ACW’s 2024 writers festival set for June 7-8

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack Center for Writing is set to host the 2024 Kicka** Writers Festival June 7-8 in Saranac Lake.

The Kicka** Writers Festival, held biennially, features writers, poets, comedians and other creatives from across the country. The festival is a celebration of how writing and storytelling — in all of their forms — are essential to art, entertainment and social change and includes readings, workshops, publishing programs, special performances, a book fair, a stand-up show and more.

“We’re bringing writers from all over the country together with the diverse Adirondack writing community that we’ve been fostering for 25 years,” ACW Executive Director Nathalie Thill said. “Ask any of the hundreds of people who joined us for the Kicka** Writers Festival in 2022, this weekend is a chance for everyone — from our special guests, to local authors, to writers-to-be just dipping their toes in for the first time — to grow and learn from one another.”

The two-day event will kick-off Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall with a reading by two New Yorkers dedicated to building community through poetry: Patricia Spears-Jones, the 2024 New York State Poet Laureate, and Denice Frohman, a former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion. This event is free and open to the public.

“We’re always sure to choose guests and design events that will entertain, intrigue, inspire and underscore all the possibilities of writing. We’ve even got the poet laureate of New York state, Patricia Spears Jones, blessing us with her presence. It’s a powerful thing to be a part of and we hope anyone who loves to write, read or laugh will join us for another kick-a** weekend.”

On Saturday, June 8, the day will start with an optional guided forest bathing experience with Adirondack Riverwalking. Events throughout the day include attendee “speed dating,” a quick, fun and non-romantic way for fellow writers to meet one another, as well as writing workshops, a book fair featuring dozens of local and regional authors and presses, an open mic, manuscript consultations, a publishing panel, a drop-in beginners writing workshop and a regional author showcase.

Saturday evening’s events will include keynote talks and readings by GennaRose Nethercott, author of Thistlefoot, and Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of “How Strange a Season” and director of the Breadloaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. The keynote will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Room at Hotel Saranac. The public is welcome to attend; tickets cost $10. The festival will conclude at 8 p.m. at the Waterhole with a stand-up show by Greg Edwards, opened by Tracy Dolan and hosted by Nathan Hartswick of Vermont Comedy Club; cost to attend is $15.

Many festival events are free at the “First Draft” registration level. Festival goers can register at the “Paperback” level (“Hardcover” and “Rare Book” levels are sold out) to gain access to additional events and programs. View the full event schedule and line-up, register for the festival and buy tickets for individual events at adirondackcenterforwriting.org/kickassregister.

“With this year’s festival, we’re highlighting the unique ways that writing brings us closer to the natural world,” said Tyler Barton, ACW’s program manager. “Whether it’s the long-dead thistle in GennaRose Nethercott’s novel symbolizing history as it tumbles across landscapes and scatters its seeds, or Denice Frohman grappling with the Adirondacks as a ‘city kid thick in the woods of ferns and fungus’ as she listens to ‘the loons and coyotes exchanging hot verses over the lake,’ our line-up is full of writers enchanted by and in conversation with flora, fauna and the land that connects us all.”


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