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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.

The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, the Society’s international literary talent search opens annually on January 1 and the deadline for 2016 entries was May 23.  Winners and finalists are presented formally at our annual meeting each year during Words & Music. In this year’s competition, fiction writer  John Gregory Brown, whose honors include the Lillian Smith and Steinbeck prizes, will judge the Novel category; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and non-fiction author, Daniel de Visé, is judging Narrative Non-Fiction Book category; National Book Award winner Julia Glass,whose winning book was three novellas linked as a novel, will judge the Novella category; Pulitzer Prize novelist and National Book Award-winning short story writer Adam Johnson will be judging the Short Story Category; Chris Baty, founder of the National Novel Writing Month, will judge Novel in Progress; Bestselling n0n-fiction author and poet Rodger Kamenetz will judge Essay; well-published poet and editor of the New Orleans Review, Mark Yakich, will judge Poetry; winner of the Thomas Wolfe Award and best-selling humorist, author of some 24 books, Roy Blount, Jr., will judge Short Story by a High School Student. For the results of the 2015 competition, click on Competition.

2016 Winners & Finalists
Click here to see 2016 results to date: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-Progress, and Essay.  We will be posting the remaining categories soon.

Faulkner Society Partners With
One Book, One New Orleans

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society is partnering with One Book, One New Kim_Vaz-DevilleOrleans to launch the 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 will also partner with the Faulkner Society on this year’s BIG READ project, detailed below.

Faulkner Society Wins BIG READ Grant for 2016 Project

New BIG READ LogoThe Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society has 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 is supporting community-wide events surrounding the book Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, translated and edited by renowned Mexican journalist and author of fiction and non-fiction, Jorge F. Hernandez.  BIG READ, 2016 will kick off with a teacher Hernandez _grayscaleorientation session on September 14, followed the public kick-off on William Faulkner’s birthday, September 25, which will feature readings from the book. As part of  Words & Music, 2016, Hernandez will present on the book and on Mexican fiction in general to diverse audiences in the New Orleans community, including high school and college students, the general reading public, and adults. The festival will open on November 9 with a Master Class for High School and their students, featuring Hernandez who will discuss the art of short fiction. Also appearing will be humorist and non fiction author Roy Blount, Jr., who is judging and will present the winner of the High School Short Story category of The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing CompetitionTune 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 needs your help to meet the required match for the BIG READ grant. We will post complete information about the project and its events shortly. To participate in this important project for our community, e-mail us at for a donor brochure.

Our partners for the 2016 BIG READ 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.

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.

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 2016 festival and writers conference are November 9 – 13.  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 Save the Dates!  

The Faulkner Society’s gala black tie annual meeting—Faulkner for All!—will take place on Saturday November 12, when we will present winners of the 2016 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition This year, the dress theme for Faulkner for All will be “Bow Ties and Tiaras,” with prizes for the best of each, so be thinking of how you can take your bow ties from ho-hum to “Hello there, Good Looking” and your tiaras from mundane to magnificent, from pitiful to priceless. And we have the perfect celebrity judge coming to select the winners.  Click here for the 2016 schedule of enlightening and entertaining events we have planned for you.


blands residence - web Despite one of the biggest rain storms of the year, Juleps in June 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. Literary Guests of Honor included Dr. Kim Vaz-DevilleXavier 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.

Borders photo croppedBrenda Marie OsbeyThe 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 10These 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 Author of Witness to ChangeOrleans. 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 SundaRoy Blounty, 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 John_Gregory_Brown smallClick 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 Richard GrantGrant, 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.


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 entered our 25th year on September 25, 2015. We invite you to become members of the Society and secure the Society’s future for 25 more years of literary services to writers, readers, and students. For a membership form and explanation of benefits, e-mail us at

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 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 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.



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