Pirate's Alley Faulkner SocietyWords & Music


Who We Are

          The Society



What We Do


Juleps in June

Words & Music

W&M Faculty:
Authors, Scholars,
Visual Artists, Performers

W&M Faculty:
Agents & Editors

W&M Full Schedule

Schedule At A Glance

W&M Pricing

W&M 2012: Good
Books For Homework

Little Literary Gems
For Writers

Book Order Form

Krewe of Libris

The Double Dealer




The Faulkner Society's 2012

A Lesson Before Dying

Is Presented with a Grant From

National Endowment for the Arts


Arts Midwest


Institute of Museum and Library Services

Our Special Thanks to BIG READ Partners:

The State Library of Louisiana
The Louisiana State Museum
Jefferson Parish Public Library
New Orleans Public Library
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The University of New Orleans
Tulane Univeristy
Loyola University
The Guardians of the Flame/Guardians Institute
The Roots of Music
The New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation

The Pabst Brewing Company
Is A Host
Words & Music, 2012 Entertainment Events

These programs are supported by grants from
The Louisiana Division of the Arts,
Office of Cultural
Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
In cooperation with the
Louisiana State Arts Council



A Literary Feast in New Orleans

November 28 - December 2, 2012

New and established writers join dedicated readers in a unique multi-arts festival 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.

Words & Music, 2012 to Use Good Literature as a Vehicle

For Time Travel Back Through History and Into the Future

The Faulkner Society’s annual Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans
will open on Wednesday, November 28 — Sunday, December 2.  Bookends for the five day program packed with special events for both writers and dedicated readers are a free Master Class for Writing Students and Teachers featuring Louisiana literary master Ernest Gaines—author of A Lesson Before Dying, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and A Gathering of Old Men—and the Society’s traditional How to Read Faulkner and Love It and farewell cocktails for out of town festival faculty and guests at Faulkner House. This year’s special homage is co-sponsored by the English Speaking Union and will feature English author and performer Simon Claxton whose life was changed dramatically by an encounter with Mr. Faulkner.
Programming for the general reading public will include appearances by

The theme for Words & Music, 2012 will be Literature Out of Time, focusing
primarily on literature about eras other than the present, including both revisits
of the past and fictional explorations of what the future my hold.

Delving into the past will be such eminent scholars as Dr. Lawrence Powell of Tulane University, author of The Accidental City, a must for those who would understand how New Orleans came into being; Freddie Evans Williams, author of the new history, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, who connects practices in Congo Square of New Orleans with practices in Africa; Dr. John Shelton Reed of the University of North Carolina, author of Dixie Bohemia, a marvelous new book about the literary renaissance of New Orleans in the 1920s centering on Faulkner when he was living on Pirate’s Alley and writing his first novel Soldiers’ Pay and his talented crowd of mentors and pals; Rich Cohen, author of The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King, a biography of Samuel Zemurray, a penniless immigrant when he arrived in New Orleans who became the city’s most famous entrepreneur and one of the richest and most powerful people in the world as he battled and conquered the United Fruit Company; Washington Post Writer-at-large Marie Arana, author of two critically acclaimed novels, Cellophane and Lima Nights, both set in her native Peru, whose new project is a biography of Simon Bolivar; and Dr. Lori Carson of Duke University, whose new fiction project, A Stitch in Air, is set in and around a convent in 16th century Spain.

Reaching into their imaginations to time travel to the near future will be such authors as Robert Penn Warren prize winner, Moira Crone, whose new novel is The Not Yet, and Sanem Ozdural—a native of Turkey, who has lived in New Orleans and worked as a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office in the past and now practices law in New York—with a debut novel is LIGA (an acronym for The Life Game), both intricately crafted and revolving around the quest for immortality.

Among other celebrated authors participating are Pulitzer Prize novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who explores the cultures of both a pre-Castro Cuba and the Cuban-American Culture in his fiction; Pulitzer Prize critic Jonathan Yardley, author of the new collection, Second Readings; the author of New York Times bestselling novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, Stanford University professor and fiction writer Adam Johnson, whose book takes readers on an imaginary trip through the multi-generation political dynasty controlling North Korea;Justin Torres, author of 2011’s “it” book with literary critics, a treasure of a literary rap, We the Animals; Vice President and senior editor for the Penguin Group, Carole DeSanti, whose debut novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R., is set in 19th century France and is well known as an editor for championing fiction by and about women; Patty Friedmann, whose darkly humorous novels are set in the recent past of New Orleans; Southern University writer-in-residence Ernest Hill, author of six novels, including his debut Satisfied with Nothin’ compared often to such classics as Native Son and Invisible Man; Tulane University’s Dr. T. R. Johnson, Director of the Writing Program, and his colleague Dr. Nghana Lewis, who is especially well versed in the work of Ernest Gaines; Hal Clark, award-winning playwright, author of Fishers of Men, performed recently to sell-out audiences, and WYLD-RadioTalk Show Host; playwright Rosary O’Neill, founder of Southern Repertory Theatre, who has published 21 plays including Marilyn/God, performed recently by Southern Rep; John Biguenet, internationally acclaimed translator, poet, fiction writer, and author of Shotgun and other prizewinning plays; Michael Malone, author of the southern classing Handling Sin and many other wonderful novels, including a memorable mystery trilogy; Lucy Ferris, a past winner of the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for best novel and author of the new novel The Lost Daughter, which flashes back to the earlier lives of a man and woman, who abandoned a baby daughter to die; and Kathleen George, the well-known, prize-winning mystery writer, whose new novel is Simple, revolving around a death which might prove to be a political scandal.

The other side of Words & Music is the schedule of events for writers, this year featuring 16 top-notch literary agents and editors, who will critique manuscripts in advance of Words & Music and then meet with their assigned writers in one-on-one sessions during the conference to advise authors how to improve their work and get it ready for publication. Additionally, we will be presenting a series of master class and workshop sessions, and several sessions devoted to lliterary art for both readers and writers under the category of The Aesthetics of Literature. Renowned literary critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Yardley, for instance, will be doing a session on the art of reading, taking the text of A Lesson Before Dying to demonstrate how to read great literature, either simply for pleasure or to understand what makes a good book so that writers can learn
how to improve their own work by example. For our working schedule of events, Click Here! To learn which agents and editors are coming this year, Click Here!


Writers who wish to have work critiqued should register and submit prior to October 15. (The old deadline
was September 25. Because we are behind on completing our schedule, we are extending the deadline.) For submission guidelines, Click Here!

Click Here! for information about 2012 Pricing, both for packages and a la carte selections

The Faulkner Society has been awarded a BIG READ grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to focus on A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines in a project to promote reading of good literature by middle school and high school students in the greater New Orleans area.  The A Lesson Before Dying BIG READ will open with an orientation event for teachers who have signed up to participate in the project on September 26 at the Jefferson Parish Regional Library. Featured speaker will be Dr. Ngana Lewis. A Public kick-off for the project will take place on October 14, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in The Cabildo. Both of these projects will set the stage
for appearances by Mr. Gaines and by scholars and authors discussion his work during Words & Music, 2012.

Faulkner Society events are made possible in part by important support from The Arts Council of New Orleans and the Decentralized Arts Funding Program of The Louisiana Division of the Arts; Bertie Deming Smith and the Deming Foundation; Randy Fertel and the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation; The Hearst Corporation and Debra Shriver; the J. J. and Dr. Donald Dooley Fund and Samuel L. Steele, III, Administrator; Michael Harold, E.Quinn Peeper and the English Speaking Union; Rosemary James, Joseph J. DeSalvo, Jr., and Faulkner House, Inc;
Arthur & Mary Davis, Quint Davis, and Pam Friedler; Alexa Georges; the Louisiana State Museum;The State Library of Louisiana; Hotel Monteleone; Mr. & Mrs. Hartwig Moss, III; Theodosia M. Nolan, Tia and James Roddy, and Peter Tattersall; Parkside Foundation; Anne Simms Pincus and Ron Pincus; Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre; Anne and Ron Pincus; Other Press, a Division of Random House; David Speights; Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture: Nancy Cater, Editor; the State Library of Louisiana; Judith "Jude" Swenson in memory of her late husband, James Swenson, and the law firm of Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles.

Reservations & Ticketing

Tickets for Words & Music, 2012 went on sale June 1. If you prefer, you can register directly with us by snail mail or e-mail to faulkhouse@aol.com. Because of the heavy fees charged by credit card companies, checks are appreciated. A working schedule of sessions is posted and will be updated daily between now and the opening of the festival. Our pricing schedule is somewhat complicated because of the different audiences we are serving. You may want to review the schedule for 2012 before registering. We do not accept credit cards for less than $50 so if you are registering for a single discussion or master class, for instance, register directly with us at the door for the event or by mailing us a check to Words & Music, 624 Pirate's Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116 with your registrtion form.

Words & Music Quick Links       




NOTE: Faulkner finalists enjoy 50% discount off tuition! If you plan to attend this year's Words & Music, you MUST print a registration form and mail it to us with your fees. If you are a scholarship or competition WINNER, your basic tuition fee (including manuscript critique) is waived, but we must still have a registration form in our office ASAP so we have a clear idea of how many will be attending. This event IS expected to sell-out!

Faculty Sneak Peek

Click on FACULTY to see bios and photos of the authors presenting. Click on AGENTS & EDITORS for bios of those joining us this yearl

Dates & Details

Confirmed Dates for Words & Musi, 2012 are November 28 - December 2.

A working schedule is posted now and has a complete list of events, although there are some faculty
yet to be added and other additions to be made such as specific venues for events.


The Hotel Monteleone—a National Literary Landmark and the favorite inn for generations of writers, including William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, and Richard Ford—was a co-sponsor of Words & Music, 2009 and is always among important venues for the festival, with a special conference rate.

Come to The Big Easy and Find
Your Literary Voice...
Like Faulkner and Hemingway and Other Famous Writers Have!

Words & Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans is the result of our American dream. It includes sessions for writers conducted by literary masters, who also hold forth on timely theme material of interest to the general reading public. Words & Music is a feast for the ears, the eyes, the soul with its examination of fiction, non fiction, and new phenomena within the literary and communications arena and its photographic art exhibitions, film sessions, drama, poetry readings at the cocktail hour, great music, dancing, and the renowned cuisine of New Orleans. For a guide to the Big Easy CLICK HERE!

2012 Pricing

In addition to the discussion events of Words & Music you may also choose from a variety of luncheon and evening events, all of which feature music, food and wine. We have package prices if you want to take in all of the events of Words & Music. Submit your credit card reservations by fax, phone, or mail. Check and money orders also accepted by mail. For more info on conference pricing, CLICK HERE. To print your easy reservation form: CLICK HERE


A limited number of scholarships are available for Louisiana high school and college students and older writers currently in a creative writing program.To print your scholarship application, CLICK HERE

IMPORTANT! NEW Manuscript Critique Guidelines

If you wish to submit work for critiques by an agent and editor, please note that the rules have changed! We require that everything be submitted electronically, with one hard copy of all documents MAILED TO OUR OFFICE. Review the guidelines below and then submit the required documents in a single attachment; contact sheet first, then synopsis if applicable, then writing sample.

1. Write a cover letter in the body of your email to Words & Music stating that you are attending the conference and wish to have manuscript critiques and consultations. You may name the editor and agent you wish to speak with, but please note, these are on a first-come first-served basis. (This also will be the first page of your snail-mailed copy.)

2. With the email letter, you will need to include the following as a single attachment  MS Word document: (Regardless of Category, one copy of entire submission).

a. For Novel, novella, or novel in progress, memoir, history, biography: Contact sheet (your name and all contact info, name of work, type of work, estimated word count of completed manuscript); synopsis (not more than one page single spaced or two pages double-spaced) and 25 to 30 pages, usually first couple of chapters, or some pages you feel are the best example of your writing skills. Total submission 7,000 words, double spaced, one inch margins.
b. For Short Story, Essay, Journalistic Feature (such as travel writing), or Criticism: Contact sheet, and entire manuscript.
c. For Poetry: Contact sheet, and selection of three poems.

3. All submissions must be in our hands by William Faulkner's Birthday, September 25, 2011, drop dead deadline. Send your electronic submission to: faulkhouse@aol.com and put "Manuscript Critiques" in your message header. Put your cover letter in the body of the email. For the hard copy, mail your cover letter and all applicable documents to: Manuscript Critiques, Faulkner Society, 624 Pirate's Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116

4. You must register with tuition fee before or simultaneously with this electronic submission.  Only competition winners, and Louisiana writers approved by sponsors for scholarship participation may submit for manuscript critiques without paying a tuition fee. Click on Pricing for details.

When you come to the conference, bring several hard copies of your submission, in case you meet agents other than those to whom you are assigned and would like to request that they review your work. Also bring several copies of completed manuscripts being critiqued in the event the editor or agent wants to see the entire work. Agents are very relaxed about looking at submissions not assigned to them, as a rule, and are willing to be approached, as, of course, they all hope to sign new clients from the conference. Please do not hesitate to approach them between 9 a. m. and 5 p. m.

Please do not hesitate to e-mail us at info@wordsandmusic.org with any questions. Fall back e-mail, Faulkhouse@aol.com.

History & Mission of Words & Music

The Society created Words & Music in honor of the 100th birthday of its namesake, Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. For an inside look at the event's exciting history, CLICK HERE!
To learn more about the mission of the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, CLICK HERE!


Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society
624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
phone: (504) 586-1609 or (504) 525-5615
fax: (504) 522-9725
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