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.
On Saturday, ACW will present mountaineer, memoirist, entrepreneur, 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 afternoon will include publishing panels, manuscript consultations, literary arts workshops, and a reading featuring festival faculty GWEN KIRBY (author of the wild debut collection of short stories, Shit Cassandra Saw) and writers from all over the Adirondack region. The festival will close Saturday evening with an installment 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 anyone the chance to tell a short, true, unscripted story live before an audience.