Our Mission


The Festival’s mission is threefold: to serve the community through educational, theatrical, literary, and musical programs; to nurture, support, and showcase regional, national and international writers, actors, musicians, and other artists; to honor the creative genius of Tennessee Williams, who considered this city his spiritual home.


  • Brings more than 130 authors, actors, and musicians to the Festival for our five-day event.
  • Provides professional writing education to more than 200 area students.
  • Supports year-round literary programs in the community.
  • Nurtures up-and-coming literary and theatrical talent through our contests and readings, which bring in more than 1,700 poems, short stories, and one-act plays.
  • Creates a total economic impact on our city of over 1 million dollars during the five-day event.

Committed to Community

TWFest believes a diverse representation of voices, equitable access, and inclusive  practices are all vital to sustaining a vibrant arts and culture community.

Awards and Accolades

  • Received the prestigious Louisiana Governor's Art Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Arts Organization in 2008.
  • Earned the James Patterson Page-turner Award for excellence in finding innovative and effective ways to spread the joy of reading to the public in 2006.
  • Named one of the top ten literary festivals in the nation by USA Today.
  • Named one of the "Six Literary Festivals Around the World You Can't Miss" by Afar Magazine.
  • Named one of the Best Writing Conferences in America by The Writer magazine.
  • Executive Director Paul J. Willis awarded the Triangle Publishing Leadership Award, 2019.
  • Managing Director Tracy Cunningham awarded the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities "Light Up for Literacy" Award, 2022.