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he 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 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 Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, our annual three-day founders celebration honoring our namesake and all great writers: past, present, and yet to come.  Our programs are designed to honor and assist writers, provide high quality literary entertainment for readers, and combat the growing national disgrace of illiteracy. Many of our programs are offered free or at discounted rates to students and the general reading public.

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. One overall goal has been to enhance the national image of New Orleans as a cultural and intellectual destination. Our programming year begins annually with our founders celebration, including William Faulkner’s birthday, September 25th. We completed our 27th year on September 25, 2017.

Membership Drive is Underway Now
If you have not already become a member or sponsor in the current programming year, come join us as we continue our 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

Note: Memberships include invitations to all events, both ticketed and free, public events. Currently scheduled free events include our annual series of free, public concerts organized to benefit the poor of New Orleans which take place on Tuesdays during Lent (February 20 – March 27, 2018) at 6:30 p. m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, part of the historic Ursuline Convent complex, 1100 Chartres Street. The theme this year is “Soul of the City: 300 Years of Musical Diversity” and the beneficiary organization for voluntary donations to collections taken at the end of each concert is St. Jude Community Center. Other Free Spring events: Meet the Authors events on Sunday, March 25, 1:30 p. m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, 2:00 to 4:30 p. m. with both events, which are co-sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum, to take place at The Presbytere. (The Cabildo, where we frequently have literary events, currently is undergoing some interior renovations.)  Our next ticketed events will be our Founders’Celebration, Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, September 22 – 25, including our annual fundraiser, which will take place on Sunday, September 23. Save the Dates!

Save the Dates for our Exciting Line-up of Authors:

Sunday, March 25, 1:30 to 4:30 p. m., The Presbytere
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Dr Martha Boone, Jeffrey Round, and Thomas Sancton

Our first Meet the Author event of the 2018 Spring Season promises both compelling, even some controversial topics, and four very talented presenters. Kicking off the program will be New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who adds another star to his political crown with his explosive new memoir, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.  Mitch Landrieu, The scion of an old progressive, racially liberal family, including his father former Mayor Moon Landrieu, sets out the background of the controversy surrounding his removal of monuments to the Confederacy and explores the deeply engrained racism staining American life. Kirkus Reviews, a leading publishing industry journal describes the memoir as: “A powerful, welcome manifesto in the cause of a new and better South and a better America.” Bestselling biographer Walter Isaacson calls the memoir “An extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal…An important book for everyone in America to read.” The book is being launched in New York on March 20 and this will be Mayor Landrieu’s first appearance for the book in New Orleans.

Big Charity Hospital
—severely damaged by Katrina and today left to sit idle in what might be described as the demolition by neglect of a great building—remains a highly controversial subject in New Orleans today.  New fuel is added to the hot topic by the fact that Charity is the inspiration for a new novel by Atlanta author,  Dr. Martha Boone, who is one of the last generation of doctors to have completed their medical residencies at Charity. The novel, The Big Free, is a reflection on Charity Hospital’s great accomplishments as well as its pitfalls, giving insight into the daily life of a new doctor learning the ropes under harsh conditions. Her “heroine” is young Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, who has not a clue about what she will face at Charity and arrives on the scene her first day done up in pearls and pink plaid socks, getting off on literally the wrong foot with some of the staff. Forced to come to grips with the environment of Big Charity in a hurry, she learns the ropes quickly with the help of some seasoned hands.

Jeffrey Round is a Canadian writer, director, playwright, publisher, and song writer, who has encouraged the development of LGBT literature, particularly in Canada. His published work includes mystery novels, literary fiction, plays, and poetry.  The Lambda-Award winning author of the Dan Sharp mystery series, Jeffrey has been twice nominated for a ReLit Award, for poetry and fiction and received high kudos for his stand-alone mystery Endgame, dubbed a “punk rock reboot” of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. His first two books, A Cage of Bones and The P-town Murders, were listed on AfterElton’s Top 100 Greatest Gay Books. He also is the author of the comic Bradford Fairfax mystery series, including the fourth in the series, Bon Ton Roulet, which he will be presenting at the March 25th event. The series revolves around the hero Bradford Fairfax, “secret agent, upholder of justice, defender of world peace, and sex kitten.” This fourth novel in the series is set in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, with the intrepid Brad confronting a town where many former residents have disappeared, a town “overrun by a band of punks, terrorizing the waterfront in fearsome nightly sprees.” It seems to Brad that there “is more misery here than in a Delta Blues songbook.” A long-time resident of Toronto, he has also lived in London and Milan, and he sojourns in New Orleans when writing his books set here.

Tom Sancton is a journalist, author, and jazz musician. He grew up in New Orleans, was graduated from Harvard, and took a doctorate in Modern History at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. A former writer, editor, and foreign correspondent for Time magazine, he has written or co-written six books of fiction and non-fiction. In 2014, the French government named him a Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He currently divides his time between Paris and New Orleans. His new non-fiction book, The Bettencourt Affair, revolves around the world’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the roughly $40 billion L’Oréal fortune. An NPR Best Book of 2017, it explores her gilded life and thedark yet fascinating turn it took in the past decade. At 94, she was embroiled in what has been called the Bettencourt Affair, a scandal that dominated the headlines in France. Why? It’s a tangled web of hidden secrets, divided loyalties, frayed relationships, and fractured families, set in the most romantic city—and involving the most glamorous industry—in the world. The book already has been optioned for a TV series.

is free and open to the public. Authors will appear in the order they appear here. To read more about each of these talented authors and their work, click on their names, which are linked to their individual author pages. The event will include complimentary wine, soft drinks, water and finger food. While a free event, RSVPs are mandatory. For admittance free to the Presbytere, you must have one of our personalized Meet the Authors passes to present at the museum desk. RSVP to and a pass will be e-mailed to you in advance of the event. Books for all authors will be available for purchase and signing.  Please call Faulkner House Books, 504-524-2940, with credit card info to reserve your books in advance.

Sunday, April 22, 2:00 to 4:30 p. m., The Presbytere
Iris Cohen,
Author of The Little Clan
Save the Date!

May Event, Date & Time to be Announced
Featuring Zachary Lazar, Author of Vengeance


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 2018 deadline is May 1. Winners are to be presented at Faulkner for All on November 18, 2018.  To review the 2017 lists of all who placed in all categories, Click Here!  To find the 2018 guidelines and the 2018 entry form to download and print out, Click Here!  Please review the guidelines carefully before entering as significant changes have been made for 2018.

The competition has propelled many previously unknown writers into successful careers as established authors. Two recent examples are two 2016 finalists, Katheryn Ramsperger and Starner Jones, whose books—The Shores of Our Souls and Mother City—have now been published.

2017 Essay Winner Gets Publisher for Her Work

And we are extremely proud to announce that the winner of the 2017 Essay Competition, Megan Baxter of Traveler’s Rest, SC, had her essay collection critiqued during the 20th anniversary celebration of the festival the Faulkner Society created in 1997, Words & Music. The result? The collection has been purchased for fast-track publication by Texas Review Press, whose managing editor, Kim Davis was among critiquing editors invited last year. Congratulations, Megan! And kudos to Kim Davis for recognizing talent when she sees it. Texas Review Press also is the publisher of the new Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell and author/editor Johnnie Bernhard, a Faulkner Society member, who has been a finalist and a runner-up in the annual Faulkner-Wisdom Competition
Note, Important:
The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance of New Orleans, which was created as a result of the Faulkner Society’s 2011 Words & Music Writers Alliance initiative, has announced that it is staging its own literary competition beginning this year and the group has named it the Words & Music Competition. Please note that this new competition has no connection to the Faulkner Society or the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition except for the facts that some of Peauxdunque’s most talented writers have won or placed in the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. The late Terri Sue Shrum, along with Emilie Staat, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin, were gold medal winners, while Tad Bartlett and  J. Ed Marston have been short-listed or finalists several times and Emily Choate and Alex Johnson have been a finalists.

Entering the Words & Music Competition does not mean your work will be entered or judged in the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition…and vice versa.

Our competition has been in continuous operation since 1992 and has a successful track record of selecting publishable winners. The track record has created respect for our competition among literary agents and acquiring editors for publishing houses. Among the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition’s well known discoveries are National Book Award winner Julia Glass and fiction writer Stewart O’Nan, who has published 19 books of fiction since winning the Society’s first gold medal for novel. Ladee Hubbard, who is judging our novel category this year, earlier won the Society’s gold medal for short story and whose stories have been widely published, recently won the highly prestigious Ernest Gaines Prize for her debut novel, The Talented Ribkins. New York Times bestselling novelist M. O. Walsh, who is judging Novel-in-progress this year, also is one of the Society’s gold medal winners for Novel-in-progress, the completed version of which was published as the bestselling  My Sunshine Away. Judging novella this year, fiction writer Moira Crone also has twice been a Faulkner Society gold medal winner, first for short story,  which was published as the title story of her short story collection, Dream State, and then for a novella, which was expanded and published critically acclaimed novel, The Ice Garden. The widely published poet Peter Cooley, judging poetry this year, also is a Faulkner Society gold medal winner. We are proud of the fact that most of our winners not only have become published but that they remain involved with the Faulkner Society, contributing their time and talent as competition judges. Two renaissance men of literature, John Biguenet and Rodger Kamenetz, who have been stalwart supporters of and participants in Faulkner Society projects for 20 years, are judging Short Story and Essay, respectively in 2018. The Society is delighted to announce, too, that Zachary Lazar has accepted our invitation to judge the narrative non-fiction book category. Zachary is author of the just released new novel, Vengeance, a brilliant and powerful book critically hailed as a seamless hybrid of imagination and reality.

2018 Judges for the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition

The Faulkner Society is proud to announce its 2018 Judges selected to date. They are:

Novel: Ladee Hubbard; Narrative Non-Fiction: Zachary Lazar; Novella: Moira Crone; Novel-in-Progress: M. O. Walsh; Short Story: John BiguenetEssay: Rodger Kamenetz; Poetry: Peter CooleyHigh School Short Story: Laura Lane McNeal.
Click on their names for more information about each judge. 

The Soul of the City: 300 Years of Musical Diversity
Save the Dates: Tuesdays During Lent,
February 20 – March 27
6:30 p. m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Ursuline Convent Complex, 1100 Chartres Street

The Faulkner Society’s annual prelude to the celebration of Easter—six free public concerts featuring major types of music created and enjoyed by New Orleanians for three centuries—opened on February 20 with an electrifying performance by the superbly talented pianist Tom McDermott, who can play everything from Bamboula to Boogie in his own inimitable style, and historical context remarks by noted historian Nancy Dixon, Ph.D., Executive editor of the new Tricentennial anthology just released by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, New Orleans and the World: 1718 to 2018Concert Three,  featuring OperaCréole was equally uplifting musically and edifying, with remarks about the history of the music by Aria Mason, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of OperaCréole punctuating the performance. Concert Three on Tuesday, March 6, was a winner, too. It featured The Roots of Music, directed by band leader Darren Rodgers. The March 6 program was introduced by David Kunian, Curator of  the Louisiana State Museum’s jazz archives and its Jazz Museum at the old U. S. Mint, shown here at right. David discussed the origins of brass and the “Spanish/Latin Tinge” of New Orleans music. The program was a double benefit event for both The Roots of Music and St. Jude Community Center.  Concert Four was a trip down memory lane and a big hit with the audience, as soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, pianist  Jesse Reeks, and violinist Lulu Reeks pushed all of the right emotional buttons with their Tricentennial oriented program of chamber music and old favorites, emphasizing especially the French, Spanish, and Irish heritage of New Orleans, along with spiritual music, and a final audience sing-along piece of You Are My Sunhine, including rarely heard verses added by the late Governor Jimmy Davis.

The remaining two concerts will be:
March 20, 2018:
The New Orleans Sound
The New Orleans Sound discussed and played by Armand St. Martin and his trio. Armand’s New Orleans family roots date back to Bienville and the founding of New Orleans, 300 years ago. His piano, singing performance style is similar to the late greats of “The New Orleans Sound,” musicians Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, and James Booker. Performing with his trio colleagues, Al Bernard and Bob Rotherham, Armand will do a running commentary on the music as it is played.

March 27, 2018
Make A Joyful Noise

Sacred Music of New Orleans,” featuring artist Valerie Francis with other singers doing American spirituals, and Craig Adams leading his music group and the singers in a rousing round of gospel as only New Orleans artists know how to raise a joyful noise to the lord!

The program will be introduced by Tulane University historian Dr. Emily Clark, whose remarks will be a tribute the famous Ursuline nuns, who are credited by most New Orleanians of a spiritual nature with the American victory over England at the Battle of New Orleans because of their prayer vigil in advance of and during the battle. Dr. Clark is among the many historian/authors included in the new Tricentennial anthology published by Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities, New Orleans and the World: 1718 – 2018She is the prize-winning author or editor of five books including Masterless Mistresses: The New Orleans Ursulines and the Development of a New World Society: 1727-1834 (2007), Voices from an Early American Convent (2007), The Strange History of the American Quadroon (2013) and the forthcoming New Orleans and Saint-Louis, Senegal: Mirror Cities in the Atlantic World.The Society will offer copies of the tricentennial book for sale at the concert and Dr. Clark will be available to sign.

All  concerts in the series are at 6:30 p. m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the beautiful chapel of the
Ursuline Convent complex, 1100 Chartres Street.

The 2018 concerts are underwritten in part by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
and Foundation.

Other Donor Partners include:
St. Louis King of France Cathedral – Basilica
The Archdiocese of New Orleans
Royal LMN, Inc. & Norbert Landry
French Quarter Realty & Michael Wilkinson
Sir Speedy New Orleans in memory of Billie Cox, Founding Partner
Carole & George Kulman
Rosemary James & Joseph DeSalvo: Faulkner House, Inc.
Angela M. Bowlin, Attorney
Frances & Rodney Smith: Soniat House
Marian Wallis & The Wallis Family
Mr. & Mrs. John Loeb
Barbara Holdsworth
Norma Sandoval


A Salute to All Great Writers: Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Save the Dates: September 22 – 25.

The Faulkner Society will celebrate its founding and honor its namesake, Nobel laureate William Faulkner, with three days of events reminiscent of the first Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! in 1990. The celebration will open on Sunday, September 23 with our gala fundraiser including a concert, a buffet supper, open bar, including, of course, Mr. Faulkner’s favorite libation, as well as your own favorite libations, and patron gifts. Among literary guests of honor will be Faulkner scholars Thomas Bonner and Judith Bonner, who have revived the important Faulkner era book, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles, which had gone out of print, with a new cover and introduction.  The annual Faulkner painting will be auctioned at this event. Complete details will be forthcoming in the formal invitation. The celebration will be a tricentennial homage to New Orleans as one of the world’s most inspiring literary muses, including literary discussions and signings for participating fiction writers, poets, and scholars. The finale will be a gala luncheon on William Faulkner’s actual birthday, Tuesday, September 25, with champagne, birthday cake, and toasts to Mr. Faulkner! and all great writers: past, present, and yet to come. Complete details of the celebration events will be forthcoming in the formal invitation.  To receive your invitation, send your e-mail and snail mail addresses to

New Orleans as Muse for Literature: 300 Years & Counting!
We have issued a call for papers by scholars and non-fiction authors and presentation of work by fiction writers and poets on the theme: New Orleans as Muse for Literature: 300 Years & Counting! Open to authors and academics, subjects, may include topics related to Mr. Faulkner and the heyday of Bohemian culture of 1920s New Orleans, of course. Subject matter is not limited to Faulkner material, however. Milestones of Louisiana literature encompass several hundred authors who, while living here, have penned short fiction, novels, plays, poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction. Literary presentations will be on Monday, September 24 10:30 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. and on Tuesday, September 25, 10:30 a. m. to 12:30 p. m.. For guidelines and to register, contact us at

The Faulkner Society has divested itself of the festival it created in 1997 and operated successfully for 20 years, Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans, and the traditional fundraiser for it, Juleps in June. Going forward, the Faulkner Society’s annual Founders’ celebration, Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, will include our annual fundraiser (with a published rain date in the event of seasonal storms). 


The Faulkner Society’s Programming is made possible in part by underwriting from: the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities…….and by the Division of the Arts, which is the cultural arm
of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism

In addition to the public funds underwriting from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Faulkner Society’s projects are made possible by the generosity of private foundation and individual sponsors, patrons and friends.

Major sponsors:
The Deming Foundation: Bertie Deming Smith, Alexandria, LA

Floyd McLamb, Poplarville, MS
Faulkner House, Inc.: Rosemary James & Joseph DeSalvo

Courtenay McDowell and Richard Gregory, Charleston, SC
Margaret Skinner and Tommy Lewis, Charleston, SC
Jana Napoli, New Orleans, LA
Charles Heiner, Charlottesville, VA
Joyce & Steve Wood, Nashville, TN
Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, New Orleans, LA
Walter & Cathy Isaacson, New Orleans, LA
Susanne Scovern & Jennifer Johnson
The Hotel Monteleone & the Monteleone Family
Anne Simms Pincus and Ron Pincus, New Orleans, LA
Quinn Peeper & Michael Harold, New Orleans, LA
The Moss Family in Memory of Nancy & Hartwig Moss
The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation: Randy Fertel, New Orleans, LA
Robinson Lumber Company: Garner Robinson, New Orleans, LA
Tia & James Roddy, New Orleans, LA
George & Fay Rizzo
Royal Productions: Randy Gervais
Barbara Joe Brothers, New Orleans, LA
David Speights, New Orleans, LA
The Law Firm of Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison: Tad Bartlett
The Louisiana State Museum
The State Library of Louisiana
The Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation
Our thanks also for in-kind volunteer support to:
One Book, One New Orleans and many others.


We have launched a major fundraising campaign to commemorate more than a generation of service annually to some 7,500 writers and readers and to our beloved City of New Orleans, which is 300 years old in 2018.  To help us continue the impact, e-mail us at We welcome offers of volunteer service as well as financial contributions. To join our number,  E-mail us at for a membership form and membership benefits summary.

Major Projects
The Society’s most ambitious annual undertakings are:

  • William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition
  • Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!
  • Workshops, Master Classes, Manuscript Critiques for Developing Writers
  • Literacy Initiatives for those At-Risk for Illiteracy, Including National Readathon Day, NEA sponsored BIG READ projects
  • The Double Dealer literary journal and Student Intern Program
  • Free public sessions of Meet the Authors and My New Orleans events for dedicated readers
  • Joint Ventures with other non-profits to embellish the Louisiana’s available cultural resources.
  • WORDS & MUSIC: A Literary Feast in New Orleans
    Words & Music, a Literary Feast is is New Orleans—which was created by the Society in 1997 to celebrate the 100th birthday of our namesake, William Faulkner and celebrated its 20th anniversary under our successful direction last yearis no longer, a project of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc.  For information about Words & Music in the future, please contact Megan Holt, Director, at One Book, One New Orleans. Her e-mail is:



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