186 – California Writing Residency 2017

A live recording of our educational podcast The How The Why with our California Writing Residency 2017 recipients–William Deverell, Elline Lipkin, and Ruth Nolan. Gil Soltz, the founder of Yefe Nof, also joined the panel discussion.William, Elline, and Ruth also shared their thoughts on the residency:

“The experience was simply fabulous.  It is the longest period of my life where I have been alone; within 24 hours of arrival, I found my “extrovert switch” and turned it off…I sat at the little table in the kitchen for hours and hours each day and each night.  It was a perfect workspace for me.  I walked down Burnt Mill Road every day, then back up Cottage Grove.  I went out once to a pub in Blue Jay, but, otherwise, I was at the house or on my walk…I surprised myself with how much I got done; there was a purity to the work experience that was utterly satisfying…My work time was unhurried, contemplative, and I delighted in all of it…I feel so fortunate to have had this experience.” –William

“I’m so enamored of the house, quiet, and Arrowhead woods.  It’s truly been a peaceful and productive retreat…The treehouse-like sense of nesting in the mountainside and the chance to concentrate on work has been tremendous.” –Elline

“I LOVED my time at the house in April. I loved the location, the vibe of the house, and I really felt supported and nurtured as a writer, something that is so hard to find. It was energizing to be on the ridge line of the mountains, hiking around and finding wildfire burn zones, digging the radical weather (wind and fog and even a bit of rain) and reconnecting in a visceral way with the areas I’m actually writing about in my book.” –Ruth



William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and Professor of History at University of Southern California. He publishes non-fiction on the history and culture of the 19th and 20th century American West and is author of Evangel, a short story which appeared in Exposition Review in 2016.

Elline Lipkin is the author of two books: The Errant Thread, chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award and Girls’ Studies, published by Seal Press. A poet and nonfiction writer, she affiliates with the University of California, Los Angeles Center for the Study of Women and teaches for Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in a variety of journals and she is a contributor to Ms. Magazineonline and the academic site Girl w/Pen.  Currently, she is the Poet Laureate of Altadena, California.

Ruth Nolan, a former wildland firefighter, is a writer/professor based in Palm Springs, CA. She’s the author of Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line Press, 2016); her story “Palimpsest,” from LA Fiction: Southland Writing by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press, 2016), received an honorable mention in Sequestrum’s 2016 Editor’s Reprint contest and was nominated for a 2016 PEN Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Her work’s been published in James Franco Review; Angels Flight LA; Rattling WallKCET; Desert Oracle; Women’s Studies Quarterly; News from Native California, and more. Ruth holds her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UCRUniversity of California, Riverside.

Gil Soltz is founder of the Yefe Nof Residency and author of its origin story, Inspiration Drive. He holds an MPA in Nonprofit and Public Management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Since 2010 he is based in Paris, France.