Saints and Sinners Literary Festival

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Saints and Sinners is an alternative literary festival specializing in LGBT literature, held in various locations around the world-famous French Quarter neighborhood in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana each March.


Founded by Paul J. Willis in 2002 as a way to promote information about HIV and AIDS in literature, Saints and Sinners has since expanded to include works of fiction and nonfiction relating to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues.[1] The Festival provides a forum for the dissemination of ideas and promotes those writers and publishers within the community who have successfully brought the issues of LGBT individuals to the forefront. Workshops and discussion panels are hosted where authors can discuss their works for future and emerging authors as well as fans.[2]

The festival launched the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, a prize to honour a noted LGBT writer's body of work, in 2007.[3] The award was subsequently taken over by the Lambda Literary Awards program in 2011.

Past participants in the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival include Dorothy Allison, Poppy Z. Brite, Patrick Califia, 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Cunningham, 2008 National Book Award winner Mark Doty, Amie M. Evans, Jewelle Gomez, Greg Herren, William J. Mann, Jeff Mann, Martin Pousson, Radclyffe, Michelle Tea, and Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears, among many others.[4]

Saints and Sinners benefits the NO/AIDS Task Force and was designed as an innovative way to reach the community with information about HIV/AIDS, particularly the development of prevention messages via the writers, thinkers, and spokespeople of the LGBT community. Participants provide support to the literary community, the NO/AIDS Task Force, and the economy of the City of New Orleans.

The Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival coordinates the event and provides the staff and resources to make the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival possible. In addition, The Haworth Press Inc. serves as a major sponsor of Saints and Sinners.


  1. ^ "Why the Festival Began". Saints and Sinners Literary Festival website. Retrieved on June 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "Saints & Sinners Literary Festival". New Orleans Retrieved on June 9, 2008.
  3. ^ "Saints and Sinners Literary Festival"., May 8, 2007.
  4. ^ "Past participants". Saints and Sinners Literary Festival website. Retrieved on June 9, 2008.

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