Upstate Artist Forum Gathering

FLCC’s Board of Trustees held an all-day retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – The Gleason Lodge is situated in a beautiful and peaceful setting – perfect for a retreat! Kathy Pottetti and her staff were wonderful to work with and graciously accommodated all our needs and requests. The Gleason Lodge is easy to access, has plenty of parking, and boasts a full kitchen, large dining room, and a great room with stone fireplace and fantastic views off the deck. If you seek a quiet location where your group can truly relax and unwind without the distraction of technology, Gell is a great choice.

Janet Carabell, Executive Secretary to the President.
FLCC’s Board of Trustees | October 2016 |

Great location, clean and bright, comfortable and an absolute must for those planning a gathering/seminar/meeting especially amidst the fall foliage.

Just Poets Group | October 2016

Writing Your Summer Adventure at Gell

This summer, consider sending your young writer out of the city and into the hills for camp.


Three upcoming SummerWrite workshops are being held at our second location, The Gell Center, located in Naples, NY. Each camp is slightly different, but at their cores are focused on writing and nature.


Outdoor Writer & Where’s Walden 

Explore with professional writers and naturalists Angie Cannon-Crothers & Edgar Brown, along the Finger Lakes Trail, and observe the natural environment of the area. Campers will try a variety of natural arts activities, both ancient and modern. Create field journals to sketch and write stories, dramatic monologues, and poems probing the past, present, and future of the landscape, plants, and animals. By the end of the week, campers will have created an all-camp anthology.


* The younger Where’s Walden group (ages 9 – 12) and the older Outdoor Writer (ages 13 – 16) group will function as separate classes, but some activities will overlap.

Get more information about Where’s Walden here.

Get more information about Outdoor Writer here.


Hunger Games

Stand TallBased on the popular series by Suzanne Collins, campers will head to the Gell Capitol District for the Hunger Games camp! Each morning, tributes will learn hands-on skills in tracking, shelter building, fire building, wild edibles, and finding food. Their afternoons will be spent engaging in readings, discussion, and activities on social, ethical, and environmental issues facing our present and futuristic world.

On Thursday contestants will begin their game, earning points based on learned skills and trying to snag valuable survival items while they work to protect their personal flag from capture! Under the careful watch of the Gamekeepers, the final event will last well into the evening out in the woods surrounding the Gell Center.

Get more information about the Hunger Games here.


Spring has Sprung at the Gell Center!

This blog post was written by Director of Gell Operations, Kathy Pottetti.


“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)”

― William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

April showers bring May flowers, or so it is said… this season we’re not so sure just yet, but one thing we are sure of is that April is National Poetry Month! Come celebrate with us at the Gell Center by reading at one of our Open Mics, or by simply taking a stroll and letting the beautiful Finger Lakes region inspire you. But that’s not all we have in store for April–William Shakespeare’s birthday is the 23rd, and the Gell Center is re-opening for the 2016 season this week!

Wow! What a way to kick off the spring season. Take a look at some of our scheduled events below:

Open Mic at the Gell Center /2nd Thursdays/ 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Free and Open to the public – donations welcome!

In recognition of Poetry month, the first event of the season is a Wide Open Mic on
Thursday, April 14th from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Gleason Lodge, with one of our
Instructors, Angie Cannon-Crothers.  Theme: Poetry Month.

May 12th:  Spring is in the air, new beginnings.  Facilitator: Edgar Brown.

June 9th: 35th Anniversary Celebration of Writers & Books, sharing memories of W&B and the Gell Center.  Faciliator:  D.J. Kitzel.

We have a new and interesting selection of classes this spring and summer, one in June,
July and August. Visit for further information.

Creative Thinking and Casting Workshop/ Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Instructor: Scott Grove.

This unique one-day workshop will focus on using personal inspiration to stimulate
creative thinking; to approach an idea from a different perspective, which can reveal a
new vision.  Based on your personal interests, we’ll use a variety of short written and
visual exercises to stimulate and explore variations on a theme.  The morning session
includes idea development, expansion, variations, refinement, distillation, and
capturing the essence of a concept.  Afternoon session we will turn your idea into a
three-dimensional miniature sculpture out of clay, and further develop and explore new
ways to look at an idea.  Then, we’ll make silicone molds and create a cold metal bronze
casting!  Each student will walk away with a cast talisman which will represent a
transformation of personal inspiration and a new way of idea creation.  No writing or art
skills necessary.  Instructor Scott Grove is a high energy, inspirational, and very creative
professional artist and author who maintains a fulltime studio in the Finger Lakes.  Cost:
$150.00 W&B members//$165.00 General Public.   For more info on Scott Grove, please

Interested in being a writer-in-residence at Gell, or considering a unique venue for your
upcoming Board retreat or training session?  Consider the Gell Center, and contact Kathy
Pottetti at or visit for more information about the
Gell Center.

Spring Catalog offers new workshops in all genres

Writers & Books’ Spring adult workshops and Spring/Summer youth workshops are now open for registration. Both catalogs can be found around Rochester at all Monroe County Library branches, and at various coffee shops, bookstores, and cultural organizations.

The Spring adult catalog features new workshops for adult at all levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in the following genres:

Creative Writing – Writing the Personal Travel Essay, Creative Writing 102, Honing You Narrative Craft

Fiction: Workshopping the Short Story, Fiction Writer’s Toolkit, Advanced Fiction Section 1 & 2

Poetry: Intermediate/Advanced Poetry, Existential Poetry: Discovering Ourselves Through Poetry

Stage & Screen: Enter Stage Write – The 10-Minute Play, The Art of the Short Film, Song Lyric Writing

Business of Writing: Writing Articles, Getting Started as a Freelance Writer, Introduction to Grant Writing, Grammar Basics, Submitting to Literary Journals

Online Workshops: Jump-Starting Your Novel, The Art of the Query, Flash Fiction, and Intermediate/Advanced Poetry

Individual Tutorials/Revising & Editing

Workshops held at the Gell Center of the Finger Lakes: Open Mic, a “Nature Writers on Foraging and a Wild Foods Feast!” workshop, and Transcendentalist Live Theater. Contact Kathy pottetti, Director of Operations at the Gell Center at

Spring events also include National Poetry Month, news on our Debut Novel Series, Special events, and reoccurring favorites.

Contact Al Abonado, Director of Adult Programs at with questions or call the Front Desk at 473-2590 ext 107 register.


Literary Love Stories

Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day approaches, with its boxes of chocolates and heart-shaped cards with curly, elegant cursive. Needless to say, thousands of couples this weekend will be flipping through Netflix, HBO, or what have you, looking for that perfect romance flick. Be it a rom-com, a history drama, or something in between the two, there’s no denying that Valentine’s is the perfect night for love stories. But if you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to decide on something to watch. You flip through channel after channel, watching the night trickle away, and nothing really jumps out at you. Not the most exciting way to spend a special night in with your loved one! So if Sunday night rolls around and you find yourself trapped in the dreaded cycle of flipping through channels, why not set a new trend and pick up one of these literary love stories instead?

Here are some of our staff’s picks for their favorite literary love stories!

Joe Flaherty, Executive Director:


My favorite literary couple is Holden Caulfield and his sister Phoebe, from Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Tate DeCaro, Development Associate:


I feel like I should probably choose something cultured like Scarlett O’Hara & Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, which I’ve never read or seen, or the obvious Romeo & Juliet, which I’ve both read and seen many times, but no matter how much I love Shakespeare, all of his love stories are kind of absurd (though always a great read). So, I’m going with another obvious, though more contemporary, choice: Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Because they’re actually really good for each other (which I don’t often think is true in “great literary love stories”). Because they build a strong friendship first. Because they don’t hinder each others plans/needs/emotions/true characters. And because obviously Harry needed to officially be a part of the Weasley family somehow.

Sally Bittner Bonn, Director of Youth Education:


I’m going to have to go with Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. Their courtship (i.e. him calling her “carrots” and her getting so infuriated) is so human and honest. Witnessing them growing up together is heartwarming. She is one of my favorite feisty literary characters, and he is a great match for her—as they are both so stubborn, smart, and truly thoughtful.

Karen vanMeenen, Director of “If All of Rochester Reads…”


Jake and Ennis from Annie Proulx’s short story Brokeback Mountain. As young men, Jake and Ennis share an immediate soulful connection they cannot deny. They find it painful to be kept apart but the challenges of the social mores of their day (the narrative begins in 1963), including their marriages to others, leaves them struggling to live authentic lives and to honor their love for each other.

Kathy Pottetti, Director of Gell Center Operations:


My favorite literary couple is Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.   It’s an all time classic movie and novel. I’ve been to Atlanta, GA. to Margaret Mitchell’s home and purchased her book there, a genuine   “Sense of Place.”   They are classy, romantic and feisty together. It’s such a dramatic story of the Civil War, and the emphasis of Scarlett O’Hara, the southern belle living on her plantation “Tara”, during this period of time, and how she survives during the Civil War and Reconstruction. She’s such a damsel in distress… her love affairs with Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler and Rhett’s famous line to her “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” is classic! It’s the constant tug and pull that makes them so exciting together.

Emma Lynge, Blog Coordinator and Front Desk Representative:


My favorite would have to be Faramir and Eowyn from The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. At the start of the story, they’re both looking for someone to validate their self-worth in a really unhealthy way. Faramir craves his father’s approval and love, and Eowyn wants the same from Aragorn. Over the course of the war, all of the terrible things that happen help to strip away what’s unimportant and let Faramir and Eowyn find themselves again. Faramir defends Gondor not for his father, but because it’s the right thing to do, and Eowyn slays the Witch-King of Angmar not to prove herself to Aragorn, but for herself, because she’s awesome. That they end up together at the end of the book is a little unexpected and exciting for both of them, but they’ve finally figured out what it is they really want and they don’t really care who judges them for it. It’s a really sweet story about not looking for someone to validate you, but rather letting your self-confidence guide you where you want to go.

Albert Abonado, Director of Adult Programming:


When I think of literary couples (fictional or otherwise), I often think of Larry and Sally Morgan from Wallace Stegner’s lyrical Crossing to Safety. It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but here is a couple that has never left me. We watch Larry and Sally struggling to make a living,and suffer alongside them when Sally is struck with polio. I loved the book for its quiet and careful observations of the ordinary, how Stegner so wisely understood the interior workings of marriage and friendship, and admired Larry and Sally Morgan for their deep and resilient love throughout their years.

Chris Fanning, Public Relations:


Not my favorite literary couple, but a couple non the less would be the character Quint and the shark from Peter Benchley’s novel JAWS. Though the relationship may be one-sided and at some points border on an Ahab-like obsession on Quints part, at the end of the book, after a long pursuit, the characters end up together….(insert rimshot sound effect)