FAULKNER SOCIETY TO HONOR FOUNDER,
JOSEPH J. DESALVO, JR., SEPTEMBER 25TH,
WILLIAM FAULKNER’S BIRTHDAY
TO FRIENDS AND MEMBERS:
The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society was founded September 25, 1990, by professional men and women—organized by attorney and bibliophile Joseph J. DeSalvo, Jr., scholar of southern literature and professor W. Kenneth Holditch, and journalist and non-fiction author Rosemary James (Mrs. Joseph J. DeSalvo, Jr.). The guiding light of the group was Joe DeSalvo, who also founded one of the world’s finest bookstores, Faulkner House Books, in the same year. After several years of debilitating pain due to spinal stenosis and a severe heart condition, Joe passed away December 29, 2020 and the literary community lost an icon of dedication to literature and providing assistance to those who work to create literature. During the Faulkner Society’s first 30 years, Joe DeSalvo donated countless hours and dollars to the management of the Society. Without his personal dedication and patronage, the Society could not have survived. Because of the pandemic plaguing the city and the country, there was no possibility for a public funeral service. The Faulkner Society, therefore, will pay proper tribute to Joe DeSalvo at a memorial service on September 25th, William Faulkner’s birthday anniversary. For a tribute to Joe by his wife published shortly after his death on Facebook, Click Here. It is our sincerest hope that by then, most Americans will have been vaccinated and the Society will be able to stage it’s annual, Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! festival September 23-26. We invite you to participate in the memorial service, which will take place at St. Louis Cathedral, and the festival. Soon, we will post details of our 30th anniversary celebration, put on hold last year because of plague restrictions. We look forward to being with you all in person at these Faulkner Society events…when it is safe again! Hopefully, September 23-26, 2021. Until then, read, mask, social distance, avoid huge crowds, and live!
Anne Simms Pincus, Faulkner Society Chairman
WILLIAM FAULKNER – WILLIAM WISDOM
CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION:
ALIVE & WELL
The 2021 Competition Opened for Entries
December 1, 2020; New Deadline is July 15, 2021
Please note: Because of the delays and and lateness of results for the 2020 Competition due to COVID and related issues, we are extending the 2021 deadline for two months from May 15 to July 15. Winners will be notified by September 1, 2021.
All entries, as usual, include a manuscript and contact sheet submitted electronically as word doc or doc X or pdf attachments to email@example.com. We do not accept google docs. You may enter with personal checks, money orders, or cash attached to the required hard copy of the entry form sent by snail mail. Soon, we will soon be able to once again accept credit card entry fees online at our secure website on the “Order” page, with a $5 handling fee for each entry. Currently, we are experiencing technical difficulties with the secure payment page. For guidelines, Click Here.
Big Competition News
The Faulkner Society has been advised—and we are thrilled to share the news with you—two of our recent winners have scored. The winner of the 2019 Gold Medal for Best Non-Fiction Book, Fox & I by Catherine Raven, is being published by Speigel and Grau and will be released in June, 2021. The winner of the 2020 Gold Medal for Best Novel, Greetings From Asbury Park by Daniel Turtel of New York, NY, has been sold by Dan’s agent Michelle Tessler and the novel is on the fast track for publication in Spring, 2022. Dan also is runner-up for best Short Story In the 2020 Competition for his story, Gravity.
Congratulations Dan and Michelle!
The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, founded in 1992, is the Society’s most popular project with writers. It attracts between 1,500 and 3,000 entries annually in nine categories: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction Book, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-Progress, Essay, Poetry Collection, Single Poem, and Short Story by a High School Student. Cash prizes rang from $7,500 for novel to $1,000 for High School Short Story. Winners for the 2019 competition can be viewed here.
2020 winners, runners-up, and others on the short lists for all categories are posted below. Here is the link to 2020 Competition Finalists, for all who placed as finalists and semi-finalists in the various categories. Please note: Some categories have no semi-finalists listed. This means that all deserving of recognition either placed as winners, runners-up, on the short list, or as finalists. Any other entries not listed were deemed not ready for recognition.
Our new snail mail address is:
The Faulkner Society
C/O Rosemary James
6028-30 Prytania Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Please do not send entries or other correspondence to our previous address on Pirate’s Alley. The Faulkner Society no longer operates out of that address.
Our e-mail address remains the same: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of current volunteer personnel issues, please submit all queries by e-mail.
The correct current telephone number is:
There are nine 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. In 2019 we added a ninth category, Poetry Collection. Winners for the 2019 competition can be viewed here.
2020 winners, runners-up, and others on the short lists for all categories are posted below. Here is the link to 2020 Competition Finalists, now live, which lists all who placed as finalists in the various categories and all who placed as semi-finalists.
Please note: Some categories have no semi-finalists listed. This means that all deserving of recognition either placed as winners, runners-up, on the short list, or as finalists. Any other entries not listed were deemed not ready for recognition.
2020 WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP
The results for 2020 Novel Category are in from the final round judge for that category, legendary literary editor Cindy Speigel. Her selections are as follows:
Greetings from Asbury Park by Daniel Turtel of New York, NY
Hang Me the Moon By Kate Bullard Adams of Durham, NC
Maddie Duell By Moira Crone of New Orleans, LA
Others on the Short List:
Ghosts of Charleston By Donald Upton of Fayetteville, AR
Skylark by William Christy Smith of New Orleans, LA
Suppose I Say Hummingbird, Beth Ann Fennelly of Oxford, MS
The Space Between By Liz Bedell of Northampton, MA
The results for the 2020 Non-Fiction Book Category are in from final round judge for this category, Jeff Kleinman of the Folio Literary Agency. His selections are:
My Beautiful Tigers
By Rosemary Daniell of Savannah, GA
The Movie Star, an Alzheimer’s Patient, and the Easter Ham Between Them
By Laura Grooms of Columbia, SC
Voices of the City: Interviews with New Orleans Artists
By Poet Wolfe of New Orleans, LA
Others on the Short List:
My Name is King Ying
By Karin K. Jensen of Alameda, CA
The results of the 2020 Novella Category are in from the final round judge, acclaimed fiction writer and visual artist Moira Crone:
Here selections are:
Boom by Lawrence Coates of Bowling Green, OH
The Be Everything, Brothers
by Matthew Pitt of Fort Worth, TX
The Incredible Story of Nemaw Betty and the Bandit Aloysius
by Ashley Wolfe of New Orleans, LA
Others on the Short List
A Brooklyn Tale By David Anderson of Boerne, TX
First Year Experience By Amina Gautier of Chicago, IL
Her Cumberland by Susan Paisley of Cedar Hill, TN
The Choice By Michael Tusa of Abita Springs, LA
When Our Heroes Were Young By Phillip Erickson of St. Paul, MN
The Short List for the 2020 Short Story Category has been selected and manuscripts have been sent to fiction writer, poet, professor of literature, and translator John Biguenet.
The Short List selections are:
Quarantine In Kikwit
By Michael Janis of Mableton, GA
By Daniel Turtel, New York, NY
Others on Short List
Becky’s Friend By Donald Upton of Fayetteville, AR
First Prayer By Bruce Wexler of Elmhurst, IL
Jessica Collector By David Anderson of Boerne, TX
Joe in Exile By William Christy Smith of New Orleans, LA
Moira by Lee Ali of New Orleans, LA
Neighbors By Rodney Nelsestuen of Woodbury, MN
The Daughter Badge By Jane Shirley of Marietta, GA
The Devil’s Den By Ashley Wolfe of New Orleans, LA
The Floating Ladies of Gramercy Park by Jane Kahramanidis of New Orleans, LA
The Sound of Wild Animals in the Night, By Douglas McBride, Los Angeles, CA
Tower By Andy Plattner of Atlanta, GA
NOVEL IN PROGRESS
The results of the Novel-in-Progress category are in from the final round judge, novelist Laura Lane McNeal. Her selections are
A Thundering Laugh
By Andrew Cominelli of New Orleans
The Kitchen Door
By Anita Rozas of Baton Rouge, LA
Others on the Short List
A Bright American Future for the Dead By Douglas McBride of Los Angeles, CA
A Lily in the Dark by Sara Henry Paolozzi of Brooklyn, NY
And Yet It Moves By Matthew Minson of Tomball, TX
Aristotle’s Wall By Matthew Minson of Tomball, TX
A Routine End of the World By Scott Craven of Tempe. AZ
Body Art Prison by Robert Hambling Davis of Newark, DE
The Syrian Pieta By Timothy Jay Smith of Paris, France
The Trouble You Do Not Name By Mant Bares of Abbeyville, LA
The Short List for the Essay Category has been selected and the manuscripts have been forwarded to final round judge Shari Stauch, literary publicist and marketing expert, bookstore owner. Her selections are:
By Laura Joyce-Hubbard of Highland Park, IL
By Christine Poythress of Madison, TN
Others on the Short list
A Sensible Sacrifice By C. W. Cannon of New Orleans, LA
Glass Houses By Laura Brodie, Lexington, VA
Ritual in the Time of COVID By Zena McFadden of Sycamore, IL
The New AI Consciousness: Active Inference in the Free Energy Principle, a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Exploring Sonnet Poetics By Manfred Pollard of New Orleans, LA
Touching Earth By Janine DeBaise of Kirkville, NY
The results are in from the final round judge of the Poetry Collection category Rosemary Daniell, founder of the famed Zona Rosa writing workshop. She won this category in its initial year, 2019.Her selections are:
Scenes From a Rain Country
By Chad Foret of Covington, LA
Pre-owned Odyssey and Rented Rooms
By Rhu Lawrence of Columbia, SC
Others on the Short List
By Mark Spitzer of Mayflower, AR
The Short List selections for the Single Poem category have been made and the manuscripts have been forwarded to the final round judge, bestselling non-fiction author, poet, and essayist, Rodger Kamenetz. The selections are:
Caught In COVID
By Maureen Welch of St. Augustine, FL
In Your Embrace of the Clay
By Constantina Ann Clark of Palatka, FL
Others on the Short List
A Voice by Tom Hill of New Orleans, LA
Breakdown By Tina D.C. Hayes of Dixon, KY
Call to the Medium By Holly Schwarztol of Cape Canaveral, FL
Celestial By Petra Perkins of Highlands Ranch, CO
Connection By Jennifer Tomlinson of Fort Meryers, FL
For Leonard By Christine Poythress of Madison, TN
He Held Hearts in His Hand By Melissa Bonin, Lafayette, LA
Hunched Over Notre Dame By Manfred Pollard of New Orleans, LA
I Grow Stories About You By Louise Freymann of New York, NY
Insomnia By S. T. Eleu of Tallahassee, FL
Ivory Birds By Andrea Dubé of New Orleans, LA
Like Bargains in the Night By Donald Upton of Fayetteville, AR
Take You In By Kimbol Soques of Austin, TX
SHORT STORY BY A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
The results of the High School Short Story Category are in from final round judge, novelist George Bishop, Jr. His Selections are:
Trinkets for the Dead
By Sidne K. Gard of New Orleans, LA
A Mouthful of Bloody Teeth
By Deja Robinson of New Orleans, LA
Others on the Short List
Father’s Joy By Julie Chou of Beijing, China
Hourglass By Meredith DeLong of New Orleans, LA
Stalling By Sonia Mehta of Dublin, OH
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. FAULKNER!
2021 Festival, Save the Dates:
September 23 – September 26
Note: The 2021 Festival will have the same theme we were planning for 2020:
The Impact of the Classics on Life, Literature, & Music
While presented the Faulkner – Wisdom competition for 2020, we were not be able to stage the Faulkner Festival. We will present 2020 winners at the 2021 festival with 2021 winners. 2020 AND 2021 winners and attending runners-up and finalists will be presented at Faulkner for All, the Society’s gala 30th annual meeting on Mr. Faulkner’s birthday, September 25. Pictured at left are two of the 2019 Competition judges—Rodger Kamenetz, Poetry Collection, left; AndreiCodrescu, Non-Fiction Book—with Celina “Cindy” Speigel, one of the nation’s legendary literary editors recently turned literary agent, who was a critiquing faculty member for the 2019 festival featuring Faulkner’s The Wild Palms as focus book for the festival. We have highly qualified professionals like these again for the 2021 judges and critiquing professionals. Rodger Kamenetz, who created the Poetry Collection category, judged the individual poetry category for 2020 and will once again be judging the collection for 2021. Codrescu, center, is shown presenting his winner, Catherine Raven of Emigrant, MT, and runner-up, Benjamin Aleshire of New Orleans. Catherine was signed by Cindy Speigel for her non-fiction book
Wild Tail and has been working with Catherine
for the last year, getting ready to offer the book for sale. This year, Cindy is judging the novel competition. Authors Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Moira Crone are shown below left. Moira, who previously won gold medals for both the Short Story (Dream State) and Novella (The Ice Garden) categories, is a distinguished fiction writer of such works as the story collection What Gets Into Us and the novel, The Not Yet, was recognized for her body of work with the Robert Penn Warren Award. She has judged several categories of the competition and selected Maurice to win the gold medal for Best Novel-in-Progress. His novel, We Cast A Shadow, has since been completed and published by Random House to widespread national literary acclaim. Maurice judged the 2019 Novel-in-Progress category and Moira judged the 2019 Novella category. Moira also found an agent for her new novel in the works, Maddie Duell, through the Society’s festival. She is working with literary agent Lisa Leshne, who was a critiquing agent for the festival. The 2019 gala, presented at the exquisite Peter and Paul boutique hotel, was described by long-time attendees as the best ever. We have begun work to make the 2021 festival even more enlightening and entertaining for writers and their readers.
In 2021, 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. In the meantime, we need your support and encouragement to keep the Society afloat until Louisiana and, specifically, New Orleans is healthy again. Please consider joining the Society. Membership fees can be paid on the secure “Order” page of this site.
To get a comprehensive idea of the festival, Society annual meeting and gala, Click Here for a low resolution pdf copy of the 2019 festival program.
2019 SILVER SPARROW BIG READ STAR: BESTSELLING AUTHOR TAYARI JONES
The Faulkner Society has had the good fortune over the years to be selected by the National Endowment of the Arts and its administrative partner Arts Midwest to create a number of BIG READ projects, designed to break the dreadful cycle of illiteracy that plagues America by encouraging youngsters to delve into good literature. Envisioned originally by First Lady Laura Bush, BIG READ was created in the wake of an important national survey which revealed that functional illiteracy was increasing dramatically in the United States.
The NEA created a list of of literary works it considers essential reading. Each year various non-profits compete for grants from NEA to create projects focusing on a book on the NEA list, some contemporary and some classics by authors of the past. In 2019, the Society selected Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, whose more recent bestseller was an Oprah selection, An American Marriage. Ms. Jones was a sell out hit with Faulkner Society audiences, scheduling her key appearances concurrent with the Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! festival. For more on this important NEA program, click on BIG READ. For more on Ms. Jones, Click here
SPRING CONCERT SERIES POSTPONED, AGAIN
The Faulkner Society’s annual prelude to the celebration of Easter—six free public concerts featuring major types of the music created and enjoyed by New Orleanians for three centuries—opens traditionally a week after Fat Tuesday. The period following Mardi Gras day is the Lenten season, which opens on Ash Wednesday, the period when Christians reflect on the meaning of Christ’s death on the Cross and 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 the poor. We were unable to stage the series as a Lenten series in 2020 and will not be able to stage the series for Lent 2021 because of the pandemic and the need for social distancing, etc. We are considering the possibility of an August series
instead. Our ability to stage it then, depends, again, on the pandemic status. The beneficiary of the next series, regardless of timing, will be 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 and is provided to the series by the Society’s partners, The Archdiocese of New Orleans and St. Louis King of France Cathedral Basilica. Proceeds from the concert series always are designated for charities which support the indigent.
The Theme for the Next Series
The 2020 theme, which was to have been “The Amadeus Syndrome: The Influence of the Classics on Contemporary Music,” will be the theme for the next series, regardless of timing.
The Society is actively soliciting donations from individuals and funding agencies so that the series can continue to be offered free to the general public and we can continue to serve the poor of New Orleans.
THE FAULKNER SOCIETY
The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, a nationally recognized non-profit arts organization, is a 501 (c) (3) literary and educational institution and, as such, grant donations, membership contributions, and contributions to our fundraisers are fully tax-deductible.
- 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
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 30th year on September 25, 2020.
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.
SUPPORT OUR LOYAL PATRONS AT
FAULKNER HOUSE BOOKS!
As many of you already know, the Pirate’s Alley residence and business were sold to new owners last fall and Faulkner House Books is continuing operations under these most difficult of circumstances. The new owners of the bookstore, Garner Robinson and Devereaux Bell, have pledged to continue the support the bookstore always has provided to the non-profit Faulkner Society. They have come up with a wonderful idea for dedicated readers utilizing the longstanding literary experience of store manager Joanne Sealy, a terrific reader and judge of good literature for a broad variety of reading tastes. They have established a subscription service. You can join at various levels and fill out a form that includes descriptions of the kinds of books you like and Joanne will select new books especially for you and send them to you monthly. It’s a great idea any time but now during this era of staying at home to stay safe, when reading is a great escape from our home prison cells, it is a fabulous way to get the books you want without getting in harm’s way. It’s also a great way to help ensure that a great patron of literature, Faulkner House Books, is around to serve you and support the Faulkner Society when the plague fades into the background. For more information, contact Joanne at the bookstore, (504) 524-2940. (Yes, the new owners are keeping their staff on in spite of the fact that the store itself…a space very tight for social distancing…is open with limited customers allowed to enter at any one time, straining the store’s ability to reach its normal level of revenues.)
FAULKNER SOCIETY IMPACT
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 was 300 years old in 2018. To help us continue the impact, e-mail us at email@example.com. We welcome offers of volunteer service as well as financial contributions. To join our number, E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a membership form and membership benefits summary.
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 major partnerships with other non-profit institutions and businesses.