Residencies at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat

Announcing the Gell Residency for Writers with young children award winners — Kevin Clouther, Kelli Ford, and Patrice Gopo.

Writers & Books, the premier independent literary center in Rochester, NY is pleased to announce the three award winners for the one-week residency with young children — Kevin Clouther from Miller Place, Long Island, NY., Kelli Ford from Richmond, VA, and Patrice Gopo from Charlotte, NC.

Kevin Clouther will work on his novel manuscript Bermuda, while on residency with his wife and two children, ages 3 and 6 at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat located south of Rochester in Naples, NY.  Kelli Ford will work on her novel-in-stories titled Crooked Hallelujah while on residency with her partner and 3-year-old daughter at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat. Patrice Gopo will work on her collection of personal essays that explores the question, “Where do I belong?” while on residency with her family in Rochester.  During the day, her 7-year-old daughter will attend Writers &Books Summerwrite program, while her husband and 3-year-old daughter explore all the numerous things to see & do while in Rochester.

Kevin Clouther’s children at Gell.

The three residency awards  will take place between April – August 2017.  Kelli Jo Ford was our first winner to stay at Gell from April 8th – 15th, 2017.   Here is part of her testimonial of her experience at Gell: “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 intergenerational family of women—what better way to immerse myself into that world than at a retreat with my mom and daughter?!”

Please visit the link below to read her entire testimonial, and pictures of her stay at Gell:

Kevin Clouther was our second winner to stay at Gell from May 22nd – 28th, 2017.  Here is his testimonial of his experience at Gell:

“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.”

Patrice Gopo shared a piece with the Democrat & Chronicle about her time in Rochester as part of her Gell Residency.  Patrice stayed in Rochester as our urban winner from July 16th – 22nd, 2017.

When I think of our week replicating my old memories (frozen custard at Ontario Beach Park, a drive to my first apartment) and creating new memories (my older daughter’s SummerWrite workshop, my younger daughter’s enthusiasm for the Strong Museum), I think of the way I didn’t see myself as a visitor.” Read her entire article here.

Writers & Books promotes reading and writing as lifelong activities for people of all ages, through educational programs, publications, community events and author appearances. For over thirty-five years our programs, held at our Rochester and Finger Lakes facilities, have reached a growing audience of thousands, making us one of the largest and oldest literary organizations in the country. Our programs have received nationwide recognition while inspiring generations of people in Rochester and beyond to make literature a part of their everyday lives.

Our most recent Writer-in-Residence, Deborah Noyes, wrote a significant portion of her book Captivity published in 2010 by Unbridled Books, and was at Gell the end of September to work on her next novel.

Gell Facilities

“Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat provided the perfect setting and facilities for a day of writing and sharing personal stories in the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes.”~ Sonja Livingston

Residency Application

For more information about Gell, and to book your next rental:

Contact Kathy Pottetti at (585) 473-2690 x103 or email