Mississippi Arts Commission grant helped fund Faulkner Literary Fest, currently under way for 2022

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Writing, reading, photography, art,  and music are all part of the annual Faulkner Literary Fest and Competition in New Albany.  The Mississippi Arts commission has awarded the festival and competition a grant that will be used for programming during the festival from July through October.

The grant totaling $4,500 is part of the more than $1.65 million in grants MAC awarded in fiscal year 2022-23 and was awarded to finance speakers, exhibits, musicians, writing workshops and other programming for the festival.

“We are pleased to provide support for the arts organizations throughout the state who inspire and serve their communities every day, “said Sarah Story, executive director of MAC.  “These funds will help organizations continue to create innovative exhibitions, performances and programming for millions of people to enjoy throughout the next year.”

A season of literary-focused community events, July to October

The William Faulkner Literary Competition began on the 100th birthday of the New Albany native in 1997, and 2022 marks the 25th year for the festival, said Jill Smith, director of the Union County Heritage Museum  who works with the Literary Committee to administer the competition and festival.

“The committee is very grateful to the Mississippi Arts Commission for this grant and we planned many good things  related to the arts for our community.”

A lot has been planned for Literary Fest 2022 in New Albany.  “We try to include something for all ages and interests as much as possible to celebrate creativity and the arts,”  Smith said

  • The exhibit “Visual Storytelling: Six Mississippi Voices” opened in July and is part of the annual programming.
  • Faulkner biographer Carl Rollyson ‘s book talk and book signing was on July 19 is another event.
  • The August Museum moments featured Kate Stewart discussing the Faulkner book Intruder in the Dust : Young Detectives of Faulkner and Nancy Drew.
  • Among other included activities: writing workshops for children and song writing programming with the season two of Beyond the Tracks.

Still to come this year are:

  • An exhibit featuring the work of artist and photographer Bill Stieber of Nashville will open September 8th, exhibiting his photographs of blues performers from the area as well as his unique artwork of portraits that he has created using bits and pieces of objects from the locations where the blues performers lived and played from the Delta to the Mississippi Hills to Beale Street.
  • More than $6,000 is awarded to winners of the annual literary competition to people all over the world. This year’s annual Literary Luncheon will be on Thursday, September 22, 2022, 12 noon at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.  Humor writer Harrison Scott Key is the featured speaker.  Tickets are now on sale.

Thinking of writing a short story or novel? Go to www.williamfaulknerliterarycompetition.com  –  to plan your entry for next year’s competition and for details.


Jill Smith, Director

Union County Heritage Museum

114 Cleveland Street

New Albany, MS 38652