Anne LaBastille Memorial Writers Residency

Two weeks, indoor and outdoor writing spaces, fireside hangouts, paddling, hiking, forest bathing, and family-style meals at a spacious lakeside lodge in the heart of the Adirondack forest. 

Application Period: April 10 – May 14, 2023 *deadline extended*
Residency Dates: September 24 – October 8, 2023
Notification: July, 2023

Applications can be submitted through our Submittable Page

The Adirondack Center for Writing offers a free, two-week residency annually in autumn to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers at a lodge on Twitchell Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Six residents will be chosen: three from the Adirondack region (aka “The North Country”… see FAQ below for specifics) and three from anywhere in the world. Quality of written submissions is the primary consideration when accepting applications.

The residency is generously provided by the estate of Anne LaBastille, who wrote books capturing challenges of the region, including Woodswoman and Beyond Black Bear Lake from her cabin on Twitchell Lake. During the residency, writers will paddle to the site of her property and explore the lake with locals.

The Lodge at Twitchell Lake provides an abundance of physical space, and each resident has their own bedroom and bathroom. There are plenty of writing spaces in and around the property. Internet access is available, but limited (email ✔️; Zoom ❌). Most cell phones will not work (a landline is available).

Covid-19 Requirements: Proof of vaccination is required. Residents who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons will be required to provide proof of negative test upon arrival and can contact ACW with any COVID-19-related questions:

Fee: There is a $30 application fee. There is no cost to attend the residency.

Application Requirements

  1. Cover Letter: In the space provided in Submittable (no attachments), include a brief, third-person bio and a work plan detailing your goals for this residency.
  2. Writing Sample: Please send up to 10 pages of your best writing in the genre you will working in at the residency. Prose: 10 pages max. Poetry: 10 poems max. NOTE: Make sure your name does not show up anywhere in your writing sample. Writing samples that include your name will not be considered. Quality of written submissions will be our primary consideration when accepting applications.
  3. Application Fee: $30. Your application fee ensures that the residency can remain free to selected residents.

We do not accept printed applications. Contact or 518-354-1261 with any questions.

What Previous Residents Have To Say

M.L. Martin ’22

I’ve never quite been able to write productively for every single day of the residency, but this was the case at the Anne LaBastille Residency. I’m still a little bit in awe of what I was able to accomplish there. I wrote new poems and over 7,000 words of new prose, which for a poet like me, is quite a lot.

I tend to be quite introverted and open up slowly in most situations, but I have to say, I felt a special kinship with everyone there. My theory is that we were all simply so happy to be there, surrounded by the natural treasures of the Adirondacks—the changing foliage on the mountains across the lake, the bounty of fresh, rain-cleansed air, the peaceful, placid lake—that our exuberance of place permeated into our collective mood of gratitude and fellowship. I believe we all left feeling as if we had gotten to know and respect each other as writers and humans, and I hope that carries on after our time there as well.

Kayaking across Lake Twitchell with a few other fellows on a beautiful day in early October, surrounded by the changing foliage, then softly paddling past a loon, before disembarking to see what remains of Anne LaBastille’s actual cabin site, and thinking about the legacy that she has left—of bringing writers, especially female-identifying writers, in close contact with the splendors of the Adirondack wilderness— this was a poignant moment for me, and a memory that I hope will stick with me for a lifetime.

Emily Weitzman ’20
I have been thinking about how meaningful this residency already is and will be to me, specifically because of this feeling of community. You have clearly built community for so many through the organization and starting this residency has brought the opportunity for building community to those of us that get to do it — I’m so grateful.

Noah Stetzer ’17
If you’re lucky, you sometimes encounter a place that stays with you long after you leave. The wooden rooms and the furniture, the lake views through the windows and the way the sun hit the pines out back–Twitchell Lodge surrounded by the Adirondack woods shifting from summer into winter is a place I will never forget. But the people I was with while at Twitchell Lodge have also left a mark on me. The residency invites fellows from both inside and outside of the Adirondack area. They also choose writers of various disciplines: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. And so there are always more to learn from every writer: their ways of writing, their experiences from back home, their stories behind the stories they were writing.

Along with the memorable writers I met were our hosts Nathalie Thill and Baylee Annis from the Adirondack Center for Writing. Because they are writers and storytellers themselves, Nathalie and Baylee seemed to know in their bones how to make the residency run in such a way that brought out the best in every single day.

Read the rest of the article in LOCALadk on page 60

At the Lodge

Meals are served family-style in the lodge, with lots of common spaces for evening group discussions as well as private spaces for quiet writing and reflection during the day. Residents are offered single rooms with private baths. There are no desks in individual rooms, but plenty of private and collaborative work space throughout the residence. Residents are encouraged to take full use of the hiking and paddling of the local area.

This residency exists to provide space, time and an inspiring landscape for residents to work on their writing projects. With no cell phone coverage, these two weeks are a chance to unplug and connect with other writers, and to tap into the creative self. Yes, there is wi-fi, but it is not high-speed (email works fine; video calls are spotty). There are landline phones in the lodge.


How does ACW define living in the “Adirondack region”? We consider the lines of the Adirondack Park to be blurred. Anyone living in the “North Country” region of New York state should apply under the “Adirondack Region” application. The Adirondack region / North Country includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties, and shares an extensive border with Canada. It also contains the cities of Ogdensburg, Plattsburgh, Saratoga Springs, Watertown, and the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum military base. Generally, if you live in New York State north of Albany, Utica, or Syracuse, you live in what we consider to be the Adirondack Region. Still unsure if you live in the Adirondack Region? Please do not hesitate to email us: info@adirondackcenterforwriting.

What if I don’t live in the Adirondack region year-round? As long as you live some part of each year in the North Country, you may apply under the “Adirondack Region” categories.

I’m not from the Adirondack Region. Can I still apply? Absolutely. We have three spaces for writers who live in the Adirondack region, and three for writers who live anywhere else.

My name is somewhere in my writing sample. Isn’t that okay? No. Please remove your name from the title, header and footer, or anywhere else it shows up. We are aiming for an unbiased selection process. If you leave your name on your writing sample, we will not consider your application.

How many pieces can I submit? You can submit in multiple categories, but only one submission per category. In each submission you may attach a writing sample of up to 10 pages or 10 poems.

What should I bring? Please bring everything you need for your writing work (laptop, notebooks, etc). While there is no cell service, writers will be given space and time to write. All residents will share some of their work in an informal setting on site with the other residents and members of the community. October in the Adirondacks can get chilly, so come prepared with warm clothes. You may also want to bring clothes and footwear for hiking, paddling, and being outdoors. Bring all of your own toiletries and personal items, the nearest drug store is too far away to think about. Please leave your spouse, children and animals home.

Just how rustic is this place? Bedrooms are comfortable and modern, each equipped with its own bathroom. The retreat has a small staff, and residents will be responsible for keeping the building and grounds in order. Everyone will clear the table after meals, keep the meeting areas clean, and turn off the lights at night. Internet is available, but it is not dependable for video meetings and other high-bandwidth web programs. (Email = âś“ | Zoom = X)

I’d love to come, but I can only stay for part of the time! Everyone selected for the residency is expected to remain for the whole two weeks.

What about food? The residency will prepare and serve dinners all week. Breakfast and lunch foods will be provided for residents to cook. If you have an allergy and are selected, there will be time for you to alert us of your needs and we’ll work to meet them.

How expensive is this residency? There is a $30 application fee, but there is no cost to the residency beyond transportation to and from Twitchell Lake.

How will I get there? ACW will organize one trip between Albany and the retreat at either end of the residency. We will announce travel times ahead of time. Otherwise, residents will be expected to find their own way to Twitchell Lake. We will provide directions to the residency location.

Anne LaBastille Writers Residency Alumni

2022. Danielle Bainbridge, Rebecca Bornstein, Sionnain Buckley, Susan Hahn, Dorian Gossy, M.L. Martin

2021. Fiction: Carter Sickels, Sam Burns. Non-Fiction: Amy Fisher-Quinn, Maria T. Allocco. Poetry: Alice Tursky, Erin Adair-Hodges

2020. Fiction: Alison Strack, Kate Doyle. Non-Fiction: Kelsey Francis, Anjali Khosla/Emily Weitzman. Poetry: Jane Boxall, Erin Dorney

2019. Fiction: Steve Potter, Leah Hampton. Non-Fiction: Annie Stoltie, Dan Roche. Poetry: Ashaki Jackson, Fay Dillof

2018. Fiction: Casey Quinn, Tyler Barton. Non-Fiction: Doug Deneen, Kelli Faherty. Poetry: Ginseng MacKay-Tisbert, Lauren Whitehead.

2017. Fiction: Betsy Kepes, Liz Wycoff. Non-Fiction: Caitlin Chandler, Glenn Sandiford. Poetry: Madeline Hennessey, Noah Stetzer.

2016. Fiction: Samuel Duarte, Andrew Fichter. Non-Fiction: Rafia Zakaria, Lilace Mellin-Guignard. Poetry: Ryan Black, Dale Hobson.

2015. Fiction: Andy Bates, Ellen Rocco. Non-Fiction: Carrie Laben, Douglas Deneen. Poetry: Stuart Bartow, Sarah Browning.

2014. Fiction: Jackie Keren, Chris Tebbetts. Non-Fiction: Carrie Bramen, Beckie O’Neill. Poetry: Kierstin Bridger, Adam Falkner.

About Anne LaBastille

Anne LaBastille was a beloved Adirondack author who inspired a generation of naturalists, especially young women, with her books including Woodswoman and its sequels, Beyond Black Bear Lake, Assignment: Wildlife, and Women and the Wilderness.

Anne was a contributing writer to the Sierra Club and National Geographic, among many others. Her work brought the destructive effects of acid rain and pollution into the public consciousness. She became a licensed New York State Guide in the 1970s and offered backpacking and canoe trips throughout the Adirondacks. Until shortly before her death in 2011, she lived part time at her cabin on Twitchell Lake. She gave wilderness workshops and lectures for over forty years and served on many conservation organizations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, including 17 years on the Board of Commissioners of the Adirondack Park Agency.

Her estate generously provides for ACW’s annual Residency Program at Twitchell Lake, carrying on Anne’s belief that “…the cabin is the wellspring, the source, the hub of my existence. It gives me tranquility, a closeness of nature and wildlife, good health and fitness, a sense of security, the opportunity for resourcefulness, reflection and creative thinking…”