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