How much does it cost to attend the Festival?

We offer a variety of ticket packages:

VIP Pass ($600) – Admits you to the opening night event, all 8 writer’s craft sessions, over 25 panel discussions, the scholars conference, breakfast book club, literary walking tours, food events, music events, tribute reading, and theater events! You also receive an invitation for 2 to our Donor Party held the Friday night of the Festival at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
Combo Pass ($200) – Access to all 8 writer’s craft sessions, plus all panel discussions, the scholars conference, and the staged reading of the winning one-act play.
Literary Discussion Pass ($100/$70 Student) – Access to all  panel discussions, the scholars conference, and the staged reading of the winning one-act play.
One-Day Literary Discussion Pass ($40) – Entry to a full day of panels for a single day of the Festival.
Single Writer’s Craft Ticket ($25) – Admittance to one Writer’s Craft session
Single Literary Discussion Ticket ($10) – Only available onsite at the Festival box office during the Festival. Not available online. Admits you to one literary discussion of your choice.
Theater (varies) – Individual tickets range between $15-$40.
Walking Tours ($25 to $50) – For each person, per tour. Prices vary based on type of tour.
Scholars Conference Pass ($20) – For a full day of events at our Scholars Conference on Friday during the Festival.
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 32nd annual Festival is set for  March 21 – March 25, 2018.  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

2020: March 25 – 29, 2020

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

The Festival does not arrange for meetings with agents, but we occasionally have short manuscript meetings with publishers (every few years). Please check the schedule closer to the next Festival for details about specific events.

Does the Festival recommend any hotels?

The Hotel Monteleone is our official Festival host hotel. This historic hotel in the French Quarter has long been a favorite of numerous writers, including Tennessee Williams. Festival attendees book at a special Festival rate available by CLICKING HERE.

Visit for more information about the hotel itself or call 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. Click on our VOLUNTEER tab for more details.

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 over 12,000 audience seats filled and programming has expanded to five days and nights of activities, as well as a host of special events. Having celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2016, the Festival is looking forward to more exciting years ahead!

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. is an excellent resource for information about the city.

How do I buy my tickets for the upcoming Festival?

Usually by January we have full ticketing information and online ticket carts available for you to make your purchases. Typically, we offer:

VIP Pass:  admits you to all Festival events Thursday-Sunday (reservations required at the events.)

Writer’s Craft Series Pass:  admits you to all 8 Writer’s Craft sessions (Thursday-Friday).

Literary Discussion Series Pass: admits you to over 25 Literary Discussions (Friday-Sunday).

Combo Pass: admits you to all Writer’s Craft sessions and all Literary Discussions.

Scholar’s Conference Pass: admits you to the Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference held on the Friday of the Festival. Typically includes 3 to 4 panels.

Literary Discussion Day Pass: admits you to the Literary Discussions for one day (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).

Individual Panel Ticket: this individual ticket admits you to one Literary Discussion (not available online–purchase at our on-site box office during the Festival)

Special Event Tickets: available for a variety of special events including coolinary events, Books & Beignets, the Tribute Reading, special interviews and workshops, etc.

Theater Tickets: available for individual theater events throughout the Festival weekend. Note that tickets to some productions will be available only through our partnering theater companies.


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. Our events are all open to the public, and you can attend anything you like by purchasing a ticket.
All events are priced individually so you can customize your Festival experience, but we also offer passes that package certain events together at a reduced price.
Our online box office opens a few months before the next Festival, so watch for news on our website or in our e-newsletter.
How can I get more information on your writing contests?
Our CONTEST tab has guidelines, submission requirements, prize information, and a list of winners from past years for each of our contests. Our contests are designed for emerging writers, and our prizes include cash, publication, Festival passes, a public reading at the next Festival, and more. Our typical submission cycle is from June 1 to November.
How can I be a presenter/panelist/performer?

Published authors are encouraged to look through last year’s program available on our website to familiarize yourself with our master classes, writer’s craft sessions, discussion panels, theater productions, and special events.

After reviewing our programming, submit a proposal by mail that includes the following:

  • Two copies of your completed book (galleys, ARCs, or manuscripts are fine). We will not consider electronic submissions of your book, and we do not accept books that are available only electronic format.
  • A press kit and/or online link to a press kit with your bio, list of previous publications, reviews, etc. and high res author photo.
  • Possible topics which you are available to discuss and/or specific writing workshop material you’re available to present.
  • Details about your ability (or your publisher’s ability) to fund your own travel to New Orleans to promote your book. Note that we are a non-profit organization, and while we do offer a small honorarium for your participation, we do not pay speaker fees.

LGBTQ authors are encouraged to also submit proposals as outlined above to our LGBTQ Literary Festival, Saints and Sinners, which will be held the same weekend as TWFest. Visit our Saints + Sinners website to familiarize yourself with our programming:

Mail proposals to our office at:

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Attn. Paul Willis

938 Lafayette Street Suite 514

New Orleans, LA 70113

Our program fills up quickly, so it’s better to mail your proposal as soon as possible.

Who’s coming to the Festival this year?

Check our Speaker Page for updates for the upcoming Festival. We typically post new program information for the March Festival in September and add to it frequently, so check back often. Also, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media for updates on the Festival. The newsletter link is at the bottom of our homepage.

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. The weather can vary that time of year, so check the forecasts closer to the Festival. Rain is not uncommon, so come prepared with an umbrella or raincoat.

How can I become a Festival intern?

Festival internships are available year-round and cover a wide variety of skill levels and college majors. We work closely with our interns’ schedules to accommodate work and school responsibilities. Internships are available for the full Festival cycle (fall through spring semester), single semesters, and summers. You are NOT required to participate in coursework that requires an internship. In some cases, we offer a stipend. Typical majors associated with Festival internships are English, creative writing, journalism, communications, arts administration, hotel/restaurant/tourism, graphic design, and others related to working in a non-profit arts organization.

The Festival seeks assistance with:

  • Marketing
  • Publicity
  • Patron Management
  • Writing and Editing
  • Event Planning
  • Graphic Design
  • Box Office Management

For more details and a full application, email us at