Saranac Lake, NY—August 19-20, the Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) will present the first annual Kickass Writers Festival, featuring writers, poets, comedians, mountaineers, and more. The festival will take place in various locations around Saranac Lake and will include readings, workshops, talks, publishing programs, special performances, a book fair, speed dating, and more. The Kickass Writers Festival celebrates how essential writing and storytelling – in all their forms – are to art, entertainment and social change.
The two-day event kicks off Friday, August 19 at the Pendragon Theater with 2021-2022 New York State Poet WILLIE PERDOMO. Perdomo will be joined by guest author and member of our visiting faculty, GWEN KIRBY, author of SHIT CASSANDRA SAW.
On Saturday, 8/20 ACW will feature mountaineer, memoirist, entrepreneur and humanitarian, SILVIA VASQUEZ-LAVADO, the first Peruvian woman to climb Mount Everest and the first openly gay woman to climb the Seven Summits (the highest mountains in each of the 7 continents). His first memoirs In the shadow of the mountain tells how an early life of abuse and addiction led her to discover hiking as a method of healing. These activities transformed his life and allowed him not only to climb the most difficult peaks in the world, but also to found the non-profit organization, Brave Girls “...dedicated to healing and empowering survivors of violence and abuse through adventures in nature. Her memoir is currently being adapted into a major film starring Selena Gomez.
Saturday afternoon will feature publishing panels, manuscript consultations, literary arts workshops and a reading featuring North Country authors from across the Adirondacks region. Adirondack Explorer Editor James Odato will be one of the featured panelists in the festival segment titled “Learn It from a Local: Publishing in the North Country.” In a journalism career rooted in watchdog journalism, James M. Odato has been cited as one of New York’s top reporters covering state government, gambling, abuse and waste of the public money. As a reporter for five daily newspapers, including the Albany Times Union and Buffalo News, Odato has received more than 30 awards from the Associated Press, New York Publishers Association, New York Legislative Correspondents Association and other media organizations.
“Learn It from a Local: Publishing in the North Country” will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at the ACW on Saturday, August 20. Attendees will have the opportunity to get the inside scoop on publishing in regional magazines like Adirondack Explorer, Adirondack Life, and Adirondack Review. Interested parties are encouraged to reserve their places as soon as classes begin to sell out. Click here for more information about the festival and to register online.
The festival will wrap up Saturday night with a strand of North Country’s favorite storytelling event, The Howl Story Slam. Hosted by comedian GREG BARRIS, who will also open the show with a stand-up set, this event offers everyone the opportunity to tell a short, true and unscripted story live in front of an audience. The Adirondack Center for Writing is located at 15 Broadway at Saranac Lake. Call (518) 354-1261 for more information.
Top photo: Photo from ACW website.