ACW is proud that The Anne LaBastille Memorial Writing Residency is entering its tenth year. We’re thrilled to share this milestone with six writers who, out of a pool of hundreds of applicants, wowed our judges with their work this summer. Congratulations to the three “Adirondack Region” residents and the three residents from across the US who will join us for two weeks this fall on Twitchell Lake.

Alejandro de la Garza – Fiction – Brooklyn, NY
Alejandro de la Garza is a staff writer covering climate change for TIME Magazine, where he has written features on topics ranging from US military emissions to the 2022 Jackson, Mississippi water crisis. He grew up in Westchester, New York and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2018, where he studied English and earned the Charles William Kennedy Prize for his creative nonfiction thesis about a school for English teachers in Hunan, China.

Mary Sanders Shartle – Fiction – Greenfield Center, NY
Mary Sanders Shartle’s novel, The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale (2014 SUNY Press), won Indie Fab silver for fiction, IPPY gold for best book of fiction in the Northeast US in 2015 among other awards, and it remains a regional book club request. Shartle received a NYSCA individual artist grant (2008) to complete the book. In November, 2022, her story “The Wives of Immanuel Kant” was published with Hamilton-Stone Review, and “Ave Fit Ex Eva” in JMWW in April, 2023. In 2020 she was one of the poets represented in the Adirondack Center for Writing “Raining Poetry Project.” She is an instructor for the popular Anne LaBastille Women’s Writing Weekend at Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, NY.

Photo: Genna Henderson

Austin Rodenbiker – Poetry – Rockland, ME
Austin Rodenbiker’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Tin House, Pleiades, The Cortland Review, The Columbia Review, and Foglifter, among other publications. He holds an MFA from the New Writers Project. He’s received support for his poetry from ONE Archives, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Fire Island Artist Residency.

Sophie Morelli – Poetry – Lake Placid, NY
Sophie Morelli holds two degrees from SUNY Potsdam, a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in English Education. She is currently serving as the director of the Lake Placid History Museum, where she uses her time during board meetings to write poems. A writer is the only thing she has ever wanted to be, and she is slowly chipping away at that goal. She enjoys historical fiction, trashy reality TV, and loud women.

Surya Milner – Nonfiction – Chicago, IL 
Surya Milner is a writer based in Chicago, Illinois, where she is an MFA+MA candidate in Northwestern University’s Litowitz Program. She has published works of creative nonfiction and journalism in High Country News, Catapult, The Willowherb Review, The Audacity, and elsewhere; her work interrogates the boundaries of nationhood, class, and race in the American West and is centrally inspired by her experiences as an Indian American woman in this landscape. She has taught writing and literature in Morocco, Maine, and Chicago.

Michael Crane – Nonfiction – Port Henry, NY
Mike Crane is an environmental economist who spent a head-knocking career trying to convince politicians and businesses that protecting the environment improves their bottom line. Armed with the tools of economic logic, he traveled through the North County, and New England, then North America and Africa, and then the Middle East and Asia, and then the Islands of the South Pacific on a futile journey to find the rational “economic man” as promised by Adam Smith. He discovered that this elusive character was a prisoner of theory. In its place were belief, hope, greed, passion, power, fear, and love. In its place, he found life itself. From the shores of Port Henry to the ports of Port Moresby, he knocked on doors, looked strangers in the eye, and filled his suitcase with life lessons. His journey only fueled more questions into a self-reinforcing upward cycle that nurtured an insatiable curiosity about our communal and temporary miracle called humanity. Now it is time to unpack that suitcase and make sense of it all.

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