• All of our contests open May 1 with October deadlines.
  • The mission of the TWFest Writing Contest is to promote new work from emerging artists.
  • The mission of the SASFest Writing Contest is to promote and publish new work by LGBTQ+ writers.
  • TWFest hosts contest in one-act playwriting, short fiction, poetry, and very short fiction.
  • SASFest hosts contests in short fiction and poetry.
  • TWFest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. SASFest is a program of TWFest.
  • We welcome submissions from around the world.
  • Submissions must be original work and not published in any way. 
  • Please review contest guidelines carefully to avoid disqualification.
  • Our next Festival dates are March 26 - 30, 2025 (TWFest) and March 28 - 30, 2025 (SASFest).
$20.00

The winner will be selected from this year’s submissions of original, unpublished short stories between 3,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of “Saints and Sinners.” This contest would not be possible without a generous grant from The John Burton Harter Foundation.

    The 2024-2025 SAS Short Fiction Judge is Greg Herren

Greg Herren is the author of over 30 novels, 50 short stories, and has edited over 20 anthologies. He has won several awards for his writing and editing, and has been nominated for a multitude of others, including the Shirley Jackson, the Lefty, the Agatha, and the Anthony. His most recent novels are Mississippi River Mischief (October 2023) and Death Drop (November 2023).

    One grand prize of $500 and two second place prizes of $100 will be awarded. In addition, the top stories will be published in an anthology. There will also be a book release party and reading held during the 22nd annual Saints and Sinners LGBTQ+ Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2025. A list of the top finalists will be posted on our website and in our e-newsletter.
 

Eligibility:

  • The annual fiction contest is open to LGBTQ+ authors at all stages of their careers, from all over the globe, with stories in all genres.
  • Only previously unpublished stories will be accepted.
  • Stories that won this contest in previous years are ineligible; their authors remain eligible, but must submit new work.
  • Stories submitted to this contest in previous years that were not finalists are eligible.
  • Stories that have won any other writing contests are ineligible.
  • Stories that do not adhere to the guidelines below will be disqualified. Please review our guidelines carefully. 


 Guidelines:

  • Submissions should be in English, standard manuscript format (double-spaced, one inch margins, 12 point Times or Times New Roman or similar font.)
  • Do not double space between paragraphs. Use indent.
  • Please include a word count on first page under the title.
  • Your name and contact information must NOT appear on the manuscript.
  • No bios or resumes. We only consider manuscript quality.
  • Word Count: 3,000 to 7,000.
  • Submit only original, unpublished short stories.
  • Please spell check and review your submission for typos.  Excessive typos may disqualify your submission.

     

Entry fee: $20 per story. There is no limit on the number of stories each author may enter.

Deadline:  October 1, 2024 through Submittable.

$20.00

This contest would not be possible without a generous grant from The John Burton Harter Foundation. 

The 2024-2025 SAS Poetry Judge is Nikki Ummel

Nikki Ummel is a queer artist and has been published by Gulf Coast, The Georgia Review, Black Lawrence Press, and others. She is the 2022 recipient of the Leslie McGrath Poetry Prize and 2023 recipient of the Juxtaprose Poetry Award for her manuscript, Bloom. Nikki is the co-founder of LMNL, an arts organization focused on readings, workshops, and residencies. She has two poetry chapbooks, Hush (Belle Point Press, 2022) and Bayou Sonata (NOLA DNA, 2023), funded by the New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

Prizes 

  •  One grand prize of $500 and two second place prizes of $100 will be awarded. 
  •  A list of the top ten finalists will be posted on our website and in our e-newsletter.
  •  Finalists will be published in the Saints and Sinners Poetry Chapbook to be distributed at a special reading at the 2025 Festival.     

Eligibility 

  • The contest is open to all LGBTQ+ writers. 
  • Authors who have published in other genres are eligible.
  • Please submit original, unpublished work that has not won other prizes or contests.

 Guidelines 

  • Submit 2-4 original, unpublished poems of any style, written in English, with a combined length of up to 400 lines.
  • Number all pages in your entry.
  • Please use standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia in 12 point font size.
  • Author’s name must not appear on the submission as all entries are judged anonymously.
  • Multiple entries per person and simultaneous submissions accepted. Please notify the Festival if your work is accepted elsewhere.  

Deadline: October 15, 2024 through Submittable.

$25.00

The 2024-2025 TWF Fiction Judge is Chin-Sun Lee

Chin-Sun Lee is the author of the debut novel Upcountry (Unnamed Press 2023), listed among Publishers Weekly’s Big Indie Books of Fall 2023 and Debutiful’s Most Anticipated Debut Books of 2023. She’s one of Poets & Writers’ 5 Over 50 Debut Authors of 2023 and is also a contributor to the New York Times-bestselling anthology Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press/Penguin 2014). Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Rumpus, Joyland, and The Believer Logger, among other publications.
 

Grand Prize

  • $1,500
  • Domestic airfare (up to $500) and French Quarter accommodations to attend the Festival in New Orleans
  • VIP All-Access Festival pass for the next Festival ($600 value)
  • Public reading at the next Festival
     
  • Finalists
       The top finalists will receive a panel pass ($100 value) to the Festival. Their names will be published on our website, e-newsletter, and our social media pages.


    Failure to follow these guidelines may result in entry disqualification.
     

Eligibility 

  • This contest is open only to emerging writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Published books include any book with an ISBN, including self-published. Those who have published books in other genres besides fiction remain eligible.
  • Only previously unpublished stories will be accepted.
  • Stories submitted to this contest in previous years that did not place are eligible.
  • Stories that have won and/or placed in any other writing contest are ineligible. 
  • Students and faculty of the University of New Orleans Film & Theatre Arts Graduate Program and Creative Writing Workshop are ineligible.
  • Unlimited entries allowed. One manuscript per submission. 
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted; please withdraw your submission, and notify the Festival if it is accepted elsewhere.

Guidelines 

  • A submission is one original short story, written in English, up to 7,000 words.
  • The author’s name must not appear on the manuscript or in the file name.
  • Submissions must be typed and double-spaced; pages must be numbered.
  • Please use a standard font, either Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia in 12 point font size.
  • Do not use bold or italics unless necessary.
  • Do not include a cover page. Include your title on the first page of the manuscript.
  • Please do not include professional resumes or biographies with your entry. Entries are judged anonymously; the judges only consider manuscript quality.
  • Please take the judges of the contest into consideration. If you know the judges personally, or have ever attended classes or workshops they instructed, please use manuscripts that the judges would not have seen before.
  • Content is not limited to Tennessee Williams or New Orleans-related themes.
  • Include a word count on the first page.
  • Revisions or edits will not be accepted once submitted for judging.  Writers wishing to submit a revised manuscript must re-enter the contest and pay the submission fee again.
$25.00

The 2024-2025 TWF One-Act Play Judge is Justin Maxwell

Justin Maxwell teaches playwriting in the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His playwriting bookThe Playwright’s Toolbox was published by Applause Books in May 2024. Currently, he’s adapting the Tennessee Williams novelMoise and the World of Reason into a full-length play. His “100 MDQs for Plays of Praise” was presented as part of Erik Ehn’s 100K project. His playAn Outopia for Pigeons is out from Original Works Publishing, andYour Lithopedion is out from Next Stage Press. His playPalimpsests of Agrippina Minor was awarded at ATLAS-BoR Grant in 2020-21 His prose has appeared in multiple journals including Theatre/Practice, Eleven Eleven, The Fourth River, Minnesota Playlist, Contemporary Theatre Review, American Theatre Magazine, and others. He is a former Co-Chair of the Playwriting Symposium at the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

Grand Prize

  • $1,500
  • Professional Staged Reading at the next Festival
  • VIP All-Access Festival pass ($600 value) for the next Festival
  • Publication in Bayou Magazine


Finalists
  The top finalists will receive a panel pass ($100 value) to the Festival. Their names will be published on our website, e-newsletter, and our social media pages.


Failure to follow these guidelines may result in entry disqualification.

Eligibility 

  • This contest is for emerging or previously unpublished playwrights. Published books include any book with an ISBN, including self-published. Those who have published books in other genres besides playwriting remain eligible.
  • Only plays not previously published, professionally produced, or performed are eligible. 
  • Plays submitted to this contest in previous years that did not place are eligible.
  • Plays that have won and/or placed in any other playwriting contest are ineligible.
  • Students and faculty of the University of New Orleans Film & Theatre Arts Graduate Program and Creative Writing Workshop are ineligible.
  • Unlimited entries allowed. One script per submission.
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted; please withdraw your submission and notify the Festival if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • Plays may not be under option, commission, or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission.
  • If the play was staged for the purpose of providing the author with feedback, such as in a workshop, student showcase, or staged reading connected with a writing program, this is acceptable.


Guidelines 

  • Plays should run no more than one hour in length (one act or approx. 60 pages.)
  • The playwright’s name must not appear anywhere on the script or in the file name.
  • Please use a standard font, either Times New Roman or Arial in 12 point font size.
  • Submissions must be typed in English, and pages must be numbered. 
  • Do not use bold or italics unless necessary to the script. 
  • Do not include a cover page. Include your title on the first page of the manuscript.
  • Please do not include professional resumes or biographies with your entry. Entries are judged anonymously; the judges only consider manuscript quality.
  • Play content is NOT limited to Tennessee Williams or New Orleans-related themes.
  • Revisions or edits will not be accepted once submitted for judging. Writers wishing to submit a revised manuscript must re-enter and pay the submission fee again.
  • We recommend Samuel French formatting guidelines. That guideline can be found at http://www.playwrightslocal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Samuel-French-Formatting-Guide.pdf
  • Include a cast of characters and character descriptions.
$15.00

The 2024-2025 TWF Poetry Judge is Karisma Price

Karisma Price is an assistant professor of English at Tulane University. A poet, screenwriter, and media artist, she is the author of I'm Always So Serious (Sarabande Books, 2023). Her work has appeared in publications including Poetry, Indiana Review, Oxford American, Four Way Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, and elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, was a finalist for the 2019 Manchester Poetry Prize, was awarded the 2020 J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and is the 2023 winner of the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review. A native New Orleanian, she holds an MFA in poetry from New York University, where she was a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow. Karisma is currently writing a television pilot.

 Grand Prize

  • $1,000
  • VIP All-Access Pass ($600 value) for the next Festival
  • Public reading at the next Festival
     

Finalists
   The top finalists will receive a panel pass ($100 value) to the Festival. Their names will be published on our website, e-newsletter, and on our social media pages.


Failure to follow these guidelines may result in entry disqualification.

Eligibility

  • This contest is open only to emerging writers who have not yet published a book of poetry. Published books include self-published books, chapter books, or any book with an ISBN. Those who have published books in other genres besides poetry remain eligible.
  • Only previously unpublished poems will be accepted.
  • Poems submitted to this contest in previous years that did not place are eligible.
  • Poems that have won and/or placed in any other writing contest are ineligible.
  • Students and faculty of the University of New Orleans Film & Theatre Arts Graduate Program and Creative Writing Workshop are ineligible.
  • Unlimited entries allowed. One collection per submission. 
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted; please notify the Festival if a poem or collection is accepted elsewhere.


Guidelines 

  • Submit a collection of 2-4 original, unpublished poems of any style or theme, written in English, with a combined length of up to 400 lines.
  • The author’s name must not appear on the collection or in the file name.
  • Pages must be numbered.
  • Please use a standard font, either Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia in 12 point font size.
  • Do not use bold or italics unless necessary.
  • Give a unique title to the collection of your submission, as well as a title for each individual poem. 
  • Please do not include professional resumes or biographies with your entry. Entries are judged anonymously; the judges only consider manuscript quality.
  • Please take the judges of the contest into consideration. If you know the judges personally, or have ever attended classes or workshops they instructed, please send manuscripts that the judges would not have seen before.
  • Content is not limited to Tennessee Williams or New Orleans-related themes.
  • Include a total line count for the collection on the first page.
  • Revisions or edits will not be accepted once submitted for judging. 
$10.00

The 2024-2025 TWF Very Short Fiction Judge is Annell López

Annell López is the author of the short story collection I’ll Give You A Reason published by the Feminist Press. She’s also the winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. Her work has received support from Tin House and the Kenyon Review Workshops and has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Michigan Quarterly Review, Brooklyn Rail, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Annell received her MFA from the University of New Orleans. She is working on a novel.

Grand Prize

  • $500
  • VIP Pass to the Festival ($600 Value)
  • Public reading at the next Festival
  • Publication in New Orleans Review Archive Features
     

Finalists
  The top finalists will receive a panel pass ($100 value) to the Festival, They will also have their names published on our website, e- newsletter, and our social media pages.


Failure to follow these guidelines may result in entry disqualification.

Eligibility 

  • This contest is open only to emerging writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Published books include any book with an ISBN, including self-published. Those who have published books in other genres besides fiction remain eligible.
  • Only previously unpublished stories will be accepted.
  • Stories submitted to this contest in previous years that did not place are eligible.
  • Stories that have won and/or placed in any other writing contest are ineligible.
  • Students and faculty of the University of New Orleans Film & Theatre Arts and Creative Writing Workshop are ineligible.
  • Unlimited entries allowed. One manuscript per submission. 
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted; please withdraw your submission, and notify the Festival if it is accepted elsewhere.


Guidelines 

  • A submission is one original short story, written in English, up to 1,000 words.
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript or in the file name.
  • Submissions must be typed and double-spaced; pages must be numbered.
  • Please use a standard font, either Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia in 12 point font size.
  • Do not use bold or italics unless necessary.
  • Do not include a cover page. Include your title on the first page of the manuscript.
  • Please do not include professional resumes or biographies with your entry. Entries are judged anonymously; the judges only consider manuscript quality.
  • Please take the judges of the contest into consideration. If you know the judges personally, or have ever attended classes or workshops they instructed, please use manuscripts that the judges would not have seen before.
  • Content is not limited to Tennessee Williams or New Orleans-related themes.
  • Include a word count on the first page.
  • Revisions or edits will not be accepted once submitted for judging.
     
Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival