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 a complete schedule of Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! event  details, click, 2019 Festival. For event costs, click 2019 Pricing. For details about manuscript critiques for writers, click, 2019 Critiques Guidelines. To review the credentials of this year’s agents and editors, click here.


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.

Winners for the 2019 competition have been announced! You can find a full list here.

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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