Festival Programming

Get to know our programming:

Writer’s Craft Series

Our Writer’s Craft Series features award-winning writers sharing their experience and expertise. Open to the public, it is perfect for writers of any skill level, as well as literary lovers who want to hear their favorite author speak.

The usual schedule is four sessions on Thursday and four on Friday of the Festival, and they are 75 minutes long. Authors usually sign books after their Writer’s Craft session.

How to attend:

  • All Writer’s Craft sessions are open to the public.
  • Tickets on sale in January.
  • Writer’s Craft sessions are $25 each.
  • Writer’s Craft sessions are also included in the VIP Pass.

Literary Discussion Series

Our Literary Discussion Series features a wide variety of topics led by writers, publishers, scholars, and other literary professionals. Open to the public and held Friday through Sunday of the Festival, these 25+ discussions are 75 minutes long. 

Panels typically include discussions on the craft (memoir, poetry, historical fiction, mystery writing, etc.), New Orleans history and culture, current trends in the literary world, and other topical discussions. 

Our LitPass also includes our Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference, a daylong presentation of panels by some of the country’s foremost Williams scholars, but you don’t have to be a scholar to attend. The TWSC is fun and informative and open to everyone who’s interested in learning more about Tennessee.

How to attend:

  • All Literary Discussions are open to the public.
  • LitPasses are $100 to attend the full discussion series Friday through Sunday (25+ discussions) and are on sale in August.
  • Literary Discussion DAY Passes are $40 and admit you to a single day’s worth of Literary Discussions on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • Single Literary Discussion tickets are $10 each if you just want to attend a few specific panels. These go on sale in February.
  • Literary Discussions are also included in the VIP Pass.


Our Theatre events range from full productions by our partnering theatre companies to one-acts, staged readings, and original content and performances.

Our usual theatre events include a theatre event for opening night; a full production of a Williams play The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans ; “Tennessee X Three,” a staged reading of three Williams one-acts by The NOLA Project; a staged reading of the winning one-act play from our annual writing contest; plus other staged readings, theatre panels, and sometimes workshops.

In 2023 we launched The Last Bohemia Fringe Festival, with non-traditional performances and productions, held Thursday – Saturday nights of the Festival weekend.

How to attend:

  • All theater events are open to the public.
  • Tickets will go on sale in January for most theater events.
  • Tickets are sold individually for theater events and prices vary.
  • Tickets to all theater events, including most full productions by our partnering theater companies, are typically included in the VIP Pass

Special Events

Our Special Events include some of our most beloved annual programming, such as:

  • Opening Night – held the Wednesday night of the Festival, usually featuring theater, literary, and/or musical performances.
  • Books and Beignets – book club discussion held on the Saturday morning of the Festival
  • Culinary Events – featuring New Orleans chefs with recent cook books, plus samples!
  • Annual Tennessee Williams Tribute Reading, featuring the biggest names of the Festival all on one stage sharing excerpts from Williams’ plays, stories, poetry, letters, and journal entries.
  • Drummer and Smoke – music event held on the Sunday of the Festival featuring New Orleans-area musicians in performance at the Palm Court Jazz Café
  • Plus, author interviews, special performances, a writing marathon, and our annual Stella Shouting Contest!

How to attend:

  • All special events are open to the public.
  • Tickets to most events are on sale in January.
  • Tickets to Special Events are sold individually and prices vary.
  • Special Events are included in the VIP Pass, with some exceptions.

Walking Tours

We partner with several French Quarter Walking Tour groups who provide specific historical, literary, and cultural walking tours, such as the Tennessee Williams FQ Tour, an LGBTQ+ Historical Tour, Historical Black Storyville Tour, and more.

How to attend:

  • All tours are open to the public.
  • Tickets are on sale in January.
  • Tickets to tours are sold individually and prices vary.
  • Tours are included in the VIP Pass.

Festival Book Fair

Our Festival Bookseller is local independent bookstore, Octavia Books. The book fair is open during the Festival weekend on the mezzanine level of the Hotel Monteleone, our host hotel. The book fair is near our headquarters and the Queen Anne Ballroom, where many of our events will take place.

Authors typically do book signings in the book fair or in a nearby room on the mezzanine.

Saints & Sinners LGBTQ+ Literary Festival

Our LGBTQ+ Festival is held the same weekend as TWFest in the same hotel. The weekend includes a writer’s craft series, panel discussions, author readings, book pitch sessions, social events, a book launch, and a SASFest Hall of Fame Induction. Registration and details at sasfest.org.


For more Festival info, check out these resources:

About the Fest

Previous Year’s Program – full color version of our most recent program book

Festival History – 38 years of TWFest!