Events & Programs

Experience is at the heart of what we do. We might be a small organization, but we program BIG.

Developing the sense of community drives us to create programs and events for all ages of readers and writers. We bring the best talent into the region with Pop Up Poets, Major Author Readings, all the while cherishing the stories of Adirondackers with The Howl Story Slam and PoemVillage celebration. But that’s just the start of what we do year after year, check out all that we do below.


Workshops | Readings | Retreats | By Local


For the craft of writing.

ACW Online Writing Classes are completely at your own pace, on your own time. We create courses in all sorts of genres, memoir to poetry, fiction to children’s literature, and aim to bring in teachers with a real knack for student interaction and feedback. The classes take place every year in summer and winter sessions, and are rotate through a huge variety of genres from unconventional memoir writing, to poetry, fiction, and more. For the online writing classes page, click here.

Publishing Conference is offered annually, and we bring in editors, agents, publicists, and self-publishing experts to local writers looking for support in publishing their work. We want every writer, whether brand new to publishing or an experienced author, to feel comfortable on their journey to publishing through manuscript critiques, discussions, and expert panels. For the publishing conference page, click here.

Prison Writing Program is led by a rotation of local teachers, classes are focused on teaching creative writing, literacy, and professional development at the Federal Correction Institute in Ray Brook, New York.  This program is funded by a combined National Endowment for the Arts and Federal Bureau of Prisons grant.



For the love of reading.

Library Reading Series creates a partnership between ACW and libraries from all over the Adirondack region to present local author readings and discussions. Libraries choose authors from the region and partners with ACW to host them. The Library Reading Series is made possible from a generous grant from the Lake Placid Education Foundation. More info about the Library Reading Series here.

Major Author Readings take place when we team up with local businesses, schools, and art centers to hold readings and lectures that are open to the public. Past author readings have featured nationally acclaimed authors, including: Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Alistair MacLeod, Russell Banks, Mark Kurlanski, Chase Twichell, Bill McKibben, Sue Halpern, Bernd Heinrich, William Kennedy, Andrea Barrett, Rick Moody, and Steven Millhauser. We also present some of the best performance poets in the country at our programs and readings, including Jon Sands, Adam Faulkner, Samantha Thornhill, Danez Smith, Mahogany L. Browne, Jive Poetic and more.

Pop Up Poets or  “Poets in Unexpected Places,”, hold spontaneous performance poetry events for populations that would otherwise not be exposed to the art form.  For the past few years, ACW has brought the Pop Up Poets to communities all over the North Country, providing them with their first opportunity to work in a rural setting. The poets have popped up and performed poems in hardware stores, diners, and in classrooms and college campuses. We love this program, as it engages and surprises our local population with an art form that can be intimidating. Watch poets storm into local classrooms!



To create a community of writers.

Anne LaBastille Memorial Writers Residency provides space, time and an inspiring landscape for regional and non-local writers to work on their writing projects, a chance to unplug and connect with other writers, and to tap into their creative self. In the beautiful setting of Twitchell Lake, there is space for six writers, and half of the spaces are reserved for regional authors, and the other spaces is open to writers from all over the world. Writers of any genre are accepted. The residency was generously provided by the estate of Anne LaBastille, who wrote books like Woodswoman and Beyond Black Bear Lake from her cabin on Twitchell Lake. For the Anne LaBastille Memorial Writer Residency page, click here.

High School Writing Retreat is our highly successful and exciting program that brings students from all over the North Country to work with acclaimed performance poets. We started the retreat in 2005, and every year sees more interest, and a new group of excited students. Through unique creative writing exercises, students generate poems and essays, and learn to read their work to an audience. This program is often the first time students have heard contemporary writing from writers of color, steeped in tradition and dealing with social and political issues. It’s particularly fascinating to hear how students apply what they hear to their own experiences and emotions living in the North Country. Another role of this program is to create a place where students with a common interest can meet and develop friendships based on a mutual appreciation. Check out performances from local students!


 By Local

For locals, by locals.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise Book Reviews sponsored by the Adirondack Center for Writing are featured with reviews from various board members and staff.

Adirondack Literary Awards welcomes the larger Adirondack community of writers and readers to celebrate another year of publications from regional authors! Juried awards for works of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, children’s and People’s Choice Award for best overall book (regardless of genre) will be announced. The annual event is a chance to meet local writers, find a new favorite book, and hang out with the Adirondack Center for Writing staff and board.

Open Mic Nights are a great way to dive into presenting your work on a stage surrounded by supporting peers. Open mic nights are offered all over the Park at our partnering locations throughout the year.

Poem Village Saranac Lake is presented by the Adirondack Center for Writing to celebrate of the creativity and talent of the Tri-Lakes community during National Poetry Month in April. Starting at the beginning of April all submissions of poetry from community members, elementary kids to seniors, are on display in the windows of partnering businesses in downtown Saranac Lake. A trail of locally-written poetry follows anyone walking down Main Street. The Adirondack Center for Writing hides postcard-sized submissions in the corners of local businesses in an event called PocketPoetry. Under your morning coffee, tucked in the newspaper, or waiting underneath a tube of toothpaste in the pharmacy, poems from friends and neighbors were in every pocket of the community. PoemCity was created by Rachel Senechal and Phayvanh Luekhamhan and developed by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, Vermont. The Adirondack Center for Writing, with the help of local writing groups, is proud to be the first organizers welcoming the event to the state of New York. 

The Howl Story SLAM is an open microphone storytelling competition open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. How does it work? Storytellers put their names in a hat. Names are picked, and one by one, storytellers take the stage and tell us their best story in five minutes. Two local judges will score every story to select The Howl Story SLAM winners of the night. What else? All stories have to be true and come from personal experience. No notes. Do you need to be a professional storyteller? Heck no! Just tell it from the heart! The The Howl Story SLAM is brought to you by NCPR and the Adirondack Center for Writing, a partnership brought about by a love and support of all stories and storytellers in the Adirondack North Country. Check out previous storytellers from the Howl Story SLAM. 

Young Writers Festival is an open mic event for young Adirondackers to present their own writing–poems, essays, stories, and songs are all welcome.