Place as Muse for Literature:

New and established writers join dedicated readers in a unique birthday celebration, September 22-25, 2018, sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc., created in 1990 on William Faulkner’s birthday by men and women dedicated to good books and their authors, including Nobel Laureate William Faulkner, who wrote his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, in New Orleans, LA.

How to Order Your Tickets

For festival packages, including individuals, couples and competition finalists, use our easy and secure online ordering system HERE. If ordering a la carte items, you’ll need to print the pdf HERE and mail to us with your payment.
Registrations are fully refundable prior to September 1, 2018. Refunds requested between September 1 and September 15 are available for 50 per cent of total paid. After September 15, refunds are not available but a credit for the full amount paid will be issued for next year’s festival. Deadline for registering for manuscript critiques is 5 p. m. September 12. No critique registrations can be accepted after that deadline.



Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!

To celebrate the City’s Tri-centennial The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. has planned an entertaining and enlightening weekend for winners and finalists of its annual international talent search, the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition, and other interested writers, readers, and literary scholars.

To facilitate enjoyment of the City’s most historic neighborhood for our guests, all events take place in venues of historic importance, all within four blocks of each other. All venues are in the lower Vieux Carré and at or close to Jackson Square, the site of the City’s founding. The principal inn is the Provincial Hotel, a boutique hotel complex of 19th-century buildings linked around a large courtyard and several smaller courtyards.

The Provincial is two and a half blocks from Jackson Square and The Cabildo, one of the two seats of Colonial government and the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase. The Cabildo is the site for registration and opening sessions of the festival. It is the twin of The Presbytere, where Tuesday sessions will take place.

The two buildings flank St. Louis King of France Cathedral Basilica, oldest continuously operating cathedral in the country. The three buildings are fine examples of Colonial architecture. On either side of the Cathedral is a block-long wide alley linking Jackson Square to Royal Street, Pere Antoine on the right-hand side, and on the left is Pirate’s Alley, where William Faulkner wrote his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, while living at Number 624, today a national literary landmark. Faulkner House Books, a major patron of the festival, is located on the ground floor in the room where Faulkner lived. Just a block from number 624 is the Bourbon Orleans Hotel with its historic Quadroon Ballroom, where Monday sessions will take place. Back to the Provincial Hotel and one block more is the old Ursuline Convent complex and its lovely St. Mary’s Chapel and garden.

The Convent is the oldest significant architectural landmark in the Mississippi Valley, another fine example of Colonial architecture, which today houses the Catholic Cultural Center. The Convent chapel with its fine painted ceiling is of Palladian inspiration. The Society’s 28th annual meeting and presentation of 2018 competition winners will take place in the Chapel and the party will take place in the Convent garden.

Next door on the downriver side of the Convent is Soniat House, another inn composed of 19th-century buildings linked by courtyards and filled with antiques, where some of our guests will be staying for the festival weekend. Back at Jackson Square to the upriver side, at the corner of Saint Peter and Chartres Streets, there is Le Petit Théatre du Vieux Carre, among the oldest theatres in the country still in operation, which also houses Tableau, a culinary hot spot, owned by the famous Brennan family. Here on Tuesday in the private Green Room, at the festival finale, guests will celebrate the actual birthday of William Faulkner at a champagne luncheon featuring 30-second toasts to the Nobel laureate from his own work.

Welcome to the Vieux Carre and Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!

Saturday, September 22

2:00 p. m. – 4:45 p. m. — The Cabildo, Louisiana State Museum, at Jackson Square, Long Gallery, Second Floor

Registration & Book Mart Sales

Books of Saturday Presenters will be Available for Sale, Signing.

The opening sessions are free and open to the public
Advance RSVPs are required to and are necessary to receive your pass admitting you to the museum without paying for museum admittance. Guests who have registered for the festival will receive an electronic pass to exchange for their permanent passes at the registration desk. Opening sessions will be an introduction to three aspects of the humanities theme for 2018:

Place as Muse for Literature.

2:45 p. m. – Welcome & Introductions — Rosemary James, Co-Founder, Faulkner Society

3:00 p. m. – Place as Inspiration and the Making of a Nobel Laureate
Thomas & Judith Bonner, Faulkner scholars and editors of the re-issue of the long out of print book of satire, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles, created by Faulkner and his 1925 landlord, artist, architect, and Bohemian bon vivant, William Spratling, as a poke at their contemporary writers and artists inhabiting the French Quarter in the 1920s.
3:15 p. m. — Q. & A.

3:20 p. m.

Places Left Behind As Muse for Literature

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Colombian-born author of the brilliant debut novel release in late July, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, inspired by the experience of “growing up in the middle of death” in the reign of terror by the Pablo Escobar drug cartel in Colombia. The novel brings home dramatically the trauma of leaving the only home you’ve ever known, of fleeing to other borders, other shores.
3:35 p. m. —Q. & A

3:40 p. m.– New Orleans as Muse for Literature: 300 Years and Counting
Keynote address by New Orleans native, legendary journalist, and bestselling
non-fiction author Walter Isaacson, whose most recent biography is Leonardo da Vinci.
4:00 p. m. Q. & A.

4:15 – 4:45 – Book Signings and Socializing

4:45 p. m. – Free Event Adjourns

5:30 – 7:00 p. m. – Welcome Party

724 Barracks Street, Residence of Faulkner Society Chair, Anne Simms Pincus and Ronald Pincus By Invitation Only, Advance RSVPs Required. Competition winners, finalists, judges, other registered writers, presenters, festival underwriters.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Advise and Consent: Literary Professionals will give registered writers advice on improving their work and possibly consent to take on as clients writers whose work is ready for publication.

8:00 a. m. – 8:45 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room: Café au Lait & Croissants, Etc.

8:45 – 9:45 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room: Welcome to the World of Selling, Editing, Publishing & Marketing

This session will be introduced and led by Shari Stauch, literary marketing expert, owner of the literary consulting firm, Where Writers Win, and member of the Faulkner Society’s Advisory Council. The session will feature Literary Agents Katherine Fausset,  Michelle Tessler and Literary Editor Sara Carder.

9:45 a. m. – Intermission

10 a. m. to Noon — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – Manuscript Critiques Begin!

Featured Literary Agents: Katherine Fausset, Michelle Tessler, Laurie Chittenden, Lisa Leshne.

Featured Literary Editors: Brenda Copeland, Sara Carder, Lauren Wein.

Noon to 2 p. m. – Free Time to Enjoy Lunch on the Town (Recommended Close by: Muriel’s at Jackson Square)

2 p. m. to 4:30 p. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – Manuscript Critiques Continue

4:30 p.m. – Free Time

Faulkner for All!
6:30 p. m. — St. Mary’s Chapel, 1100 Chartres Street, Enter Church by Main Door, Facing Chartres Street.
Faulkner for All: Everything’s Coming Up Roses! Gala 28th Annual Meeting of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. Presentation of
Faulkner Society gold medal winners, runners-up and finalists, featuring 2018 judges, including Master of Ceremonies John Biguenet, distinguished poet, fiction writer, translator, non-fiction social commentator, and playwright, whose monologue focus on the rose as a dramatic symbol in literature, including William Faulkner’s famous noir short story, “A Rose for Emily.” Participants are encouraged to dress to the theme and add roses and/or rose tints to their cocktail attire for the event. At the conclusion of the program, exist the main door of Chapel to Chartres Street and enter Convent through Convent gate on Chartres Street next to Chapel.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses
7:45 p. m. —
Signature Rose flavored Cocktails, open bar, Rosey buffet dinner, live music for dancing in the Convent Garden. Music by the famed Latin ensemble Ashe Son, led by internationally renowned guitarist Javier Olondo. We are featuring Latin music as a salute to our Pan American Connections literary guest of honor, Ingrid Rojas Contreras. So start practicing your salsa moves.

10:00 p. m – Party adjourns

Sale of Books by Presenters

Books for all presenters will be on Sale continuously September 20 through September 25 at Faulkner House Books, located in the room where William Faulkner wrote his first novel Soldiers’ Pay in 1925. The store is open 10 a. m. to 5:30 p.m. Festival guests presenting their passes will receive a 10 percent discount on all books by presenters and other new literature. (The discount does not apply to rare books.) Authors will be available to sign after their presentations and at the tea/cocktail event on Monday evening

Monday, September 24, 2018

Advise and Consent

8:00 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – Café au Lait & Croissants, Etc.
8:30 a. m. – 9:30 a. m. —Hotel Provincial Meeting Room –
How to Approach an Agent to secure Representation: Dos and Don’ts.
This session will be introduced by Shari Stauch and feature
literary agents Laurie Chittenden and Lisa Leshne.

9:45 a. m. – Intermission

10:00 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Concurrent Programming: Manuscript Critiques Continue

10:00 a. m. — Quadroon Ballroom, Bourbon Orleans Hotel: The Aesthetics of Literature
Introductions and Announcements

The Quadroon Ballroom – Its history and place in the early culture and society of New Orleans, Rosemary James, author and former journalist, interior designer, and 50-year resident of the French Quarter,

10:15 a. m. — Quadroon Ballroom – The Importance of Place in the work of Herman Melville, William Faulkner, and John Updike. Dr. Christopher Love, Professor of Literature and Writing, University of Alabama.

10:35 a. m. — Quadroon Ballroom – Geography & Fiction. Joyce Blaylock, author of the soaring saga of the South, Adelicia, will discuss the way in which geography informs fiction, determines the development of principal characters, and moves the narrative.

10:55 a. m. — Quadroon Ballroom – The Culture of Historic Neighborhoods as Muse for Literature
This will be a presentation by Scott S. Ellis—non-fiction writer and poet—whose new history, The Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans, is being released by LSU Press concurrent with the festival. Scott’s previous, well-received history is Madame Vieux Carre: The French Quarter in the 20th Century. Scott lived in downtown New Orleans for many years before moving to Panama City, FL

11:15 a. m. – Intermission

11:30 a. m. – Quadroon Ballroom – The Special Importance of Place in Non-fiction and Hybrid Fiction
The session will be led by Rodger Kamenetz—celebrated non-fiction writer, poet, and dream analyst, author of The History of Last Night’s Dream—and the winner he selected to win the Society’s gold medal for essay, Michael Ditchfield.

Featured authors will include the critically acclaimed author of both fiction and non-fiction, Zachary Lazar, who latest book Vegeance is a seamless blending of reality and imagination, along with the winner he selected for the Faulkner – Wisdom gold medal for non-fiction book, N. West Moss, her third Faulkner Society gold medal win, the previous two for fiction.

Pan American Connections

12:30. — Quadroon Ballroom – What Does Home Mean as a Muse for Fiction.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Colombian-born author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, will discuss the meaning of home as inspiration for fiction for those forced to flee their homes and all they have ever known because of very real reigns of terror in their homelands.

1:00 p.m. — Quadroon Ballroom – Luncheon
Tickets must be presented, please purchase by September 17. Tickets included in
writer packages and sponsor packages with All Event Passes

3:30 p. m. — Quadroon Ballroom – The Importance of Place in Poetry
This session will be led by Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell, whose new collection No Brother, This Storm is being released
concurrent with the festival. Featured poets will include former Poet Laureate Peter Cooley, author of the new poetry collection World Without Finishing and 2018 poetry judge, Peter’s selection for the gold medal winner, Larry Rhu of Columbia, SC, and his runner-up choice, Jean Carr of Phoenix, AZ. Other featured poets will be Laura Mullen, author of the new collection, Complicated Grief, who teaches poetry in the MFA program at LSU; critically acclaimed poet and non-fiction writer Rodger Kamenetz, whose new poetry collections soon to be released are Yonder — a book of prose poems (Diagolos/Lavender Ink) and Dream Logic (TO from University of Rouen, France); Elizabeth Gross, author of Dear Escape Artist, whose new collection this body/that lightning show is forthcoming in 2019 from The Word Works Press; Kennison, who teaches creative writing in the New Orleans Writers Workshop and co-produces the Dogfish Reading Series; Southern literature scholar and poet and 20-year editor of Xavier Review, Thomas Bonner, whose new collection is Parterre. The director of the Creative Writing Program at Lusher Charter High School and 2015 Louisiana “Artist of the Year,” poet Brad Richard, author of collections including Motion Studies, will be holding forth with them. Invited but not yet confirmed are Jerika Marchan and Kalamu Ya Salaam.

6 p. m. — Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley – Come Hob Nob with Our Famous Ghost
Faulkner House owners Rosemary James and Joseph J. DeSalvo, Jr. will host a reception for registered festival writers, presenters, sponsors, with a chance to get your books signed by participating authors and absorb the presence of one of America’s best-known writers, Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. Many writers who have visited Faulkner House, including some who knew the Nobel laureate very well, have said there is a strong presence that they believe is Faulkner!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Advise and Consent

8:00 a. m. – 8:30 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – Café au Lait & Croissants, Etc.

8:30 a. m. – 9:30 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – When to Bring a Professional Editor into the Picture
Is your work ready to capture the attention of an agent in today’s highly competitive publishing industry, or do you need the help of a professional
editor before even seeking agent representation? Tips for getting your work ready, first, to secure the attention of an agent and, then, to secure the attention of a publishing house. When your work has been accepted for publication, how do you successfully work with the acquiring editor? This session will be introduced by Shari Stauch and will feature literary editors Brenda Copeland and Lauren Wein.

10:00 a. m. — Hotel Provincial Meeting Room – Concurrent Programming
Remaining Manuscript Critiques

The Aesthetics of Literature

10:00 a. m. — The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Second Floor gallery – Introductions

10:15 a. m. – Setting the Scene in Fiction and Populating that Scene
Laura Lane McNeal, author of the critically acclaimed novel Dollbaby—which depends heavily on place for its success—will moderate the session, which will feature fiction writers including: Ladee Hubbard, author of the novel, The Talented Ribkins, for which she was awarded the 2018 Ernest Gaines Prize for literary achievement and which short-listed for the annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize Shortlist, a $5000 prize is given for the best debut novel set in the American South. With her will be the competition winner she selected, Richard Katrovas, author of the novel, Confessions of a Waiter, awarded the 2018 Faulkner – Wisdom Gold Medal for Novel. Professor of literature and writing at the University of Western Michigan, Katrovas is founder and director of the Prague Summer Studies writing program. Other featured writers will be John Biguenet, distinguished poet, fiction and non-fiction author, social commentator, and playwright and his selection for the 2018 winner of the Faulkner – Wisdom gold medal for Short Story, Matthew Pitt, an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at TCU and author of two collections of short fiction, including his most recent, These are Our Demands. Authors may read brief illustrative lines from their work.

11:30 a. m. – Intermission

11:45 a. m. — Quadroon Ballroom – Yes, You Can Go Home Again Through the Magic Carpet of Fiction

This session will be led ay Richard Katrovas, winner of the 2018 Gold Medal for his novel, Confessions of a Waiter, with novelist and short fiction writer Moira Crone, whose impressive body of works include 2015 novel, The Ice Garden, which began life as the Society’s gold medal winner for best novella and then was expanded to novel length, and her dystopian novel, The Not Yet. They will be joined by M. O. (Neal) Walsh, author of the bestselling novel, My Sunshine Away. Moira, who judged the 2018 Novella category and Neal, who judged the 2018 Novel in Progress category will present their winner Daniel Turtel of New York. Yes, indeed, he won both categories for his novella, Among the Porcelain, and his novel-in-progress, Greetings from Asbury Park.

12:45 p. m. – Intermission

1:00 p. m.Tableau, Corner, St. Peter & Chartres Streets, Green Room – Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner! Finale
The Faulkner Society’s 2018 festival saluting all great writers—past, present, and yet to come—will conclude with a festive champagne luncheon celebrating the actual birthday of William Faulkner. Guests will be called on at random by the master of ceremonies to recite their favorite quotes from Faulkner in 30 seconds or less. The judge of the 2018 High School Short Story Competition, fiction writer Laura Lane McNeal, author of the novel Dollbaby, who will present one of her two winners, Abbey Hebert of New Orleans. Laura and
Abbey will kick-off the toasting with their favorite quotes to our namesake.

More on the Faulkner Party Guests!

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society will kick off its annual salute to all great writers on SATURDAY, September 22 with bestselling non-fiction author Walter Isaacson introducing our humanities theme, “Place as Muse for Literature,” emphasizing as an overture to the Tricentennial celebration, “New Orleans as Muse for Literature.” The event, a joint venture with the State Museum, will take place at the Cabildo.
The event also will feature the first appearance by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, a  2018 special guest of honor, who will address the humanities theme as well.

This will be followed by an invitation only Welcome Party for out of town writers, competition judges, and underwriters at the residence of Anne and Ron Pincus, 724 Barracks Street, from 5:30 to 7:00. The evening will be free for out of town guests to enjoy a night on the town, dining out and listening to music.

SUNDAY, September 23 will feature advice sessions and manuscript critiques by editors and agents through 4 p. m. in the Provincial Hotel’s meeting room.

On Sunday evening The Society and its guests will be looking at the world through the rose-tinted lenses of literature at the gala annual meeting and fundraiser, Faulkner for All, which has a 2018 theme of “Everything’s coming up roses.” The event will take place at the historic Ursuline Convent Complex, with the awards program to begin in the Convent’s attached St. Mary’s Chapel. The focus Faulkner work this year is his southern Gothic short story, A Rose for Emily, which includes noir humor as well as traditional horror elements. The distinguished author, poet, and playwright John Biguenet, emcee for the evening, will discuss the rose as a symbol in literature through the ages and Faulkner’s story as a lead in to a staged reading from the story arranged by professional actor Michael Arata. A special feature of the annual meeting will be the auction of the
annual Faulkner painting to benefit the Faulkner Society’s projects for readers, writers, and those at risk for illiteracy. Each year, the Society invites a Louisiana artist to create a painting of William Faulkner, who wrote his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay while living on Pirate’s Alley in 1925. This year’s painting has been created by noted New Orleans artist Frederick Guess and it depicts
the young Faulkner with a rose in hand, for Emily, of course.

The fundraiser following will take place in the lovely, tented Convent Garden. The rose theme will be carried out in décor, cuisine, signature drinks, and even in some of the music for the evening. Patron gifts for the event are rose-tinted sunglasses. Noted New Orleans artist Frederick Guess is creating this year’s Faulkner painting for auction to benefit the Society and it will depict a young Faulkner with a rose for Emily.

Guests of Honor at both the Opening Sessions and at Faulkner for All will include Faulkner scholars Thomas & Judith Bonner who have re-published the famous book Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles created by Faulkner and his New Orleans landlord and pal, the artist William Spratling, to poke fun at their friends in the bohemian literary community of New Orleans in the 1920s. The book had gone out of print and the Bonners have re-issued it in a delightful new edition which also contains their editorial commentaries.

MONDAY, September 24, literary discussions will begin at 10 a. the historic Quadroon Ballroom, Bourbon Orleans Hotel. The day will begin earlier at 8:00 a. m. with  continental breakfast and
Advise & Consent, advice session and manuscript critiques in the meeting room of the Hotel Provincial.

On Monday evening, sponosrs, competition winners, judges, and featured writers will be guests for tea and cocktails at Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley, at 6 p. m. Out of town guests are on their own for the evening to enjoy New Orleans, celebrating its 300th anniversary this year!

TUESDAY, September 25, The day will begin  at 8:00 a. m. with  continental breakfast and
Advise & Consent, advice session and manuscript critiques in the meeting room of the Hotel Provincial. Literary discussions will take place from 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. at The historic Presbytere and will feature this year’s competition judges, authors Ladee Hubbard, Zachary Lazar, Moira Crone, John Biguenet, M. O. Walsh, Rodger Kamenetz, Peter Cooley, and Laura Lane McNeal. They will appear with their winners. Following these sessions, there will be a champagne luncheon in the private Green Room upstairs at Tableau, with toasts to Mr. Faulkner by guests who will be called on at random to recite their favorite Faulkner quote in 30 seconds or less.

ADVISE & CONSENT SESSIONS will take place Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Literary editors and agents will advise writers hoping to improve their work and get it published and hopefully consent to take on writers whose work is ready for publication as clients.

Invited literary professionals include agents Laurie Chittenden, Katherine Fausett, Lisa Leshne, and Michelle Tessler. Editors include Sara Carder, Brenda Copeland, and Lauren Wein. The literary marketing guru Shari Stauch will be leading daily advice and critique sessions for writers featuring these editors and agents.

To receive your invitation, send your e-mail and snail mail addresses to

Competition Winners:

The Society will pay transportation up to $500 and hotel accommodations at the lovely boutique hotel in the French Quarter, the Provincial for the winner. Runners-up will be our guests for all of the events but must pay their own travel and hotel expenses. Others on the short list who wish to attend will received a discount of 50% on the writers package for the occasion. The package includes manuscript critiques. Literary agent Katherine Fausset will be critiquing winners and runners-up of all categories. Other agents, editors are to be announced.Other finalists can enjoy a 25% discount off the $475 writer package price; semi-finalists are offered a 10% discount.

Writers should plan to arrive on Saturday, September 22 by mid-day to attend an afternoon keynote.

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