Festival Programming

For the 2023 Schedule of Events, click HERE.

General Info About

Events at our Annual Festival

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 will 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 February.
  • 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. It 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.
  • Literary Discussion Passes are $100 to attend the full discussion series Friday through Sunday (25+ discussions) and are on sale in February.
  • 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.
  • 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.

How to attend:

  • All theater events are open to the public.
  • Tickets will go on sale in February 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 sample!
  • 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, celebrity interviews, special performances, a writing marathon, and our annual Stella Shouting Contest!

How to attend:

  • All special events are open to the public.
  • Tickets are on sale in February.
  • 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, History of Queer Nightlife Tour, and more.

How to attend:

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

Our Festival Bookseller is local independent bookstore, Octavia Books.

Other Programs

Saints & Sinners LGBTQ+ Literary Festival

SASFest celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year! First begun as an initiative to disseminate information on AIDS/HIV with the literary community as a voice, SASFest endured and grew into an internationally recognized festival. 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.

Community Programming

TWFest celebrates writers in New Orleans through several initiatives:

  • Coffee & Craft – a series of free writing workshops taught by New Orleans writers in partnership with Baldwin & Company Coffee & Bookstore
  • WriteNOW – free writing workshops for local high school students
  • Scholarship Passes – free passes to TWFest and SASFest through a grant from The Helis Foundation

We also partner with organizations and universities in the New Orleans area to offer programming, including:

  • The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
  • Beauregard-Keyes House
  • English Departments at Delgado, Dillard, Loyola, SLU, Tulane, UNO, and Xavier
  • Creative Writing Workshop – MFA program at UNO

Our venue partners have included:

  • AllWays Lounge
  • Antoine’s
  • Baldwin & Co. Coffee and Bookstore
  • Broussard’s
  • Café Istanbul
  • Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House
  • Dickie Brennan’s Tableau
  • Muriel’s Jackson Square
  • Palm Court Jazz Café
  • SoBou

Writing Contests

TWFest hosts four writing contests for emerging writers: one-act plays, fiction, poetry, and very short fiction. To qualify, writers must not have a book published in the genre to which they’re submitting and the piece submitted cannot have been published; in the case of the one-act plays, the work cannot have been published, nor had a professional staging of any kind. The contests, therefore, are to encourage and promote writers who are on the cusp of success in those genres, and many of our winners have gone on to great literary or theatrical success, including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, David Linday-Abaire. Contests are open for submissions May through October annually. Details HERE.


For more Festival info, check out these resources:

Festival Brochure – general New Orleans and Fest information.

Previous Year’s Programs – full color versions of recent program books

Festival History – 37 years of TWFest!