THE FAULKNER SOCIETY
The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, a nationally recognized non-profit arts organization, is a 501 (c) (3) literary and educational institution and, as such, grant donations, membership contributions, and contributions to our fundraisers are fully tax deductible. Important projects of the Faulkner Society are The Double Dealer literary journal; outreach programs for high school and college students; literacy projects for at-risk teenagers in cooperation with other organizations, including BIG READ projects funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; continuing education programs for writers and readers; and a year-round calendar of literary events—such as My New Orleans and Meet the Author, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and Words & Music, A Literary Feast in New Orleans—which honor and assist writers and provide high quality literary entertainment for readers. Many of our programs are offered free to students and the reading public.
Embarking on a New Generation of Services
to Readers and Writers
The Faulkner Society was created in 1990 with a mission of providing realistic assistance to developing writers, creating literacy initiatives, continuing education for adults in literature and writing, and presenting literary programming for readers. Our overall goal has been to enhance the national image of New Orleans as a cultural and intellectual destination. Our programming year begins annually on William Faulkner’s birthday, September 25th and we completed our 26th year on September 25, 2016.
Membership Drive is Underway Now
If you have not already become a member or sponsor in 2017, e-mail us for a membership form, and come join us as we embark on a new generation of literary services for readers and writers. We invite you to become members of the Society and secure the Society’s future. For a membership form and explanation of benefits, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: 2017 paid patrons of our summer fundraiser, Juleps in June, automatically become members of the Society. Paid members receive complimentary Discussion Passes for Words & Music, 2017. A free discussion pass admits one to all events except food and wine events of the festival. 2016 sponsors receive all-event sponsor passes.
WILLIAM FAULKNER – WILLIAM WISDOM
CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION
The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition opens annually on January 1 and attracts between 1,500 and 2,500 entries in eight categories: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction Book, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-Progress, Essay, Poetry, and Short Story by a High School Student with cash prizes ranging from $7,500 for novel to $1,000 for High School Short Story. The 2017 deadline for entries is May 1. Winners must be present for Faulkner for All in New Orleans on December 9 to receive their prizes. Overall dates for the Words & Music festival this year are December 6 – 10.
Judges who have committed to date:
Judges for Novel and High School Short Story will be announced shortly.
2016 winners are: Novel, Jacob Appel of New York, NY; Narrative Non-Fiction, Adriana Páramo of Kissimmee, FL; Novella, Andrew Plattner of Atlanta, GA; Short Story, Paul Negri of Clifton, NJ; Novel-in-Progress, Brenda McClain of Ashland, TN; Essay, Ann Read (pen name of Judy Hood) of Homestead, FL; Poetry, Nancy Dafoe of Homer, NY; Short Story by a High School Student, Lillian Lechler of Metairie, LA. For complete 2016 results, Click Here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. FAULKNER!
The Society’s celebration of our namesake’s birthday and BIG READ took take place on Sunday, September 25, at Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley. Featured guests at the event included Lisa C. Hickman, the noted Memphis biographer, who has written extensively about Memphis-born Joan Williams, who was the Society’s guest of honor for its founding event in 1990. The late Joan Williams was a prize-winning author whose numerous excellent pieces of fiction and non-fiction have often been overshadowed by her relationship with William Faulkner, her mentor and intimate friend. Ms. Hickman’s new book, Remembering, celebrates her works of fiction and the role Faulkner had in the writer’s life. Ms. Hickman’s book is a valuable collector’s item for all scholars and dedicated readers interested in literature by native sons and daughters of the South. Copies of the book are available to order through Faulkner House Books at (504) 524-2940 with credit card information.
BIG READ Kick-Off
The Faulkner birthday party this year also was the kick-off event for our 2016 BIG READ literacy initiative, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Hortensia Calvo, the Doris Stone Director of Tulane University’s Latin American Library, addressed the importance of BIG READ generally and the importance of this year’s focus book, specifically. The book, arguably the best collection of Mexican short fiction in translation, is Sun, Stone, and Shadows, curated and translated by respected Mexican author and journalist Jorge F. Hernandez.
2016 LITERACY INITIATIVES:
Faulkner Society’s 2016 BIG READ Grant
Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society received a BIG READ grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The BIG READ program provides materials and support for communities to read and discuss a single book together. The Faulkner Society’s grant is the only one awarded to a Louisiana organization this year. The grant and matching local funds supported a community-wide events surrounding the book Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, curated, translated, and introduced by renowned Mexican journalist and author of fiction and non-fiction, Jorge F. Hernandez. BIG READ, 2016 will begin it’s programs benefiting teenagers at risk for illiteracy with a teacher orientation session on Wednesday, October 12. The orientation session will features an introduction to the book and a reading from it. As part of
Words & Music, 2016, Hernandez presented on the book and on Mexican fiction in general to diverse audiences in the New Orleans community, including high school and college students, and the general reading public. The festival opened November 9 with a Master Class for teachers and their students, featuring Hernandez, who discussed the art of short fiction. Also appearing was humorist and non-fiction author Roy Blount, Jr., who judged and presented the winner of the High School Short Story category of The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Later that day, Hernandez joined in a conversation about Sun, Stone, and Shadows and trends in contemporary Latin American literature with the brilliant young Mexican fiction writer, Yuri Hererra. The event took place at
6 p. m. at Freeman Hall on the Tulane University campus and was followed by a reception for a new exhibition of Mexican cultural treasures at the Latin American Library, including memorabilia related to both authors. Both events were open and free to the public and attracted large audiences. Tune in to hear NEA Chairman Jane Chu explain why the BIG READ is so important to communities in a short video at:
The Faulkner Society has applied for a 2017 BIG READ grant, focusing on the work of the brilliant Chilean author Alejandro Zambra.
Big Read Partners
Our partners for the 2017 BIG READ application include the New Orleans Public Library, One Book, One New Orleans, the State Library of Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Public Library, the Doris Stone Latin American Library at Tulane University, and Loyola University’s Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies, all of whom are providing facilities and/or faculty presenters. We all urge you to support this program with donations earmarked for purchase of copies of Sun, Stone, and Shadows to distribute free to participating teachers, students, and libraries. Please send donations to Faulkner Society/BIG READ, 624 Pirate’s Alley, NOLA 70116.
Faulkner Society Partners With
One Book, One New Orleans
The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society partnered with One Book, One New Orleans to launch that organization’s 2016 book selection, The “Baby Dolls”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, by Dr. Kim Vas-Deville. The 2016 One Book launch took place Wednesday, July 27 at Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley. “The book draws on the collective memory of New Orleanians who knew of the Baby Doll masking tradition and remembered it fondly,” Vaz-Deville says. “It is a privilege to tell a story about women, who–though dismissed by the society of their time due in part to their race, gender, class, work, and low rates of literacy–insisted on their right to make themselves visible. Theirs is a story that tells each of us that we are valuable and affirms our rights to individual expression of that worth. One Book, One New Orleans in turn partnered with the Faulkner Society on this year’s BIG READ project, providing volunteers and co-sponsoring events. Dr. Vaz-Deville was a guest of honor for the Society’s annual Juleps in June fundraiser and appeared at Words & Music. The Faulkner Society and One Book, One New Orleans are partners again for 2017 literacy initiatives.
Juleps in June, 2017
Juleps in June, 2017 will take place on Friday, June 2. Details will be announced soon.
WORDS & MUSIC:
A Literary Feast in New Orleans
Words & Music encompasses five days and nights of diverse literary programming for writers, dedicated readers, and teenagers at-risk for illiteracy, including one-on-one manuscript critiques by noted publishing industry editors and agents, discussions by well known authors and scholars on themes of literature and life, nightly entertainment including live music, and the renowned cuisine of the Big Easy. Dates for the 2017 festival and writers conference are December 6 – 10. Primary discussion venue will be the award-winning Hotel Monteleone, which is offering a discounted rate to guests registering for Words & Music. Details of Words & Music will be posted and e-mailed shortly or you can e-mail us for details at email@example.com.
Save the Date!
The Faulkner Society’s gala black tie annual meeting—Faulkner for All!—will take place on Saturday December 9, 2017, when we will present winners of the 2017 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition and an evening of literary and musical entertainment.
Meet the Authors & My New Orleans
The Faulkner Society works with other non-profits to present cultural offerings, including two literary discussion/reading series, My New Orleans, featuring books by New Orleanians or about New Orleans, and Meet the Author, featuring well established authors with new books. Recent events HAVE included: My New Orleans: The Black Experience, which took place at Faulkner House, Sunday, April 17; Meet the Author: Save Room for Pie featuring humorist Roy Blount, Jr.; and Meet the Authors: John Gregory Brown and Richard Grant on July 10. These sessions attracted full house crowds. My New Orleans: The Black Experience featured James B. Borders, IV and Brenda Marie Osby, both introduced by Sybil Morial. Borders is author of Marking Time, Making Place: An Essential Chronology of Blacks in New Orleans since 1718, essential to understanding why New Orleans is one of the most Africanized spaces in North America—culturally, spiritually, and psychically. Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Brenda Marie Osbey’s new collection of poetry is All Souls: Essential Poems. Former New Orleans First Lady Sybil Morial is author of the memoir, Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment. The three works provoked an intense conversation about issues of race in New Orleans. For those who had to be turned away because of the venue’s size and Fire Marshall limits, the three will appear together again during Words & Music, November 10 at the Hotel Monteleone. For more information on the authors, go to Borders or Osbey or Morial. All of their books are available at Faulkner House Books, (504) 524-2940. Meet the Author: Save Room for Pie on Sunday, March 13 attracted some 80 people showing up for Roy Blount, Jr. and pie, served after appetizers and entrees of Roy’s inimitable wit. If you missed it, not to worry. Roy will be with us again as a member of the faculty for Words & Music, 2016, November 9 – 13, and we promise to have pie again! And if you missed getting a signed copy of his delightful new tome about eating, Save Room for Pie, Faulkner House Books has some signed copies in stock. Call (504) 524-2940 to get yours. For more on Roy Click here. Critically acclaimed fiction writer John Gregory Brown, a New Orleans native, talked about love, loss, and displacement in the wake of hurricane Katrina, themes of his wonderful new novel, A Thousand Miles from Nowhere, and Richard Grant, a terrific British raconteur, elaborated on the eccentricities of rural Mississippi while summarizing his highly entertaining new memoir, Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta at the July 10 event. If you missed this event, Faulkner House Books has signed copies of both books. Reserve yours at (504) 524-2940. Faulkner House Books will ship books to you or you can stop by and pick them up.
NATIONAL READ-A-THON DAY
The Faulkner Society celebrated the American Library Association’s National Read-A-Thon Day, Saturday, May 21, with a series of half hour readings/book discussions by both debut and well known authors beginning at 11 a. m. and continuing through 6 p. m. Readers who appeared included Walter Isaacson, Hayley Lynch, Moira Crone, Rodger Kamenetz, George Bishop, Bill Loehfelm, Jade Hurter, Zachary Lazar, Brenda Marie Osbey, and Michael Murphy. The Faulkner Society also contributed books for inmates at Parish Prison to read on May 21st.
JULEPS IN JUNE, 2017
Juleps in June, 2017 will take place on Friday, June 2. Details will be posted after January 1. Despite one of the biggest rain storms of the year, Juleps in June, 2016 was a great party. The Faulkner Society’s annual fundraiser and overture to the summer social season took place this year on Friday evening, June 3. This year’s venue was the stunning, recently renovated Garden District residence and gardens at 1216 Jackson Avenue, home of Honorary Co-Chairs Andrea and David Bland. Co-sponsors included One Book, One New Orleans, which provided young professional volunteers. Faulkner Society donors stepped out in their coolest, frothiest summer cocktail frocks and ice cream suits to sip mint juleps from engraved silver cups, listen to music, and enjoy a light summer supper. Participants bid on 2016’s Faulkner painting, which was auctioned to benefit the Society’s projects for writers and readers. Back by popular demand to create the Faulkner commission this year was Grayce Denoia Bochak, an exceptional water-colorist who divides her time between her permanent residence in New Jersey and her Pirate’s Alley second home. Vickie and Jimmy Lee won the auction!Literary Guests of Honor included Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville, Xavier University Professor and author of the non-fiction book, The “Baby Dolls”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, which focuses on how black women have gained important roles in the parading traditions of New Orleans street culture. Fiction Guests of Honor were New Orleans native John Gregory Brown, one of the country’s finest literary fiction storytellers, whose new novel is A Thousand Miles From Nowhere. The book is arguably the best fictional depiction of love, loss, and displacement in the wake of Hurricane Katrina we have read. Joining him as an honoree was his wife, Carrie Brown, author of seven critically acclaimed novels including her new novel, The Stargazer’s Sister. John Brown is an English Professor at Sweetbriar College and Carrie Brown is Writer-in-Residence; they both teach writing. All of the literary guests of honor also will be members of the faculty of presenters for Words & Music, 2016.
FAULKNER SOCIETY IMPACT
We have launched a major fundraising campaign to commemorate 25 years of service to New Orleans, its writers, and its readers. Our 25th year of service will end on Faulkner’s birthday, September 25th. To help us continue the impact, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome offers of volunteer service as well as financial contributions.
Projects of the Faulkner Society have a positive impact for some 7,500 persons annually. We urge you to support our programs by becoming a member. For a membership form, e-mail us at email@example.com. The Society’s most ambitious annual undertakings are:
- William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition
- Words & Music, A Literary Feast in New Orleans
- Workshops, Master Classes, Manuscript Critiques for Developing Writers
- Literacy Initiatives for Teenagers At-Risk for Illiteracy, Including BIG READ projects
- The Double Dealer literary journal and Student Intern Program
- Free public sessions of Meet the Author and My New Orleans events for dedicated readers
- Joint Ventures with other Non-Profits to Embellish the City’s Cultural Resources.
To become a member, click here for 25th anniversary membership benefits and membership form to download.