Ben Phillipe’s short story “Momentum” was chosen as the winner of our 2013 Fiction Contest by judge and Pulitzer-prize winner Michael Cunningham. Thanks to your contributions we are able to administer the writing contest that gave Ben his incredible first break into publishing.

 “Winning the Tennessee Williams Festival’s Fiction Contest is a credit that will never fade from my resume. Days after returning home from New Orleans, I had an introductory email from the William Morris Endeavor agency, introducing themselves to me! You have accomplished something special—something that other festivals have not come close to replicating.”  — Ben Philippe, MFA candidate, Class of 2014, Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin

Elena Passarello was the first female winner of our Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest, an experience which she chronicles in her debut non-fiction work Let Me Clear My Throat. She returned to the Festival in 2013 as a speaker and instructor for our writeNOW high school education outreach field trip.

“I spent an afternoon with the engaging students of Lusher Charter School, read hilarious marginalia in a performance that included Oscar- and Tony-winning actors, sat on a highly-charged forum on contemporary nonfiction, and cheered on Jackson Square’s liveliest from the balcony of the Shouting Contest. And between all these inspiring opportunities were practical panel discussions, amazing bouts of performance art, and camaraderie with both readers and participants in my field. I treasure the Festival because of its inclusiveness, its savvy, and its playfulness, and I can’t wait to come back again and again.” — Elena Passarello, 2013 Festival author

“Very impressive! The depth of talent is amazing. Thank you!”—Judy Andry, New Orleans, LA

“First class! Please continue with the fantastic NOLA writers and poets who feed our souls”—Dr. Ann Browning Masters, St. Augustine, FL

“I learned a lot of new techniques for writing and a lot about writing in general. I take a creative writing class at Lusher, so having writers talk and help me was an excellent learning experience.”—Kyree Magee, Lusher student

“I look forward to the Festival every year. Douglas Brinkley was wonderful. The ‘I Remember Tennessee’ panel was a joy, and the moderator was excellent. I can’t believe you managed to find panelists that knew Tennessee.”—Julie Thompson, Marietta, GA

“I am back in cold and dreary NYC and thinking longingly of wonderful New Orleans. I had a fantastic time and wanted to thank you so much for inviting me and making me feel so welcome. The Festival was beautifully organized and run, the hotel was superb and the program was very interesting. I did the Tennessee Williams walking tour and learned so much.”—Ayesha Pande, agent and Festival speaker, New York, NY

This is a fabulous festival for me as a teacher, a writer, and a reader of literature. It is as fabulous for my husband, who is a voracious reader of history, geography, and the outdoors and who is an accomplished cook and music buff. — Beth Torrison, Madison, WI

The 2012 Festival was the best so far – a beautiful blend for reading and writing participants. It began with a bang on Thursday, and continued through Saturday’s readings, concluding with a bang, band, bang on Sunday! — Elizabeth Clemens, Knoxville, TN

The Festival’s mood, volunteers, pace, and locations were all relaxed, graceful, gorgeous, and surprisingly well-organized. — Denise M. Colby, New Orleans, LA

Congratulations on another fabulous Festival! Kudos to your expert fest planning and panache. It was all so civilized and lovely, and as usual, I learned so much. — Karen Kern, Arts Council of New Orleans

Great Playwrights! Great Actors! Great Authors! Great Chefs! Great Music! Great Time! I loved being a participant, I loved being in the audience. I loved it all! — Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, Baton Rouge, LA

As always, this Fest is one of the highlights of living here — only Jazz Fest can compare. A true JOY to attend. — Debbie Lindsey, Where Y’at Magazine

It was, in a word, superb.  — David Cuthbert, Times-Picayune

We wish we were still in NOLA. Thank you for a fabulous festival — informative, engaging, entertaining, humorous, touching, provocative, challenging. All this and more. Thank you very much. — Anonymous

Each year it gets better. I’ve attended for twenty years. And look forward to it. I am never disappointed. Thanks for all your hard work. — Anonymous

Congratulations to all for putting on such an enjoyable, worthwhile, well-organized event. It is a real contribution to the city of New Orleans. — Anonymous

I was positively blown away by the entire experience — the venues, the speakers, the organization. Everything appear seamless and that is the mark of a good production.  — Amanda Courtney, Hammond, LA

As a first timer, I really enjoyed the experience. I like that there was a variety of classes/interviews to choose from on many areas of literature. — Anonymous

It was fun, enlightening, informative, and inspirational. Put me down for next year. — Anonymous

A least favorite moment: Hearing it all end and going home. — Anonymous