Adirondack Center for Writing and Adirondack Swim & Trip Camp (ASTC) have partnered to create a unique writer-in-residence position, offering three weeks of time and space for a writer to work, recreate, and enjoy all the North Country has to offer. Our first resident, Andrea L. Rogers (Fayetteville, Arkansas), stayed in “Rick’s Cabin” on the ASTC property from July 3 – 21. While on this residency, the award-winning author of Man Made Monsters finished revisions to her next book (a novel called The Art Thieves), paddled, swam, and fished on Jones Pond, explored the High Peaks region, and gave a spooky public reading in Onchiota’s day-long festival of art and music, The Station.
When ASTC approached us in the summer of 2022 about inviting writers to stay on the property, we knew we wanted to create an opportunity for writers of under-represented identities. With the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center being less than 4 miles from the property, we thought it was right to invite a native American author. We discovered Andrea Rogers’ work via the prestigious Walter Dean Meyers award, which she won for the widely acclaimed Man Made Monsters, a collection of Cherokee-inspired horror stories. The Walter Dean Meyers award for Outstanding Children’s Literature recognizes diverse authors whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way. On July 6th, two days into her residency with us in Rainbow Lake, Rogers was informed that the book also earned a Whippoorwill Award for Rural Young Adult Literature. The Whippoorwill Award’s mission is to advocate for books that portray the complexity of rural living by dispelling stereotypes and demonstrating diversity among rural people.
If you want to learn more about the book, read Saranac Lake teenager Lucy Thill’s sharp review of Man Made Monsters in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (July 2023). For more about Andrea’s work and visit to the Adirondacks, check out her interview with Robin Caudell of the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.
During her time here, Andrea also gave a public reading at The Station, a summer arts and music festival in Onchiota, located mere minutes from the ASTC property in Rainbow Lake. The event was appropriately monster-themed, with a giant dragon (constructed by the Theatre Department at North Country School in Lake Placid) suspended in the trees overhead. Rogers read her love-horror story, “Goatman” for the audience, and then sold and signed books at the ACW afterward. We’ve continued to sell copies of Man Made Monsters to passersby at ArtWalk in Saranac Lake, and we still have some copies available at ACW.
Andrea worked hard on a round of revisions for her next book, The Art Thieves, and was able to turn in the finished draft to her agent on her final week of the residency. The very next day, the book sold to her publisher, Levine Querido, for publication in Spring 2024. When not writing, Rogers explored the North Country, including Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, John Brown Farm, The Six Nations Cultural Center and more.
“I was able to lean into my revisions for my next book, discuss future projects with film industry people interested in my stories, write a new short story and still have time to relax and explore the rich history and geography of the Adirondacks,” Rogers said.
“While on this residency,” Rogers added, “I was reminded that community is work. Community is rewarding. Community can be found in a lot of different places, and there are wonderful, kind people everywhere.”
Our next Rainbow Lake Writer in Residence will be Francesca Padilla of Rochester, NY, who is the author of the YA novel, What’s Coming to Me (Penguin, 2022). Padilla will teach a weeklong book making camp for kids in August while residing at ASTC for two weeks.