Tell me more about Tennessee

Playwright Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. After college, he moved to New Orleans, a city that would inspire much of his writing and that he considered his “spiritual home”. On March 31, 1945, his play, The Glass Menagerie, opened on Broadway and two years later A Streetcar Named Desire earned Williams his first Pulitzer Prize. Many of Williams’ plays have been adapted to film starring screen greats like Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Williams died in 1983.

When is the Festival?

Thomas Lanier Williams III—or as he’s better known, Tennessee Williams—was born on March 26th, 1911. The Festival is usually set for the last weekend of March in celebration of Tennessee’s actual birthday.

The 31st annual Festival is set for  March 22 – March 26, 2017.  Future dates are planned as follows. Please be advised that these dates are tentative and subject to change.

2018:  March 21 – March 25, 2018

2019:  March 27-31, 2019

Does the Festival arrange meetings with agents or for manuscript submissions?

The Festival does occasionally have manuscript meetings (every few years). Please check the schedule for details about specific events.

Does the Festival recommend any hotels?

The Hotel Monteleone is the official host hotel. They can be contacted at or by calling 866.338.4684 or 504.523.3341.

How can I get more involved?

Become a Friend of Tennessee. Our Friends, in addition to making a crucial contribution to the Festival, enjoy special benefits such as discounts, advance ticket-buying abilities, exclusive party invitations, and VIP passes. Also, we have lots of volunteer opportunities around Festival time in March.

What is the history of the Festival?

In 1986, Louisiana was in the middle of an extended economic slump. Concerned by the low morale and failing sense of community pride wrought by years of financial hardship, a group of New Orleanians pooled their varied skills to produce an event that would celebrate and share the enormous wealth of cultural traditions that enrich this unique region. The Festival was named to honor the special bond between New Orleans and Tennessee Williams, whose creative genius came to full flower in the city. Williams thereby exemplifies the long history of fertile relationships between artists and Louisiana. From a modest beginning (about 500 audience members enjoyed two days of entertainment), attendance has increased to 10,000 audience seats filled and programming has expanded to five days and nights of activities, as well as a host of special events.

Where is the Tennessee Williams Festival held?

The Festival is held at various locations in the inimitable French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most locations are within easy walking distance of one another. and are excellent resources for information about the city.

How do I buy my tickets for the upcoming Festival?

See our Tickets page for complete instructions.

Do you offer group discounts for schools, book clubs, etc.?

Yes, please contact us at for more information.

How do I register and can I register ahead of time?
There is no registration cost for the Festival. Events are priced individually and also in packages (see next question). Once our box office is open at the start of the year, you may purchase your tickets directly.
How can I get more information on your writing contests?
Our Contests section has guidelines, FAQ, and a list of winners from past years. We strive to announce results by early March. We’re a small office so we ask that you refrain from calling or emailing for results. We promise to announce winners via our website, social media, and e-newsletter as soon as our judges decide.
How can I be a presenter/panelist/performer?

Here’s how to get in touch:

  1. Read our past year’s program. Do you see yourself fitting into the program?
  2. If so, tell us how and why in a mailed proposal with a copy of your book.
  3. Please include your budgetary needs. We are a small non-profit and cannot offer speakers fees.
  4. Mail proposals to our office address to the attention of Paul Willis. We need to read your book(s) so emailing or calling is not useful.
  5. Proposals are accepted from May 1 to October 1. Our program is nearly full by October so the sooner, the better. We will be in touch if we are interested in moving ahead.
Who’s coming to the Festival this year?

Here’s a list of scheduled speakers:

What is the weather in New Orleans like during late March?

In March, New Orleans has an average high temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit, and an average low around 55.