Top Navigation

The Faulkner Society’s annual festival, Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans combines the three most important facets of Faulkner Society’s mission: providing realistic assistance to developing writers, staging entertaining and enlightening programming for dedicated readers, and creating literary initiatives for those at risk for illiteracy. The overall theme for Words & Music, 2016  is:

The Dark Side of Literature & Life.

monteleoneThe theme covers a lot of ground from writing about race to classic mysteries.

The dates are Wednesday, November 9, through Sunday, November 13.  The primary venue is the National Literary Landmark, Hotel Monteleone, 200 Royal Street, (504) 529-5333. The hotel has reserved rooms under the bloc Words/Music at a special conference price, first come, first serve. Getting to New Orleans could pose problems if you wait until last minute to make airline reservations.  There is a lot going on in New Orleans the festival weekend, so we advise you to act now to secure your room and transportation.


new-big-read-logoWords & Music, 2016, will open on Wednesday, November 9 with two events of the Faulkner Society’s 2016 BIG READ initiative presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, the Latin American Library of Tulane University, the New Orleans Public Library, One Book, One New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Public Library, the State Library of Louisiana and others.  BIG READ projects this year also represent our mission to provide Pan American Connections programming of special interest to the growing Hispanic population of New Orleans. The focus book for this year’s BIG READ project is Sun, Stone, and Shadows, a collection of the best of Mexican short fiction curated, translated, and introduced by the noted Mexican journalist and author Jorge F. Hernandez. The goal of BIG READ is to inspire the at-risk to improve their reading skills by introducing them to the joys of losing themselves in good literature.


The Faulkner Society’s year-round calendar of events for readers are designed as opportunities for the members of the general reading public to continue their adult education through reading good literature, presented in the framework of literary themes. Beginning on Thursday morning, November 10 a series of discussions by some of the best writers and scholars of our time will explore the dark side of  life—disaster, hypocrisy, racism, violence, misogyny, murder, political smokescreens and failures— through the lens of literature. It is through the vehicles of newly released works of fiction as well as classics by great thinkers of the past, that readers can travel out of time to discover new places, cultures, mindsets to discover, perhaps, along the way the light of epiphanies and redemption in their own lives.


Writers seeking to improve their work and get it published will have an array of opportunities waiting for them. Professional literary agents and editors will review the work of registered writers in advance and then meet with their assigned writers for one-on-one consultations during Words & Music. These agents and editors will combine with highly acclaimed authors and scholars to present Master Classes and Workshops on critical aspects of successful writing, both fiction and non-fiction. These presentations will begin on the afternoon of  Thursday, November 10th.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
10:30 a. m. — Algiers Regional Public Library, 3014 Holiday Drive, Algiers. (Note: Algiers is on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.) Click here for directions to the library.

Master Class for Students & Teachers
Presented with our Partner: New Orleans Public Library
Roy Blount

The two-part program will begin with presentation of the winner
of the High School Short Story category of the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition by this year’s judge, Roy Blount, Jr., famous southern humorist and author of 23 critically acclaimed books and numerous articles for national magazines. Roy will discuss the art of literary humor. The second half of the program will star the noted Mexican author and journalist, Jorge F. Hernandez, who curated, translated, and introduced this year’s BIG READ focus book, a collection of the best Mexican short fiction by such masters as Carlos Fuentes, an author who was heavily inspired by the work of William Faulkner. Participating teachers, students, and librarians will receive free copies of the book, Sun, Stone, and Shadows to prepare for the Master Class. At the conclusion of the program there will be a brown bag lunch for participants. Writers registered for Words & Music, are invited to attend. Recommended way to get there for out of town writers: Cab or Uber.

12:30 p. m. to 5:30 p.m. – Free time for festival visitors to explore New Orleans

6:00 p. m. — Freeman Hall, Tulane University Campus
Writers As Readers:

A Conversation Between Mexican Authors Jorge F. Hernandez and Yuri Hererra.


Jorge F. Hernandez


Yuri Hurrera

A BIG READ partnership presentation by Tulane University’s Latin American Library and the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society.
Jorge F. Hernandez, with his carefully curated and translated collection of short fiction by the Mexican masters of previous years, and Yuri Herrera, the spectacularly talented young Mexican author, who won the prestigious Best Book in Translation award for fiction in May for his novel, Signs Preceding the End of the World, are uniquely positioned to share a stage.  Hernandez, who is not only a literary editor and curator but a skilled and respected journalist and writer in his own right, is able to bring his expertise on the literature of the past to the table, while Herrera represents the stunning new Latin American literary voices coming out in English today, thanks to the considerable linguistic skills and art of such remarkable translators as Lisa Dillman. The two authors will discuss their work, the relationship between writer and reader, and the role of literature in Society.

The Hernandez-edited collection, Sun, Stone, and Shadows, is arguably the best anthology of Mexican short fiction. The book was added recently to the list of books approved by the National Endowment for Arts for BIG READ programs. We selected the book, first, because of its literary value, second because it is of special interest to the growing Hispanic community of New Orleans and the United States, third because in light of all the bombastic peacockery on the Presidential campaign trail calling for a high wall on the border, it is more important than ever to understand the people of Mexico, our neighbor and important ally, and that country’s culture and problems, problems which in many cases have been created by the United States. Yuri Herrera’s works of fiction explore the horrors of immigration and  border crossings and the drug wars in Mexico with unique narrative voices, frequently using made-up language to express how his characters feel, when the usual words can’t tell the story adequately. Both Hernandez and Herrera have used the flashlight of literature to shine a light into the soul of the Mexican people.

The discussion event is free and open to the general reading public.

7:30 p.m. — Latin American Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University (Note: close to Freeman Hall)
Reception Hosted by the Latin American Library, Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director
Hortensia Calvo
Immediately following the conversation between the two Mexican authors, the Latin American Library will host a reception in their honor, unveiling a new exhibition of treasures from the Library’s extensive collections of literature, art, and artifacts of Mexican culture, including never before published drawings by William Spratling, the New Orleans artist and architect, who was William Faulkner’s landlord while the author was writing his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay and living on Pirate’s Alley in the 20s. The two became great friends and traveled to Europe together. Later, Spratling moved to Mexico and contributed enormously to the rejuvenation of the Mexican silver industry with his designs for sterling accessories for the home and jewelry. The reception will include Mexican culinary treats, libations, and music.

The reception is free and open to the general reading public.

9:00 p. m. — Evening free to explore New Orleans.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Continental breakfast is served daily from 8 a. m. to 10 a.m.

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Mezzanine

8:30 a. m. —
The Words & Music Book Mart will once again be operated by Faulkner House Books, a major sponsor of the Faulkner Society, Words & Music, and BIG READ. The Book Mart will have one or more books by each presenter appearing during the festival. Author signings will take place in the Book Mart after each discussion session .

8:30 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Faulkner Society/Words & Music  Co-Founder Rosemary James and others will welcome guests of the festival.

9:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Each year, the Thursday events celebrate new works of literature by percywalkerwithoblatestoryNew Orleanians or set in New Orleans. Our traditional  Thursday programming name, New Orleans, Mon Amour, honors the late Walker Percy and his excellent essay by that name about our City and how she stacks up against other cities, such as New York and Philadelphia in the North, for     instance, or Mobile, close by on the Gulf Coast. This year is the 100th anniversary of Mr. Percy’s  birthday and as a birthday toast, we will set the scene for our New Orleans, Mon Amour session  with a reading from Mr. Percy’s work. Reading will be prize-winning actor Michael Arata, who has done legendary interpretations of such literary characters as “Stanley,” the creation of Tennessee Williams for his play set here,  Streetcar Named Desire.

9:15 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
The Baby Dolls: A Mardi Gras Phenomenon
The Feminine (and Feminist) Side of Carnival in New Orleans
This session will feature Dr. Kim Vaz-DeVille, author of the new book,  The “Baby Dolls”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, the 2016 focus bmeryt_harding_head-shotook for the community-wide read led by One Book, One New Orleans. The Faulkner Society is partnering with One Book, One New Orleans in their project, which targets adults at-risk for illiteracy and in turn that organization is a partner in Society’s 2016 BIG READ project, which targets younger audiences. “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—although 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 tellsmegan-holt_small each of us that we are valuable and affirms our rights to individual expression of that worth.” Their story in turn has inspired and captured the attention of other artists. Dr. Vaz-Deville will be joined in her presentation by well-known New Orleans artist Meryt Harding, who has done much to preserve the colorful visual heritage of the Baby Doll tradition with her oil paintings of them, some nearly lifesize. One of Ms. Harding’s drawings was selected as the primary image for one of the city’s most popular music festivals, Jazz in the Park. In addition to her work as a painter, Ms. Harding is known for her exceptional photographs. Kim and Meryt will be introduced by Megan Holt, Ph.D., who teaches in the English Department at Tulane and is a project leader for the One Book, One New Orleans literacy initiative.

allen_toussaint9:50 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Great Music Men of New Orleans:
A Tribute to the late, great Allen Toussaint,
Grammy-winning Composer, Recording Artist, Performer

Music authorities Ben Sandmel and Allison Fensterstock will join hands to present a tribute to the king of the New Orleans Sound, the late Allen Toussaint, who died while in Madrid November 10, 2015. Allen Toussaint was a great friend to many cultural organizations ben-sandmel-photo-by-cheryl-gerberincluding the Faulkner Society, for whom he performed a number of benefits. His passing left a deep hole in the cultural life of New Orleans. Sandmel is a New Orleans-based journalist, folklorist, drummer, and producer. His published work includes some 100 sets of liner notes, and hundreds of articles for publications including The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, the Times-Picayune, and MOJO. His books include Zydeco and Ernie K-Doealison-fensterstock: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans. Alison Fensterstock is an internationally acclaimed cultural arts authority has been writing about music and culture “for all of the 21st Century…so far.” The photo of Allen here is a cameo from a larger photograph by David Spielman. The complete Spielman photograph is featured in the 2015-2016 edition of the Faulkner Society’s on-line journal, The Double Dealer, with  a memorial by Ben Sandmel. Ben, incidentally, is a first class drummer and he is organizing the music for Jazz After Hours on Friday.

10:40 a. m. — Intermission, authors will sign in Book Mart.

11:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroomcarolyn_levy-headshot
The Light Side of New Orleans, Mon Amour: Regina
In this session, Carolyn Levy, a native of the Big Easy, will present her new novel, which is a poignant, humorous tale based on the life of a Jewish American princess in Uptown New Orleans, where she grew up and continues to live today. The novel, Regina, will entertain you well into the night! Carolyn, is a social observer with, as they say, no teeth marks on her tongue. While she never bites her tongue, however, her bark is gentle and entertaining. For more on this great friend of the Faulkner Society, click on Carolyn Levy.

10:10 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
The Light Side of New Orleans, Mon Amour: Jean Lafitte
morgan-molthrop-head-shotThis session will feature New Orleans author  Morgan Molthrop, who is launching his new book:
Jean Lafitte’s Pirate Code: 17 Strategies for Acquiring Untold Fortune From America’s First Laissez Fair Capitalist during Words & Music. The book is an entertaining new look at one of the saviors of New Orleans in the Battle of New Orleans in 1812. Jean Lafitte rallied his Barataria Bay pirates to help Old Hickory defeat the British, while the indolent, cantankerous French were still wringing their hands. Wall Street investors may think they invented capitalism, but Jean Lafitte, the legendary 19th century pirate who profited from conflicts among the Spanish, British, and Americans, was, in fact, the first laissez-faire capitalist in the United States, according to Molthrop. The author also will be making a spirited appearance as emcee for the Faulkner for All annual meeting Saturday, November 12.

10:30 a. m. — Intermission, authors will sign in the Book Mart

10:45 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
And The Old Courtesan’s Dark Underbelly
The session will be led by Julie Smith, Edgar winning mystery writer, who is editor, of the new anthology, New Orleans Noir, short fiction revolving around elements of the mysterious and dark underbelly of the Crescent City by both famous authors of the 19th and 20th centuries and new authors on the scene. Featured with Julie will be two contemporary writers featured in the anthology: John Biguenet, who demonstrated his mastery of “noir” fiction in his brilliant story collection, The Torturer’s Apprentice, and  Maurice Carlos Ruffin, whose story included in the anthology, The Pie Man, was first runner-up in the Faulkner Society’s short fiction competition several years ago.  Another story, The Purple Hat, will be the jumping off point for a mystery discussion at lunch on Friday.

11:45 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Millennials and Their Inheritance: The Dark Side of the Moon
Novelist George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet and Letter to My Daughter, will introduce this presentation, featuring
Nicholas Mainieri—author of the highly touted debut novel, The Infinite. Mainieri is practically a millennial himself and in presenting his book, he will discuss tough contemporary life from the standpoint of today’s young people, as inspiration for literary fiction. Nick says he was inspired to write the book after visiting a New Orleans classroom and observing its dynamics. It’s a great story of two star crossed young people, the 21st century life of pitfalls and violence they must navigate, their ability to triumph and come through it all with hope and determination to create a better life.

12:10 p. m. — Intermission, Authors will sign in the Book Mart

12:30 p. m. — Arnaud’s The Creole Cottage, 813 Bienville St., Cash Bar Opens
1:00 p. m.  — Lunch is Served
1:30 p. m.  — Program Begins
Old Hickory, Guardian Of New Orleans, who saved the the City in

the Battle of 1812. Photo by Roy Guste.

Monumental Discord in New Orleans

Jack Davisformer editor of the Chicago Tribune and Publisher of two other Tribune newspapers, as well as a preservationist associated with such prestigious groups as the National Trust—will lead this session featuring former Louisiana Poet Laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, author of six collections of poetry, including her most recent, All Souls: Essential Poems; former New Orleans First Lady, Sybil Morial, author of the important memoir, Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment; and James B. Borders, IV, author of Marking Time, Making Place: An Essential Chronology of Blacks in New Orleans since 1718. Joining the conversation will be historian and New Orleans culture expert Justin A. Nystrom, who teaches history at Loyola University. Currently, there is major controversy with racial overtones and undertones going on in New Orleans, focusing on the future fate of public statues from the past, images which are part and parcel of the history of New Orleans—like that history or offended by it—still part of the history. We expect a lively conversation, including an opportunity for audience questions and comments.

: Reservations absolutely must be made and paid for in advance of all Literature & Lunch sessions, as we must give final counts in advance. Without an advance paid reservation, you will not be admitted. Event winners,  faculty and sponsors, who are our guests, must RSVP in advance. For tickets, e-mail or call
(504) 586-1609 with credit cards. Checks can be mailed to Faulkner Society, attention: Literature & Lunch, 624 Pirate’s Alley, NOLA 70116 to arrive before November 10th.

3:00p. m. — Hotel Monteleone
3:00 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Orleans Room
3:00 p. m. — Hotel Monteone, Queen Anne Ballroom
The All Important Query Letter

johnnie_bernardLiterary agent Johnnie Bernhard will conduct a one-hour workshop. Ms. Bernard is with the Loiacono Literary Agency. Following the initial one-hour presentation,  Ms. Bernhard will conduct one-on-one query letter critiques.  Each writer will receive a private, 15-minute consultation.  Writers  registering for a query critique will send Ms. Bernhard a word-doc 12 pt. Times-New Roman letter submission as an e-mail attachment with “Words & Music Query Critique” in the subject line. The submitted letter must contain a one paragraph bio and contact info of the writer within the query letter, genre and word count of the subject must be included in the query letter. Query critiques are $25 each, limited to the first 10 writers who register in advance of Words & Music. Send 1 hard copy with check made out to Words & Music and mailed to Faulkner Society, 624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA. Electronic submissions should be e-mailed to Johnnie Bernhard,  by the deadline for submitting, November 4, 2016, 7 p.m.

Concurrent Programming
4:00 p. m. Hotel Monteleone, Orleans Room

Literary Agent Johnnie Bernhard Private Consultations
Will meet with writers who have registered for individual query letter critiques one at a time in the Orleans Room.

4:00 p. m. Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
The Annual Meeting of the Words & Music Literary Alliance
Readings on the 2016 Theme: The Dark Side of Literature & Life
Authors with new work are invited to read at this event. Writers who wish to read at this event must sign-up at  Writers must be prepared to set the scene for their work and do a reading within a five-minute total time frame per writer. Deadline for signing up is October 31. Please submit copy of material to be read. Writers will be accommodated on a first come, first serve basis. Among those who have signed up to date are fiction writer Amy Conner, who will be reading from her recently completed novel Lost, Stolen or Strayed: The Emancipated Year; poet
Stacey Balkun, who will be reading from her new chapbook, Lost City Museum, and well known Canadian environmental activist, Leslie Daniels, reading from her non-fiction book, Boundaries; Steve Putnam,
who will be reading from his novel Academy of Reality; Daniel deVisé, who will be reading from his non-fiction
book, Andy & Don Andrea Panzeca, who will read from her debut chapbook, Rusted Bells and Daisy Baskets.

Concurrent Programming

6:00 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom

How to Get an Agent, the Right Agent, and Working with an Editor
Jeff_Kleinman_photoLiterary Agent Jeff Kleinman, partner in Folio Literary Management will lead this session with his special brand of hi-jinx to get the Editors and Agents pumped up and ready to enjoy Words & Music, 2016, while concurrently giving registered writers the low down on  selling their books and getting them into print. Joining Jeff will be 2016’s participating agents: Johnnie Bernhard, Brandi Bowles, John Cusick, Deborah Grosvenor, and Mollie Jaffa; with editors: Brenda Copeland, Wendy Jacobs, Christine Pride, and Maya Ziv. (Andra Miller will not be joining the festival until Friday.)


6:00 p. m. — Main Library, New Orleans Public Library, Duncan Plaza,
Masters of Mexican Short Fiction
This session will be led by David Johnsonwho for 24 years Executive Editor and Art Director of Louisiana Cultural Vistas (LCV), the quarterly magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH). The program will feature the noted Mexican Journalist, author, and editor Jorge F. Hernandez, who compiled the superb anthology of the best of Mexican short fiction of the 20th century. Hernandez currated, edited and introduced the book, Sun, Stone, and Shadows, which is the focus book of the Faulkner Society’s 2016 BIG READ presented in cooperation with the New Orleans Public Library, the Latin American Library of Tulane University, Jefferson Parish Public Library, and other partners.

7:30  p. m. — 9:00 p. m.

Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley. (Pirate’s Alley runs between Jackson Square and Royal Street.) Hosted by Faulkner Society Co-Founders, Rosemary James and Joseph DeSalvo. Drinks and Hors d’Oeuvres. Included in festival packages.

Faulkner Society Co-Founders

For dinner after the welcome cocktail party? We suggest Muriel’s, Doris, Tableau, the Gumbo Shop, all in the walking distance neighborhood. Brennan’s on Royal Street, Criollo in the Hotel Monteleone, Mr. B’s (directly across from the Hotel Monteleone).  If you want a quickie with lively banter from the waiters, good hamburgers and fries, try The Camellia Grill on Chartres Street, corner of Toulouse.

Friday, November 11, 2016

8:00 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
Continental Breakfast with remarks about day’s events.

8:30 a. m. — Orleans Room

8:30 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom


John Gregory Brown Holds Forth about his new book, A Thousand Miles from Nowhere, at Juleps in June

Epiphany & Redemption: Characters & Climax
This workshop will be led by novelist John Gregory Brown, author of critically acclaimed novels, including his most recent, A Thousand Miles From Nowhere. Invited to join John for this session is literary editor Christine Pride. Participating writers are asked to submit a maximum of five pages dealing with a principal character or climax scene. Writers should include full contact info and e-mail to by October 24. The first 10 writers who submit will have their work discussed during the workshop. All writers who have purchased a tuition or sponsor package are eligible to audit the workshop.
Note: originally this was the title of one of our proposed three-day workshops. We cancelled all the three-day workshops and are presenting shorter versions of the same materials.

10:00  a. m. — Book Mart, Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission. Authors will sign in the Book Mart

10:15 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Narrative Non-fiction That Works…and Why?
No Different Than Fiction:
Grabber Opening, Compelling Story About PeoplDeborah Grosvenor Readinge You Can Believe In, and Wherever Possible…
A Dash of Humor!

This session will be led by literary Deborah Grosvenor, whose career has included placement of some spectacular successes in both non-fiction and fiction and her theory is that the best non-fiction reads like great fiction…with great openings, fully developed characters, and a plot that moves well. It doesn’t hurt if the author can throw in some humor, if possible, a lot of humor!  Joining her will be her client, Daniel deVisé, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and non-fiction author of Andy & Don, and Franz Wisner, New York Times bestselling author of Honeymoon With My Brother and the recently released How the World Makes Love, a look at dating, marriage, sex, and romance around the planet. Joining them will be Adriana Paramo, winner of 2016 Narrative Non-Fiction Book category of the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, for her book, How to Eat Ali’s Mother, selected by Dan deVisé, who judged the competition. Authors will read brief illustrative passages from their work during the session.

11:30 a. m.
Intermission —Authors will sign in the Book Mart

11:45 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom

adelicia-cover_frontDoing It Yourself & Getting To Do It Your Way
This session will be led by author and literary consultant Shari Stauch and will feature Joyce Blaylock, a career teacher anjean-lafitte-cover-high-resd author of the beautifully published new book, Adelicia, an historical novel about one of the old South’s most interesting women, literally hot off the presses; author, entrepreneur, and entertainer Morgan Molthrop, whose new publishing endeavor is his entertaining new book of non-fiction, Jean Lafitte’s Pirate Code: 17 Strategies for Acquiring Untold Fortune From America’s First Laissez Fair Capitalist; and William Lobb, debut author of The Third Step, self-published through The Third Step, self-published through Gatekeeper Press.

Joyce worked on Adelicia literally for years and got tired of waiting for her book to see the light of day. She worked with a Nashville printer and graphic designer Bill Kersey to get the look of the book she wanted. Molthrop worked successfully on Wall Street until the recession in the wake of the Bush Administration knocked the props out from under his job, so he came back to his native New Orleans and re-invented himself, creating a publishing company and joining forces with a tourist event company.

third-step_-05-641x1024William, whose path to sobriety gave him a passion for the written word, found self-publishing to be a rewarding option. Shari, after a successful career as a professional pool player, several books about the sport and the creation of a magazine for the pool industry, created Where Writers Win, specializing in services for writers, to help other authors put their passion in print and find their audience of readers!

Shari will be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for one-on-one consultations with aspiring authors.

12:45 p. m.
Intermission — Authors will Sign in Book Mart

l:00 p. m. — Cash Bar Opens
1:15 p. m. — Lunch is served


The late Eudora Welty with Richard Ford. Photograph by Rosemary James

The Purple Hat Celebration of New Orleans Noir
This event celebrates publication of New Orleans Noir, the new anthology of short fiction, which includes Eudora Welty’s marvelously mysterious story, The Purple Hat, reputedly inspired by and set in the Hotel Monteleone’s famous Carousel Bar. Faulkner Society co-founder Rosemary James will use Ms. Welty’s famous piece as a jumping off point to introduce a discussion of “noir” as the favored literary form for lots of contemporary writers as well, including New Orleans native T. M. (Toni McGee) Causey, whose new southern gothic novel, The Saints of the Lost and Found is a compelling read. Toni is invited to discuss Noir literature and just why “noir” is such a popular genre of literature, especially here in New Orleans. Invited to join her is: Bill Loehfelm, author of the marvelous detective series featuring a Staten Island cocktail waitress turned NOPD cop, Maureen Coughlin. The latest in the series is: Let the Devil Out. One of the stories featured in New Orleans Noir is Mussolini and the Axeman’s Jazz by Poppy Z. Brite, the pen name of New Orleanian Billy Martin, who will join the conversation. Ladies are requested to wear purple head adornments for the event; gentlemen can find a wide array of purple hats, too, starting with baseball caps and trilbies, or purple ties, ascots, pocket handkerchiefs, or other purple accessories. Purple Hat cocktails, created by the Monteleone’s mixologist, will be served.

2:45  p. m. —
Intermission. Authors will sign immediately after the program.

3:15 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

The Art of Creating Literature for Young People…
Don’t Talk Down to Them!

Literary Agents John Cusick and Molly Jaffa will explore the world of
literature for children, young adults, and adults in their lives. Joining
them will be professional literary editor, Wendy Jacobs, who works freelance for a number of major publishers as well as individuals. She is a writer, too, and currently is working on a book for children and a  collection of Russian Fairy Tales for the young at heart, regardless of age. Sanem Ozdural, who writes speculative fiction for adults—including LiGa (short for
Life Game) and her latest, The Dark Shall Do What the Light Cannot—recently has
turned her talents to work on similar fiction for young people.

4:15 p. m.

4:30 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
franz-hi-resTelling Your Story, Yes, But Making It Read Brandi-BowlesLike a Novel
Featuring Franz Wisner, author of the bestselling memoir, Honeymoon with My Brother and his more recent memoir, How the World Makes Love. Invited to join Franz are literary agents Jeff Kleinman and Brandi Bowles. Writers may send in a submission of not more  than one page double-spaced of the title and opening scene of a memoir. Submit in advance to by November 3 .  The first six submissions received will be reviewed during the session.

5:45 p. m. — Book Mart

Intermission — authors will sign in Book Mart

6:00 p.m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
The Art of Creating Memorable Characters
This session will be led by novelist George Bishop. It will feature Literary Editor Maya Ziv and Joyce Blaylock, author of the new novel, Adelicia, which tracks a single absorbing character with real history as the framework for an imagined life.  George is author of The Night of the Comet and Letter to My Daughter. A career teacher herself, Blaylock first became fascinated with Adelicia because of tales about her told by one of her teachers when she was very young. The resulting book owes its reader appeal to Blaylock’s careful research over several years, tracking down source material in Tennessee, Louisiana, and France. Maya Ziv represents such authors as Chloe Esposito, whose work centers on a central character, Alvie Knightley: star of the Mad, Bad, and And Dangerous to Know trilogy.

7:00  p. m. —
Bar Opens

7:15 p. m. —
damned-borderAmerica’s Problem That Mexico is Suffering and Its Influence on Literature…North and South of the Border

This event will star American author Nicholas Mainieri and Mexican-born authors Jorge F. Hernandez and Yuri Herrera—Gutierrez. Nick Mainieri’s debut novel, The Infinite, released concurrent with Words & Music, 2016, is the story of an undocumented Mexican girl living in New Orleans with her father and a New Orleans boy, two millennials, who, through no fault of their own, get caught up in the violence of the drug Cartel; it is a story as old as love but cast in 21st century settings: Louisiana, Texas-the Border, and Mexico. Yuri Herrera is burning it up internationally with his fiction revolving largely around what he has described as “the American problem that Mexico is suffering,” the voracious addictions and demands for drugs by Americans, fueling the violence inflicted on Mexicans by the Cartel, further inflamed by the 250,000 guns being sold over by border by U. S. companies to arm the Cartel. His novel, Signs Preceding the End of the World, translated into English by Lisa Dillman, won the prestigious Best Book in Translation for Fiction this year. Later this month, he will be awarded one of Germany’s top prizes for literature, the Anna Seghers Prize, by the Berlin Academy of the Arts. And he is being written up favorably for both this book and the just released translation of his novel, The Transmigration of Bodies. He’s being complimented in all the right places. The much lauded London Review of Books, for instance devoted a full page to him, exploring Herrera’s style, full of lyrical, sometimes rap-like, often made-up language, somewhat reminiscent of William Faulkner’s experimental prose. Jorge Hernandez, the noted Mexican journalist and author, is the curator, editor, translator, and introducer of Sun, Stone, and Shadows, the focus book for the Faulkner Society’s 2016 BIG READ literary initiative underwritten in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is a collection of the best of Mexican short fiction of the last Century, including work by such masters as the late Carlos Fuentes, who often commented on how he and other Mexican writers had been heavily influenced by Faulkner. Hernandez, who currently lives in Madrid, writes for Spain’s important newspaper, El Pais.

The authors will sign following their discussion.

8:45 p. m.

9:15 p. m. — Tableau, corner of Chartres and St. Peter; enter through  Chartres Street Door;
stairs will be there as you come in; take stairs to second floor. 

Rhythm & Blues New Orleans Style
Our annual  Jazz After Hours will take place at a new venue, Tableau, which is located  in the historic Le Petit Theatre Building, recently completely renovated by Dickie Brennan, a member of the famed Brennans family of restaurateurs, to provide a wonderful theatre on one side and a great restaurant on the other side. The party will be on the second floor in “The Green Room” reached from the second floor salon space, which opens to a balcony overlooking Jackson Square. The music for the evening will be under the direction of author and music critic Ben Sandmel, who also is a first class drummer. The event will include food and wine. Click Here for the delicious Tableau menu which will be prepared for the event.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


8:00 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
Continental Breakfast, Announcements

8:00 a. m. — Orleans Room

8:00 a. m. — Bonnet Carre Room

Concurrent Programming

8:15 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Bringing the Long Dead Back to Vibrant Lifeandra_miller_editor-ballantine
This session will be led by novelist Carrie Brown, author of seven widely acclaimed books of historical fiction, including her most recent books, The Stargazer’s Sister and The Last First Day, and a collection of short stories, The House on Belle Isle. Invited to join Carrie for this session is Andra Miller, who recently moved from Algonquin to Ballantine, where she now is Executive Editor. Participating writers are asked to submit a maximum of five pages dealing with an historic event or characters of the past. Writers should include full contact info and e-mail to by October 24. The first 10 writers who submit will have their work discussed during the workshop. All writers who have purchased a tuition or sponsor package are eligible to audit the workshop.
Note: originally this was the title of one of our proposed three-day workshops. We cancelled all the three-day workshops and are presenting shorter versions of the same materials.

9:45 a. m.
Intermission. Carrie Brown will sign in Book Mart

10:00 a. m. —
It’s All About Connections… And Book Clubs… and Readers!
The session will be led by Literary Consultant Shari Stauch and will feature Bren McClain, this year’s winner of the Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novel in Progress, and the famous Pulpwood Queen Kathy L. Murphy. All three of these women have valuable experience in the business of promoting literature and they can help you promote your own.

PLUS: What will the next great read be? Kathy Murphy clues you in on her picks and why!

11:00 a. m. — Book Mart, Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission – authors will sign in the Book Mart

11:15 a. m. —Queen Anne Ballroom
When Does a Short Story Become a Novella and a Novella Become a Novel?
Literary editor Brenda Copeland is invited to introduce this session with remarks about the market for short fiction and how to break into it. The session will feature National Book Award winner Julia Glass, who won that prize for the novel Three Junes, which began life as a short story, went on to be a novella, Collies, which won the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for Novella, and then became a novel. Ms. Glass will hold forth on the distinctions in fiction and what characterizes a piece of fiction as one thing or another. Invited to join her are the winner of the Faulkner Society’s 2016 Gold Medal for Novella, selected by Julia, Andrew Plattner, and the 2016 Gold Medal winner for Short Story, Paul Negri, his second Faulkner – Wisdom Gold Medal. Paul won for Novella last year. Joining them will be Dan Turtel, First Runner-up for Novella, selected by Julia, and First Runner-up for Short Story, selected by National Book Award winner, Adam Johnson.

12:30 p. m.— Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission. Julia Glass will sign in the Book Mart

12:45 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Artist William Spratling, William Faulkner’s Landlord in New Orleans
Penny Morrill, Ph.D., is the biographer of William Spratling, who was among the fine
artists who with their designs rejuvenated the silver industry in Mexico were responsible
for a design renaissance south of the border. When Sherwood Anderson and his wife—living in a small apartment in the Pontalba—got tired of having Faulkner under foot, they suggested that he go around the corner and see if Bill Spratling could rent him a room.  He could and did and the two became fast friends. The cover on this year’s program for Words & Music and also on the cover of the 2015-2016 edition of the Society’s online journal, The Double Dealer, is a previously unpublished drawing by Spratling depicting the departure of Faulkner and Spratling from New Orleans for their European tour.  Dr. Morrill recently presented the drawing to Tulane University’s Latin American Library, the Society’s partner in BIG READ and related events this year. The library has given the Society permission for this use of the drawing for the journal and program. During this session, Dr. Morrill will talk about Spratling, his experiences as an artist during the 1920a Bohemian heyday of New Orleans and his relationship with Faulkner. Following a Q. & A. session, Dr. Morrill will join us for lunch.

1:15 p. m. Riverview Room, Roof, Hotel Monteleone
Cash Bar Opens
1:30 p. m.
Lunch Served
Class in America:
White Trash & Black Achievment

Nancy Isenberg, New York Times bestselling author of White Trash:The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, and Christina Vella, just named Louisiana Author of the Year by the State Library of Louisiana and Louisiana Festival of the Book and author of George Washington Carver: A Life will share billing with noted historian Andrew Burstein, Ph.D., who will introduce and moderate this session. These fine writers approach new projects and the writing of them by analyzing history and its characters and zeroing in ongeorge-washington-carver-1 trends or characters that have not been given the attention they deserve.  Isenberg’s White Trash is a compelling treatise on the concept that the divisiveness of contemporary America is class-driven and that the seeds of divisiveness were sewn in earliest days of the Republic. Vella’s Carver biography examines the life an extraordinary genius who became one of the most beloved figures of American history in spite of two strikes against him at birth, economic class and racial bias.  Burstein’s most recent book, Democracy’s Muse: How Thomas Jefferson Became an FDR Liberal, a Reagan Republican, and a Tea Party Fanatic, All the While Being Dead, is a great treatise on beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to selecting political heroes. These  historians have a lot in common: research integrity and good storytelling, both with a talent for weaving into their narratives those little snippets of detail that bring history out of dusty archives into the realm of pleasurable reading.

3:00  p. m. — Riverview Room
Intermission — Authors will sign after their presentation

3:15  p. m. Queen Anne Ballroom
The Joys and Sorrows of the 30-day Novel

Chris Baty founder of NaNoWriMo in his Berkeley apartment.

Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, in his Berkeley apartment.

Tackling National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November? Or looking for a way to inject some fun into your fiction? Join NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty for this talk, where he’ll lay out the creative benefits and challenges of bashing out a book in 30 days. Along with a quick overview of NaNoWriMo and its growth from a “handful of over-caffeinated goofballs” into the world’s largest writing event, Chris will offer some practical strategies for surviving (and thriving) during your month of literary abandon. He also will be carrying out several activities with participating writers. Baty’s Master Class is included in Writers Tuition Pass, Sponsors Pass, and Saturday Day Pass.

4:45 p. m. — Book Mart, Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission. Chris Baty will sign in the Book Mart

5:00  p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
The Dark Side of Literature & Life in Verse
Led by the widely published poet Peter Cooley, Poet Laureate of Louisiana, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Tulane University, will lead a discussion of how poets reflect the Society of their times. He will read and then introduce Carolyn Hembree, Jade Hurter, Jaymes Bullet, Christopher Romaguera, who will read from their current work relating to this year’s Words & Music theme.

6:00 p. m. — Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission, authors for both poetry sessions will sign in Book Mart

6:15 p. m. —Queen Anne Ballroom
Dreams As Poetry’s Muse  for the Ages
This session will be led by bestselling poet, non-fiction writer and dream analyst, one the best minds of our time, Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Missing Jew, To Die Next to You, and other poetry collections as well as his highly acclaimed non-fiction work such as Burnt Books, The History of Last Night’s Dream, and The Jew in the Lotus. The session will feature prize-winning poet Mark Yakich, editor of New Orleans Review, and author of the new book, Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide, in which he reinvents both the reading and the writing of poetry, a great guide for poetry lovers and those who want to love it but are afraid of it. The two will discuss the role of dreams in poetry and read some of their latest lines, then introduce the winner of the Faulkner Society’s 2016 Gold Medal for Best Poem selected by Mark, Nancy DaFoe, who will read her winning work.

7:15 p. m. — Intermission

The Black-tie Annual Meeting of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society

7:30 p. m. — Royal Suites B, C, & D, Ground Floor,
Hotel Monteleone

Part I —Cocktails & Gold Medals
During the Cocktail Hour the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society will recognize finalists in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competion and present gold medals and cash prizes to winners of eight categories of creative writing: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction Book, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-Progress, Essay, Poetry, and Short Story by a High School Student.

8:45 p. m.
9:00 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, East Mezzanine, Hotel Monteleone
Part II
Tiaras & Bow Ties, Dinner, Dancing

The toastmaster for the second half of Faulkner for All is New Orleans author, entrepreneur, and the_pulpwood_queens_tiara_wearing_book_sharing_gmorgan_molthrop-in-tuxentertainer, Morgan Molthrop, author of the new fun book, Jean Lafitte’s Pirate Code. Morgan, a season courtier, as only New Orleans can produce, will be presenting the Pulpwood Queen, Kathy Murphy (formerly Kathy Patrick), who has wowed the literary world by instigating a worldwide phenomenon, The Pulpwood Queen’s Book Clubs, now numbering 700 Book Clubs worldwide.  In Kathy’s honor, the attire for the evening is Bow Ties and Tiaras, the more original, the better. Queen Kathy will give you the lowdown on making reading fun, as outlined in her terrific book, The Pulpwood Queen’s Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life. And don’t stint on the imagination when selecting your tiaras and bow ties as Queen Kathy will be picking her favorites for prizes. And we will be presenting our ALIHOT Awards (A Legend In His/Her Own Time) for literature and service to the arts.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

8:30 a. m — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
Continental Breakfast, Announcements


8:30 a. m. — Orleans Room
Concurrent programming

8:45 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
The Biographer’s Art:
The Facts, Of Course, But Great Storytelling is the Real Name of
the History Game

Featuring terrific biographers Nancy Isenberg, Andrew Burstein, and Christina Vella Among the noteworthy biographies bh Dr. aaron-burrIsenberg and her husband and frequent writing partner, Dr. Andrew Burstein, is Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, a critically-acclaimed biography strongly contesting the linear image Burr has been given as the villainous assassin of Alexander Hamilton. The book focuses on Burr’s progressive and heroic activism during the Revolution, his artistry as a lawyer and orator, and the ways in which his accomplishments and patriotism were deliberately negated by his contemporary rivals.  Dr. Isenberg’s new bestselling history, White Trash, traces the development of America’s cthomas-jeffersonlass system, while one of Dr. Burstein’s recent works is right on point for  today’s political climate: Democracy’s  Muse:  How Thomas Jefferson Became and FDR Liberal, A Reagan Republican, and a Tea Part Fanatic, All While Being Dead.

Dr. Vella published George Washington Carver: micaela-almonaster_baroness-pontalbaa Life last year and received high critical acclaim for both her research and her storytelling talents.  Her editor? None other than Dr. Burstein. Also a stand-out achievement is Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba, Michaela Leonarda Almonaster de Pontalba was the sponsor of landmark architectural complexes in her native Louisiana, as well as in France, her home for sixty-seven years. She conceived the Pontalba Buildings in New Orleans as two magnificent blocks of row houses facing each other on Jackson Square. Dr. Vella’s most recent biography, George Washington Carver: a Life, delves into the life of one of America’s most beloved figures and she has gotten high marks for telling it right and entertaining serious readers at the same time. in.  Dr. Vella’s biography of Kemal Ataturk, Ataturk and the Unveiling of Turkey, is in publication now.

For more on these two outstanding biographers, see the 2015-2016 edition of the Faulkner
Society’s on-line journal, The Double Dealer.

9:45  a. m. —Book Mart
Intermission —Authors will sign in Book Mart


10:15 a. m. —  Queen Anne Ballroom
The Art of Speculative Fiction as Vehicle for Social Commentary
Featuring novelists Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet, and Sanem Ozdural, author of LiGA and her latest The Dark Shall Do What the Light Cannot, with literary agent Katherine Fausset.

11:15 a. m. — Book Mart Bonnet Carre Room
Intermission — Authors will sign in Book Mart

11:30 a. m.
Let’s End on a Laugh, Tickling the Funny Bone…
This session will be led by Roy Blount, Jr., one of America’s memorably funny men who always manages to come up with a unique twist on any situation  that captures his fancy.

12:30  p. m.Book Mart
Intermission – Authors will sign

So long, ooh long..until, 2017!




























Be Sociable, Share!
  • Happy Birthday Mr. Faulkner!

    Roland & Mary von Kurnatowski, will host the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s annual fundraiser, usually ...

Daniel de Visé, Author

Daniel de Visé is an author and journalist. His first book, I Forgot To Remember, with Su Meck, (S&S) began as a front-page article de Visé wrote for the Washington Post, part of a 23-year career spent at the Post, the Miami Herald and three other newspapers. De Visé has won more than two dozen national, regional and […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson is a novelist and short story writer whose newest story collection, “Fortune Smiles,” won the 2015 National Book Award. His 2012 novel The Orphan Master’s Son, won the Pulitzer Prize. Johnson is an associate professor of English at Stanford University. Johnson began writing about North Korea out of an interest in the language […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Robin Black

            Robin Black, Prize Winning Fiction Writer   About the Author Robin Black won the 2005 Faulkner/Wisdom Competition for her short story The History of the World  which appears in her story collection If I loved you, I would tell you this. That book, published in six countries, was a […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Michael Malone

About The Author Michael Malone is a television writer and author of ten novels, a collection of short stories, and two works of nonfiction. Born in Durham, NC, He is best known for his work on the ABC Daytime drama One Life to Live, as well as for his Best-selling works of fiction Handling Sin […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Hortensia Calvo

      Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director, Latin American Library, Tulane University       About the Author Hortensia Calvo holds a Licenciatura in Philosophy from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, an MA in Spanish and Spanish American literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Spanish from Yale University. She […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Jade Hurter_Bio

Jade Hurter, a New Jersey native, is a second year poet in the MFA program at the University of New Orleans. At UNO she works with the Greater New Orleans Writing Project and the Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana. She also reads submissions for UNO’s literary journal, Bayou Magazine. She has been a two-time […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Glen Pitre

Glen Pitre—born and reared in Cut Off, LA, worked his way through Harvard by fishing shrimp each summer. Graduating with honors, he’s since made his living as a writer/filmmaker, working from Paris to Mumbai in almost every genre as writer, producer, and/or director. What prompted critic Roger Ebert to call him “a legendary American regional […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Alex Sheshunoff

Alex Sheshunoff won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s 2013 gold medal for best narrative non-fiction book for his manuscript, Paradise Misplaced. Sheshunoff was signed after winning by literary agent Jeff Kleinman, who judged the non-fiction book category. Jeff turned right around and sold this full-of-fun memoir to Tracy Bernstein, a senior editor at New American […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes