Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

SAINTS AND SINNERS LGBT Literary Festival Lineup Announced

SAINTS AND SINNERS LGBT Literary Festival Lineup AnnouncedSaints and Sinners, an annual LGBTQ literary conference, will run concurrently with the The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 23-25, 2018.

Founded in collaboration with NO/AIDS Task Force in 2003, Saints and Sinners (SAS) began as a creative outlet to showcase the vibrant and diverse LGBTQ literary community and offer HIV/AIDS information.

"We started off with a weekend literary festival, and over 15 years it's grown into a year-round community of shared ideals and encouragement," said executive director Paul Willis. "As one of our longtime participants told me, 'Saints and Sinners is a place where writers are reminded why we do what we do in the first place. It reminds us of why we write and why our voices matter in the world.'"

The Festival celebrates this city's longstanding attraction for LGBTQ writers, and offers both established and emerging authors, as well as readers, the opportunity to meaningfully connect, gain information, and nurture their craft skills-and let the good times roll in true New Orleans fashion. In 2018, we're excited to be adding an educational outreach component with support from the Greater New Orleans Foundation's LGBT Fund established by community champions.

A SAS weekend pass ($150) includes our welcome reception, "Glitter with the Literati" on Friday, March 23 at the historic Beauregard-Keyes House & Gardens; panel discussions; a reading series made possible by our premiere sponsor, the John Burton Harter Foundation; the Ninth Annual SAS Short Fiction Contest Book Launch Party in the Hotel Monteleone's Vieux Carre Room; and admission to our Hall of Fame Closing Reception.

The 2018 three-day event includes noted speakers such as:

  • Jericho Brown, Whiting Writers Award-winner and author of the poetry collections Please and The New Testament;
  • Jaffe Cohen, award winning screenwriter (Feud, 2017), author, actor, educator, and the distinction of one of the first openly gay standup comedians on national television;
  • Elana Dykewomon, award-winning author of eight books foregrounding lesbian heroism, including the novels Riverfinger Women, Beyond the Pale and Risk;
  • Jewelle Gomez, author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories, and an activist and playwright. Her play Waiting for Giovanni is a dream play exploring the inner life of author James Baldwin;
  • Greg Herren, author of over thirty novels and fifty short stories. He has won numerous awards, including the Anthony Award, the Lambda Literary Award (twice) and two Independent Press medals for outstanding work in young adult mystery/horror;
  • Andrew Holleran, author of three novels including the seminal work Dancer from the Dance, a book of short stories and a collection of essays on AIDS. He is a regular contributor to the Gay and Lesbian Review;
  • Martin Hyatt, author of award-winning novels, A Scarecrow's Bible (2006), named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association and won the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and his new novel, Beautiful Gravity (2016), also received a Stonewall Honor Book Award from the ALA;
  • Michele Karlsberg, publicity and marketing expert;
  • Barry McCrea, professor of comparative literature at the University of Notre Dame where he teaches on its campuses in Indiana and Rome, and author of the award-winning novel The First Verse;
  • Felice Picano, acclaimed author of over 30 books of poetry, fiction, memoirs, nonfiction, and plays;
  • Radclyffe, author of over fifty romance and romantic intrigue novels, she is an eight-time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery, and erotica-winning in both romance and erotica. She is also the president of Bold Strokes Books, one of the world's largest independent LGBTQ publishing companies;
  • Lauren Sanders, author of the critically acclaimed novels Kamikaze Lust, (Lambda Literary Award), and With or Without You. Her most recent novel is The Book of Love and Hate (Akashic Books October, 2017);
  • Elizabeth F. Schwartz, lawyer and same-sex marriage activist, author of Before I Do; A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise;
  • Martin Sherman, an American dramatist and screenwriter best known for his 20 stage plays which have been produced in over 60 countries. He rose to fame in 1979 with the production of his play Bent, which explores the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust;
  • Tammy Lynne Stoner, author of Sugar Land (Red Hen Press, 2018), publisher of Gertrude Journal, wrangler of GERTIE: A Queer Book Club, and creator of Dottie's Magic Pockets-the first show for kids in gay families;
  • Justin Torres, author of the best-selling debut novel We the Animals and a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop;
  • Nick White, author of the novel How to Survive a Summer and the forthcoming short story collection, Sweet & Low, (Penguin/June 2018).

The Festival features a diverse array of artistic and educational offerings. Saints and Sinners offers two full days' worth of panel discussions, with topics ranging from publishing and marketing to retrospectives on the LGBT movement. Our reading series also takes place both days featuring nearly fifty writers including new voices and literary icons. Panel topics at the 2018 Festival include: Civil Rights in the Era of Trump; LGBT Books that Changed My Life and Influenced My Writing; Queer Fiction as Activism #Resist; We've Been Through This Before: Baby Boomer Lesbians Talk About Writing, Resistance, and Relevance, and many more. There will also be a discussion amongst LGBT playwrights; an opportunity to sign up to pitch your latest book idea; and a workshop with publicist Michele Karlsberg discussing strategies for getting the word out and creating more visibility for you as an author . For a complete schedule visit:

As part of your SAS weekend itinerary, you can purchase tickets for our Saints and Sinners French Quarter Walking Tour ($25). The tour is led by LGBTQ historian Frank Perez who relays the neighborhood's queer history and its rich literary heritage.

All SAS weekend pass holders can also attend any Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Festival panel discussions free of charge. TW/NOLF panelists include: Donna Brazile, Moises Kaufman, Laura Lippman, Calvin Trillin, and many others.

About Saints and Sinners
Since 2003, Saints and Sinners Literary Festival ( brings together the who's who of the LGBTQ literary world. The Festival features panels and writing workshops by authors, editors, and publishers for emerging writers and LGBT literature fans. Follow @SASFest on Twitter and Facebook for updates. #SAS18

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
For more on the Festival, follow us on Twitter at @TWFestNOLA and Facebook. #TWF17

Related Articles View More New Orleans Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You