What Kinds of People Come to the Hands On Literary Festival?

Writers, scholars, publishers, and artists of all kinds do really well at the festival.

Crowd (1)

The majority of our attendees are authors: novelists and short story-ists, poets, essayists, and playwrights. They come to find new readers for their work and expand their circle of friends, contacts, and allies.

Experienced writers come to give craft talks and lectures, and to present new work. They discover in the festival an intimate, relaxed setting to develop a conversation with their audience.

Student writers and aspiring authors appreciate the friendly, egalitarian air, the feeling that everyone is happy to be supporting and listening to everyone else.

Editors and book-sellers also find the festival a great experience, taking part in panels on the book business as well as doing business of their own inside the festival’s book fair. The festival partners with a wonderful local bookstore, Tubby and Coo’s, who contribute incredible enthusiasm and excitement for all kinds of reading and publishing.

The Hands-On Festival is more like the joyous reunion of a diverse and eccentric literary family than a traditional literary festival. It’s a place to form life-altering friendships, read thrilling new work, and to take risks. I dare you to resist falling in love with at least a half-dozen authors and their books during the course of this festival.

Jeni Wallace is not only adept at plucking brilliant authors to add to her bouquet of speakers and teachers, but she facilitates connections among writers with the dexterity of a social engineer. She consistently handled any challenges that arose with grace and efficiency, making every attendee feel not merely welcome, but adored and included.

Jennifer F. Steil, author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky and the forthcoming The Ambassador’s Wife.

And this is New Orleans. Actors come to present performance pieces, playwrights offer tips on how to stage a great sex scene, and discussions range from income inequality to the analysis of dreams. The festival is flexible and chilled enough to be a great home for your next creative project, whether that project is earnestly traditional or anything but.

The last morning of the festival, the 31st of December, is given over to play readings. The festival participants are usually called up to perform the roles.

At the Burlesque Press Literary Festival, Jeni Wallace manages to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, warm, and in a word, pure magic. (Wait. That’s two words.) In addition to growing as a writer due to the festival, I met some of the most important personal and professional connections of my life. I will be there every year with bells on. And possibly glitter.

Tawni Waters, author of Beauty of the Broken and Siren Song.

The festival runs for three busy days, yet somehow, participants also find time to range all over the city, exploring the world-famous restaurants, bars, literary hang outs, architecture, music, restaurants…

I really like the restaurants in New Orleans. They have so much good food.



If all the above sounds good, maybe it’s time to tell us what kind of reading or performance you’d like to share with us at this year’s festival.

Click the button, below, to send us your proposal!

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