, raise the heavy window by the door, and work on my novel BERMUDA without interruption. The work I did for the rest of the day paled beside that time, and I am deeply grateful for it. Although I’d worried that my family would grow restless while I was writing, I needn’t have. Exploring an unfamiliar house thrilled my two kids, and they loved running up and then running (or rolling) down the hills. The stream was of particular interest to them. When my writing slowed, we got in the car and moved our way through various local parks and vineyards. After my kids went to bed, I spent each evening watching the sunset either from the deck or what we called the typewriter room. While my wife read, I went over the day’s work, and then it was the walk up to the cabin the next morning, a ritual I already miss.”

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Testimonial from Writer in Residence at Gell, Kelli Jo Ford


The Gell Residency for Writers with Children has been such a gift. Because my partner is teaching this summer, his time away from school didn’t coincide with our daughter’s. We wrestled some with how to make the trip work for all three of us, and ultimately decided to ask my mom, who lives in Texas, if she could join us and look after our daughter while I worked. We were all a little disappointed that my partner couldn’t join us, but being able to spend time at the Gell House with my mom and my daughter was a really beautiful experience. I believe it was just the way it was supposed to be, and the generous travel reimbursement provided by Gell and the Sustainable Arts Foundation gave us a way to make the trip happen.


Spending the week with Mom and Cypress was special for us as a family. (With Mom so far away, we just never seem to get enough time together.) However, it was also really good for my work. As I mentioned in my application, my manuscript is about an inter-generational family of women—what better way to immerse myself into that world than at a writing retreat with my mom and daughter?!

I was able to make solid progress on my manuscript while I was at Gell. Though I was in a beautiful, secluded location, I was able to consult with my readers by both phone and email. Much of the time was spent revising the first story of my manuscript based on those talks and emails. I also started a new story for the first time in a while—something that only happened because I was able to dedicate hours each day to reading and thinking.


The land around Gell is inspiring. We took many walks during work breaks, and while I was writing, I would often look out the front windows and see my mom and daughter at the spring blowing bubbles or having boat races. When they’d come in, my daughter was always excited to tell me about the deer tracks they saw or the many wonders the spring held for her. Thank you for providing such a special work experience at Gell House. I’m grateful that I had the time to work and that I was able to share that time with my family. We’ll always remember it.


With Gratitude,
Kelli Jo Ford

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Write. Harp. Wine. Howl. A blog about the upcoming Mother Wolf Writing Retreat by Christine Green

As I write this post I can hear rock music drifting from the kitchen. My twelve-year-old son is a beep-beep-beeping to some game on his phone. The dog is sniffing my heels begging for a walk. There is laundry to fold and we’re out of milk. Again. My email inbox is overflowing and I have at least 6 partially read books begging for my attention.


I love my family and the life I’ve co-created with my partner and children. I love my job (reviewing local books), and I enjoy taking care of my home.  But…


There is always a “but” isn’t there?


I crave space to write. Even when my house is empty and it is blissfully quiet I still see my “to-do” list on the fridge. My work and volunteering obligations (and, again, that inbox!) somehow always take center stage. I can go days, even weeks, without doing any personal writing.


But writing is what feeds my heart. It is what keeps me going and stimulates my mind. When I spend time putting pen to paper and exploring my inner self through the written word I am not only a healthier and happier person, but I’m also a better mother, spouse, and friend. I have the energy to tackle my work and care for my home and family with vigor and joy.


I deserve space and time to write. You deserve it, too.


Many women and women-identified writers spend so much of their life caretaking and loving others that self-care and self-love fall to the wayside. We can easily forget to nourish our own souls.


Writing retreats and workshops provide a safe, nurturing, and empowering space to writers who, like me, need to renew their spirit and reinvigorate their writing practice.


Writing retreats can:


  • Inspire writing and project ideas
  • Teach new writing techniques
  • Provide new self-care strategies
  • Help you escape (in a healthy way) the demands of work and family obligations
  • Introduce you to like-minded people
  • Allow you to enjoy quiet time in nature or a space designed specifically to feel comforting and relaxing
  • Assist you in overcoming creative blocks



We hope you are now inspired to show yourself a little love. Please join the Mother Wolf Writer’s Retreat at the Gell Center in Bristol, NY on May 13th. Award-winning Rochester-area writers and artists come together to inspire attendees through meditation, hypnosis, music, spiritual crafting, and professional coaching. For more information visit our website.