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 include:

  • 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.
  • A year-round calendar of literary events—such as My New Orleans and Meet the Author.
  • The William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
  • Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, our annual four-day founders celebration honoring our namesake, Nobel laureate William Faulkner, saluting all great writers: past, present, and yet to come. 

Our programs are designed to honor and assist writers, provide high quality literary entertainment for general public 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, with special programming benefits for members and sponsors.

A New Generation of Services to Readers and The Faulkner Society was created in 1990 with a mission of providing realistic assistance to developing writers, creating literacy initiatives and continuing education for adults in literature and writing, and presenting high quality literary programming for readers. One overall goal has been to help 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 will complete our 29th year on September 25, 2019.

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 membership levels and benefits, please visit our convenient ordering page HERE.

Memberships include invitations to all events, both ticketed and free, public events. Annual free events include our series of free, public concerts organized to benefit the poor of New Orleans which take place on Tuesdays during Lent at the historic Ursuline Convent complex and our year round calendar of free, public literary events in the two series Meet the Author and
My New Orleans.

2019’s Festival, Save the Dates:
Tuesday, September 24 – Friday, September 27

Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner, 2019 will open Tuesday, September 24 with a 10 a. m. program for students and teachers at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Riverside, and continue at 1 p. m. with afternoon registration and keynote presentations at the Cabildo at Jackson Square. followed by a welcome party 5:30 to 7:30, hosted by Co-Founders of the Faulkner Society, Rosemary James and Joseph J. DeSalvo at Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley. Introduction of 2019 winners and attending runners-up and finalists will be at our annual birthday luncheon and at  Faulkner for All, the Society’s gala 29th annual meeting on Mr. Faulkner’s birthday, September 25. Advice sessions and manuscript critiques for registered writers will take place from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p.m. on the 25th and 8:30 to 10:00 a. m. on the 26th and 27th, with literary discussions beginning daily at 10:30 both days. In addition to opening sessions on the 24th, there will be literary discussions from 10:30 to 5:30 on the 26th; and 10:30 to 3:30 on the 27th. For Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! events details, click, 2019 Festival. For event costs, click 2019 Pricing. For details about manuscript critiques for writers, click, 2019 Critiques Guidelines.


The Faulkner Society’s most popular project with writers is The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, which has since 1992 attracted between 1,500 and 3,000 entries annually in eight categories: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction Book, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-Progress, Essay, Single Poem, 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. 

Final round Judges are  Tadzio Koelb, Novel; Andrei Codrescu, Narrative Non-Fiction Book; Moira Crone, Novella; Laura Lane McNeal, Short Story; Maurice Ruffin, Novel-in-Progress; Ken Wells, Essay; Jessica Faust, Individual Poem; Rodger Kamenetz, Poetry Collection; and Jessica Kinnison, Short Story by a High School Student. Click on their names for their individual bio pages.

The Judging
Judging is now complete now in all categories. Scroll down for winners, runners-up, and those on the short lists. To see lists of those who placed as finalists and semi-finalists in all categories, Click Here. We will be double-checking the lists already posted through the weekend to make sure no one who placed has been left out of the proper list and that any typos in names or manuscript titles are corrected. Please do not hesitate let us know of errors you find. Here are the statistics for the 2019 competition.

In the novel category, we received 393 entries, 214 of which were from Louisianians. The narrative non-fiction book category had entries totaling 209, 139 of which were from Louisiana; Novella attracted 238, 139 of which were from Louisiana and Mississippi; short story attracted 391, 260 of which were from Louisianians. We received 594 entries for novel-in-progress, a record for that category, more than 290 of those entries were from Louisianians. In the novel category, we received 393 entries, 204 of which were from Louisiana. The essay category drew 241 entries, 159 of which were from Louisianians; poetry collection attracted 123 entries, 66 of which were from Louisianians; individual poem drew 237 entries, 140 of which were from Louisianians; the Short Story by a High School student category had 249 entries, 135 of which were from New Orleans. The entries came from 29 states, 2 territories (Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands), and 11 foreign countries (including Canada, Greenland, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Germany, Mallorca, Australia, Hong Kong, and Malasia).


The Judge
Tadzio Koelb, well-known fiction writer and literary critic, whose own new novel is Trenton Makes, has announced his selections for the novel category and they are: 
The Gold Medal for Best Novel goes to:

The Winner
The Race Caller
By Andy Plattner of Atlanta, GA
For more about the winner, who previously won the Society’s gold medal for Best Novella, Click Here.

The Runner-up
The Last Days of Monkey Zak
By Skip Horack of Tallahassee, FL

For more on Skip Horack, Click Here.

Others on the Short List
Among the Porcelain, Daniel Turtel, New York, NY
Seven Days, Robert Redfearn, Jr., New Orleans, LA
Sugar Blues, Lee Meehan, Napa, CA

Suppose I say Hummingbird
, Beth Ann Fennelly, Oxford, MS

The Coal Tower, Tony Gentry, North Chesterfield, VA
The Day the Music Didn’t Die, Julia Tagliere, Sandy Spring, MD
The Museum of an Extinct Race, Jonathan Rosen, Burlington, CT
The Wisdom of Water, Laura Lane McNeal, New Orleans, LA


The Judge
Andrei Codrescu, bestselling poet, non-fiction writer, novelist, and social commentator, has made his selection for the Narrative Non-Fiction Book Category.  They are:

The Winner
Wild Tail by Catherine Raven, Emigrant, MT.

The Runner-up
Poet for Hire by Ben Aleshire, New Orleans, LA

Others on the Short List

Futebol, Sascha Bercovitch, Brookline, MA
Kinds of Love: Essays on Otherness, Natasha Sajé, Salt Lake City, UT
Men I’ve Never Been, Michael Sadowski, Rhinebeck, NY
Mike & Me, Martha Donegan, Metairie, LA
My Beautiful Tigers, Rosemary Daniell, Savannah, GA
Streetlight, Steve Kash, Terre Haute, IN
The Beeches Lifted Up Their Green Arms to Comfort Me, Deborah Marquart, Ames, IA
The Theory of Grace, Ethel Morgan Smith, Birmingham, AL
There Lies a Circle, Ellen Ann Fentress, Jackson, MS

The Judge
Moira Crone, prize-winning fiction writer, former winner of the Society’s gold medal for best novella, and one of the founders of the LSU MFA program, has made her selections. They are:
The Winner
Damage Control
by Andrew Cominelli of New Orleans, LA

The Runner-up
Perish by Amina Gautier, Chicago, IL

Others on the Short List
Breeding in Stockholm, Stan Kempton, New Orleans, LA
I Had No Choice, Phillip Erickson, St. Paul, MN
Incidentals, Matthew Minson, Tomball, TX
Goodbye, Maggie, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
Oddfish, Kevin Maus, Las Vegas, NV
Revolution, Adjie Henderson, Bronx, NY
The Be-Everything Brothers,
Matthew Pitt, Fort Worth, TX
The Canon Code,
Jon Geggenheimer, Gretna, LA
The Don Bockman Restaurant, Jon Schorr, Baltimore, MD

The Judge

Laura Lane McNeil
, a highly accomplished marketing professional, whose first novel, Dollbaby, received widespread critical acclaim, has made her selections. They are:

The Winner

The Spy, Tom Hill, New Orleans, LA

The Runner-up

I Am a Stalwart, David Kennedy, Bronx, NY

Others on the Short List
Dreams on Hold, Bryan Mayfield, Dallas, TX
Fall Girl, Ann Vandenberg, Atlanta, GA
Fourteen Meals, Stephanie Early Green, Alexandria, VA
Gravity, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
In the Hot Springs at Niseko, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
Junk, Ashley Wolfe, New Orleans, LA
Love’s Ragged Claws, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
Midden, Clayton Luz, Bokeelia, FL
Nashville Radio, Tom Andes, New Orleans

On the Shores of a Pleistocene Sea, W.B. Henley, Indian Springs Village, AL
The Best Company, Jane Kahramanidis, New Orleans, LA
The Boy with the Hole in His Heart, William Christy Smith, New Orleans, LA
The Sound of Love, Jim Fairhall, Chicago, IL
The Toy Chest, Kyle Gordon, New Orleans, LA
Tinderbox, Stan Kempton, New Orleans, LA
Uncle Edgar and the Tintinnabulation of the Bells, S. A. Slosberg, Bronxville, NY


The Judge:

Maurice Carlos Ruffin, a previous winner of the Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novel-in-Progress, completed the novel and it was published as We Cast a Shadow this spring to high praise from important journals, such as the New York Times.  Maurice has made his selections. They are:

The Winner:
Wait There Till You Hear From Me
By Tom Andes, New Orleans, LA

The Runner-Up:
The Last Oracle
By Celia Andresen, Baton Rouge, LA

Others on The Short List
Birdman’s Flight, John Vanderslice, Conway, AR
Blue Hour, George Harrar, Wayland, MA
Inward Cussedness, David Kennedy, Bronx, NY
Marigold, Sarah Colombo, Baton Rouge, LA
Porches, Nancy Brock, Columbia, SC
Storms and Dust, Chance Landry, Pierre Part, LA
The Space Between, Elizabeth Bedell, Northampton, MA
Traffic, Alexander Joseph, Boulder, Co
The Ascension of Mary, William West, Austin, TX
The Brick Maker’s Son, Victoria Ryan, New Orleans, LA
The Weight of Color, Donna Sauter, Woodstock, MD
Visible Man, Nick Willard, Pompton Lakes, NJ

Note: Finalists and Semi-Finalist in all categories, including Novel-in-Progress, have been posted and can be seen Here! 

The Judge
Ken Wells is a fiction writer, non-fiction author, and journalist, fiction writer, and non-fiction writer, whose own new books is a culinary memoir, Gumbo Life: Tales from Bayou Roux. He has made his selections. They are:

The Winner

River Journey One, Karen Eberle, New Orleans, LA


Awakenings, Vicki Siska, Fort Collins, CO

Others on the Short List
Big Bang Nutshell Time’s Haunted Generation, M. D. Veritas, New Orleans, LA
Finding Mother, Holly Schwartztol, Cape Canaveral, FL
Finding T, Katherine Velie, New Orleans, LA
Glass Houses, Laura Brodie, Lexington, VA
Mismatched, Sudy Leavy,
Ripples in a Distant Pool, John Saporito, Sarasota, FL
Singing an Acoustic Ecology, Debra Marquart, Ames, IA
The Big Why, Garry Wallace, Powell, WY

At the request of poets and small press publications, the Faulkner Society has created a new category for 2019. It is Poetry Collection to be judged by a
best-selling poet and non-fiction author.
The Judge:
Rodger Kamenetz, whose own new poetry collection is the critically acclaimed Yonder.


       The Publisher
The prize for this category will be publication of the collection in a perfect bound book by the respected boutique publisher Lavender Ink, founded and directed by respected poet and prose writer Bill Lavender, also a founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival.
there will be a cash prize for the winner of $1,000.   The book will be launched at the 2020 poetry festival. 

The Winner
The Murderous Sky by Rosemary Daniell of Savannah, GA

The Runner-up
Preowned Odysseys and Rented Rooms
by Lawrence Rhu of
Columbia, SC

Rosemary and Larry both are previous
Gold Medal Winners in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition
Others on the Short List
Fake Nose by Benjamin Aleshire, New Orleans, LA
Free Running Brown Legs, Jada Smiley
, New Orleans, LA
Escape From Suburbia, Jacob Appel, New York, NY
Poetry Land
, Mark Spitzer, Mayflower, AR
Queen of a Rain Country
, Chad Foret, Independence, LA
Schematics and Assemblies, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
The Law of the Land: A Moral History
by Red Hawk

“We are officially inside a Kafka story”:
Changing Seasons with the Ditchdigger in New York
by Dr. Benjamin Shepard, Brooklyn, NY


The Judge
Jessica Faust, Poet and Co-Editor and Poetry Editor of the Southern Review, has made her selections. They are: 

The Winner

Plea to Our Future Worst Selves on a Cold Winter Night
By Jacob Appel,
New York, NY

Jacob is a previous Gold Medal winner in other categories.

The Runner-up

Pressing Day, Yoruba Baltrip Coleman, New Orleans, LA

Others on the Short List

Build a Wall, Candace Wiley, Tulsa, OK

Conversations, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD
Haunted Generation, M. D. Veritas, New Orleans, LA
Hunch Over Notre Dame, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Mismatched, Sudy Leavy, Athens, GA
Mixed Emotions Prior Trump, Holly Schwartztol, Cape Canaveral, FL
New Orleans Ghost Tour, Benjamin Aleshire, New Orleans
Parasites, Kelly Anderson, Marrero, LA
Railroad of the Secret Sarcophagi, Constantina Clark, Greens Fork, IN
That Day, Tom Hill, New Orleans, LA
Tiger in a Turtle Shell, Tina D. C. Hayes, Dixon, KY
To Angelita, Chance Landry, Jocotenango, Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Winged Victory Before 1863, Melissa O. Meeks, Austin, TX
Your Father’s Son, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ

The Judge:
Jessica Kinnison, a prize-winning short fiction writer and creative writing workshop teacher, has made her selections for Winner and Runner-up.  They are:

The Winner
The Women in Blue by Renee Richichi, Mandeville, LA

The Runner-up

The Disappearance of Either My Objects or My Sanity
Nyela Amili Raha Joshua, New Orleans, LA

Others on the Short List
An Account of Colonized Flesh, Megan Lunny, Doylestown, PA
A Winter Tale, Kristian Palmer, Algiers, LA
Blurberry Street, Ori Wilson, New Orleans, LA
Cicada, Torie Bovey, New Orleans, LA
Don’t Tell the Universe, Naomi Adler, New Orleans, LA
Feathers Fall Off, Kenya Alexandra Mask, Lafayette, LA
How Your Cat Kills You, Gabriella Munoz, Idyllwild, CA
Letters From the Greenhouse, Lore Bordagary, Covington, LA
Some August Afternoon, Emma Smith, Idyllwild, CA
Streetcar to the 7th Ward, Donatella Henry, Abita Springs, LA
The Devil’s Ivy, Gabrielle Balot, Jefferson, LA
The Fall, Jules Worden, New Orleans, LA
The Last Night I Saw Her, Rome Smaoui, Idyllwild, CA
What You Make of It, Nicholas Burtchaell, Chalmette, LA
Wonderbread Whiteboy, Ashley Schilling, Abita Springs, LA

Note: For other 2019 finalists an semi-finalists in all categories, Click Here!

Winners and runners-up and other attending finalists will be presented with other Society winners at the Society’s black tie annual meeting, Faulkner for All, on September 25 during the Society’s annual festival, Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, which opens September 24th at The Cabildo, one of the venues provided to the Society by our year-round partner, the Louisiana

State Museum. The Cabildo is located on Jackson Square.  The opening event will begin at 1 p. m. with registration, social hour with light food and beverages, and keynote addresses. Winners and runners-up are our guests for all events of the festival which ends on September 27. Winners additionally receive gold medals, cash prizes, travel expenses, and hotel accommodations.

Click here to see a complete list of the 2018 Faulkner – Wisdom Competition Winners and Finalists.


The 2018 ALIHOT Awards

In 1996, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society created a special award to be given for excellence in literature, journalism, music, art, and community service, or philanthropy. The ALIHOT (A Legend in His/Her Own Time) Award is given to men and women who qualify as legends in their own time for their contributions to literature and literacy. This year, we are privileged to celebrate the achievements of:

Click on each name above for information on each ALIHOT Awardee for 2018.
The 2019 ALIHOT Awardees will be announced on William Faulkner’s birthday, September 25, during the Society’s gala annual meeting, a focal point of the annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! festival, this year to open on Tuesday,  September 24 and run through Friday, September 27.

Each year, the Society auctions a new portrait of William Faulkner at the gala, with proceeds benefiting the Society’s projects for readers and writers. Last year’s painting was purchased at the gala auction by New Orleans businessman Garner Robinson, a member of the Society’s Board. The painting was created to reflect the Society’s focus Faulkner book for 2018.

A Rose for Emily: The Painting

A Rose for Emily is a painting by Frederick Guess, which was inspired by the famous Southern Gothic short story by Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. The painting depicts a young Faulkner as he appeared while living in New Orleans and earning his storytelling stripes. The background, however, is of his later home, Rowan Oak, in Mississippi, which had a ghostly story of its own, one which may partially have inspired the Faulkner classic.

Guess donated the painting to the Faulkner Society to auction for the benefit of the Society’s projects for writers, readers, those at risk for illiteracy, and other disadvantaged people of our community. And on Sunday, September 23, 2018, the painting was auctioned to Garner Robinson. Thanks to Mr. Guess and to Mr. Robinson! Patrons like them make it possible for the Society to offer many free public projects for the community. For more information on A Rose for Emily, please Click Here!
Presentation of our competition winners and ALIHOT Awardees and auction of the painting took place at Faulkner for All, the Society’s gala annual meeting, September 23, during our Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! founders’ festival.

2019’s Festival:

Save the Dates: Tuesday, September 24 – Friday, September 27

Dates for the 2019 festival have been selected. They are Tuesday, September 24 – Friday, September 27. The festival will open on September 24 with a morning program for students and afternoon registration and keynote presentations at the Cabildo at Jackson Square, followed by a welcome party in the early evening. Introduction of 2019 winners and attending runners-up and finalists will be at Faulkner for All, the Society’s gala 29th annual meeting on Mr. Faulkner’s birthday, September 25. Advice sessions and manuscript critiques for registered writers will take place from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p.m. on the 25th and 8:30 to 10:00 a. m. on the 26th and 27th. In addition to opening sessions on the 24th, there will be literary discussions from 10:30 to 5:30 on the 26th; and 10:30 to 5:30 on the 27th.

2019 Theme: Variations on the Blues: Baroque to Blue Monday

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 centuries—opens annually a week after Mardi Gras day, locally known as Fat Tuesday. The period following Fat Tuesday is the Lenten season, which opens on Ash Wednesday and is a period when Christians reflect on the meaning of Christ’s death on the Cross and is characterized by abstinence and charitable outreach to the disadvantaged. The concerts are free with expenses underwritten by patrons in advance. Voluntary collections taken at the end of each concert benefit an institution important in servicing the poor. The beneficiary in 2019 is St. Jude Community Center, one of the city’s most important resources for servicing the poor. Venue for the series is St. Mary’s Chapel of the historic Ursuline Convent. The chapel has extraordinary accoustics.  This year’s series opened on March 12 with a concert led by jazz/boogie woogie/gospel pianist and director Craig Adams and featured a program of ragtime, New Orleans Sound, gospel, and Delta Blues. The March 19 program featured traditional jazz blues focusing on the role of the clarinet in the blues genre and featuring master clarinetist Tom Sancton and ensemble. On March 24 at a laniappe Sunday afternoon organ concert and at the March 26 harpsichord recital, the mood switched to Baroque blues starring one of Europe’s leading organists and harpsichordists Benjamin Alard, playing programs of Bach. April 2’s program was a stunning performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue by pianist Jesse Reeks and his father, clarinetist John Reeks, followed by a group of sophisticated torch blues featuring soprano Sarah Jane McMahon. The April 9th program starred jazz singer and band leader Naydja CoJoe with a program of contemporary blues numbers. The series finale during Holy Week was an inspiring and emotionally uplifting program of sacred music performed by OperaCréole artists: Givanna Joseph, Soprano; Tyrone
Chambers, Tenor; Valencia Pleasant, Mezzo Soprano; and Ashalen Sims, Pianist.

The Theme for the 2020 Series will be announced soon.  We will welcome your suggestions for
both theme and artists to be featured. Send any suggestions to

To read about previous concerts series, visit: 2018 Concert Series and 2019 Concert Series.


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! This is a four-day literary celebration including our annual salute
    to our namesake, our gala black-tie annual meeting and fundraiser, literary critiques, presentation of
    new work by scholars and authors, and presentation of the winners of our international literary
  • 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, and partnerships with the English Speaking Union and One Book One New Orleans.
  • 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.
    Joint ventures include the Society’s annual series of six free, public concerts during Lent.



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