2022 Kickass Writers Festival

Saranac, NY 12981

2022 Kickass Writers Festival

On August 19th & 20th, the Adirondack Center for Writing will present the first annual Kickass Writers Festival, featuring writers, poets, comedians, mountaineers, and more. The festival will take place across various locations all over 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 writing and storytelling–in all of their forms–are essential to art, entertainment, and social change.

The two-day event will kick-off Friday, 8/19 at Pendragon Theater with the 2021 New York State Author, AYAD AKHTAR, and the 2021 New York State Poet, WILLIE PERDOMO. The pair will be introduced by former New York State Writer, RUSSELL BANKS along with the award-winning poet CHASE TWITCHELL.

On Saturday, 8/20 ACW will present memoirist, feminist, and humanitarian, SILVIA VASQUEZ-LAVADO, the first Peruvian woman to climb Mt. Everest, and the first openly gay woman to climb The Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each of the 7 continents). Her debut memoir, In the Shadow of the Mountain tells the story of how an early life of abuse and addiction led her to discover hiking as a method of healing. These pursuits transformed her life and empowered her to not only climb the world’s most challenging summits, but also to found the non-profit, Courageous Girls “...dedicated to healing and empowering survivors of violence and abuse through adventures in nature.” Her memoir is currently being adapted into a major motion picture starring Selena Gomez.

Saturday evening’s events will include a showcase of festival authors such as GWEN KIRBY, author of the wild debut collection of short stories, Shit Cassandra Saw. Authors will be accompanied by a performance by comedian and musician MARCIA BELSKY, whose hilarious song, “100 Tampons” went viral in 2020. Belsky will perform a mix of stand-up comedy, storytelling, and music alongside festival authors at the Waterhole to close out the festival on Saturday night.