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Gell Summer Intensive

Gell Summer Intensive
Location: Location of Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat

In these one-day intensive workshops, students will immerse themselves in the study of their chosen genre with some of the area’s top writers and teachers. This intensive includes four hours of workshops with peers, one craft lecture, and one publishing panel to discuss topics ranging from “How do I land an agent?” to “Should I submit to literary contests?” Registration for this advanced- level intensive is by application only; students who wish to participate must submit 8-10 pages of their best work to Writers & Books by June 1. Accepted students will be noticed by June 15. Some partial, needs-based scholarships will be available. To apply, ll out the form at wab.org. All meals will be provided.

Price: $280 W&B members; $320 General Public (all nonmembers who pay this rate will receive an individual membership to Writers & Books)

How to Apply:

  • 8-10 pages of your best work to submissions@wab.org (include “Gell Summer Intensive” in the subject line) by June 1. Students will be noti ed of acceptance by June 15.
  • There is no fee to apply to the workshop. Once accepted, students must pay in full to be registered for the workshop.
  • If students wish to apply for a partial scholarship, they must complete the scholarship application form.
  • Once students have paid their tuition and registered for the Gell Summer Intensive, they must submit a story/poem/essay of no more than 15 pages to be read by students and faculty before the workshop.


(craft talks and workshops vary for each genre)

9:00-10:00: Registration + Meet & Greet + generative exercise

10:00-11:00: Craft talk
11:00-1:00: Workshop 1 (split into groups of 3)
1:00-2:00: Lunch

2:00-4:00: Workshop 2 (split into groups of 3)

4:00-5:00: Publishing Panel of Instructors (moderated by Writers & Books Executive Director Kyle Semmel)

5:00-6:00: Dinner
6:00-7:00: Reception + Reading

For questions about the Gell Summer Intensive, email Kyle Semmel at kyles@wab.org.

 Poetry Faculty July 8

Ralph Black has published a collection of poetry: Turning Over the Earth, from Milkweed Editions, and a chapbook, The Apple Psalms. He is the recipient of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize from The Massachusetts Review and the Chelsea Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in many journals, including The Georgia and Gettysburg Reviews, Orion, and West Branch. He teaches English and creative writing at SUNY, College at Brockport.

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Other books include A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editor’s Choice award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone, a book of poems that follows the rise and fall of a fictional pitcher named Al Stepansky.

Lytton Smith is the author of two poetry collections from Nightboat Books, a chapbook from the Poetry Society of America, and the translator of six novels and memoirs from the Icelandic. He is Assistant Professor of English at State University of New York in Geneseo.


Nonfiction Faculty July 22

JR Fenn’s fiction and non fiction has appeared in places such as Gulf Coast, DIAGRAM, PANK, Cosmopolitan, and The Atlantic, and can be found at www.jrfenn.com. Her writing has received support from the Key West Literary Seminars. She teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo.

Sejal Shah’s stories, essays, and interviews have appeared widely in publications including Brevity, The Huffington Post, the Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Rochester Magazine, and AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle. She teaches creative nonfiction and fiction at Writers & Books and the University of Rochester, and works with students privately as a writing mentor.

Stephen J. West’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Brevity, PANK, and Fugue, among others, and he was a featured artist by Ninth Letter, who published his artist’s book DIY View-Master: Intimate Space.

Fiction Faculty July 29

Kristen Gentry is from Louisville, Kentucky and received her MFA from Indiana University. She currently lives in Rochester, NY near SUNY Geneseo where she is an associate professor of English and the director of creative writing.

Rachel Hall is the author of Heirlooms (BkMk Press), which was selected by Marge Piercy for the G.S. Sharat Chandra Book Prize. She teaches at the State University of New York in Geneseo, where she holds two Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence— one in teaching and one for her creative work. (see the interview with Rachel Hall on pg. 23)

Anne Panning’s novel, Butter, was published in 2012 by Switchgrass Books. She has published two short story collections: The Price of Eggs and Super America, which won The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

Stephen Schottenfeld has published a novel, Bluff City Pawn, with Bloomsbury USA. He has completed a story collection, Miss Ellen Jameson Is Not Deceased, and he is currently at work on his next novel.