Writers & Books: Summer Retreat & Conference

Photo of Sejal Shah teaching a Writing & Yoga workshop

Writers & Books’ Gell Center in Bristol, NY. This is a photo from when I co-taught a Writing & Yoga Workshop with my friend, yoga teacher Marijana Ababovic.

In 2012, I taught my first workshop at Writers & Books’ Gell Center, a retreat facility in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York. My friend Marijana and I taught Writing & Yoga workshops, and really enjoyed bringing those two interests of ours together—especially in a beautiful place where students (and both of us) could walk by a stream, write outside, and get a little break from the usual routine. The Gell Center is just 50 minutes from Rochester, but you really do feel as though you are away.

On Saturday, July 21st, 2018, I’ll be teaching in a day-long writing retreat hosted by Writers & Books and called The Gell Intensive.  My co-workshop leaders are Ralph Black (poetry), Sarah Freligh (poetry), Kristen Gentry (fiction), Anne Panning (creative nonfiction), myself, and Stephen Schottenfeld (fiction). I once took a writing workshop at Gell with writer Sonja Livingston—the day before my engagement ceremony. It was such a good thing to do something creative before a big day involving family and a major life change, etc. Until May 15, Writers & Books is offering 10% off on all workshops, including this one.

In the past, I’ve also enjoyed taking workshops at The Millay Colony, which was once summer home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. It’s now a rustic artist residency near the Massachusetts / New York line. The time away, the structure, the beautiful location, and meals prepared for you, is good for the soul. I’m excited about teaching in a similar environment for the Gell Intensive. All of my co-teachers are writers I know who live and teach in the area. However, I’ve never actually seen them teach and so I look forward to working with them, and learning from them, too. If you are here in Rochester that weekend, I really recommend this workshop. More info here.

The other writing-related thing I’m doing this summer is taking part in The Ladder, the inaugural literary conference hosted by Writers & Books on Saturday, June 16, 2018. This will be a terrific opportunity for writers at all stages to attend different panels, learn from editors, teachers of writing, and agents—all without having to travel to AWP or out of state. It’s downtown. I’ll be on a panel called about tackling the tricky subject of genre with essayist Sonja Livingston and poet Chen Chen. I admire both of their writing very much, and am excited to be in conversation with them about how we choose a genre or if it chooses us. Here’s a PDF of the conference schedule.