Consider joining the Festival of Words Board of Directors

It’s a great opportunity to meet others who enjoy words and creativity.  And together, we can mastermind ways to bring love of words to the community..

Introduction to the Board of Festival of Words

The Festival of Words has presented literary events in St. Landry Parish and surrounding parishes for over 15 years. It has promoted literacy, creativity, community, and quality writing in adults and teens through readings, musical events, workshops, and guest lectures and presentations in both monthly events and in its November Festival of Words weekend with invited guests from all over the country, with writers such as Clemonce Heard, Darrell Bourque, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Ashley M. Jones. The Festival of Words is dedicated to helping writers, especially young writers, develop their voices through public and school workshops, and in its annual drive-by poetry project. 

Our Mission Statement:  The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective strives to inspire creative expression and a higher level of literacy to residents of St. Landry Parish and throughout Acadiana; the collective will contribute to the advancement of artists as well as the community.

Why join the Board of Festival of Words? 

  • Meet others who enjoy literature (and music) as you do;

  • Invest and give back to your community;

  • Get experience in organizing events;

  • Make connections and reach out to schools (elementary, middle, and high schools)


Monthly poetry readings and open mic. These community events feature local authors, musicians and storytellers.  Open Mics take place at cafes, usually in St. Landry Parish.. The evening always includes  an open mic and a group poem. . There are usually refreshments available, either free or for a fee.

Festival of Words Weekend. Every year, Festival of Words has its special event weekend where invited poets, fiction writers, and/or musicians join us in readings, workshops, classroom visits, our drive-by poetry event for youth and adults, and musical events. This event happens on the first Friday and Saturday in November. 

Words for You Fundraiser: To fund the annual festival, , we rely on grants and our yearly fundraiser. Words for You is an event we hold in September. Each volunteer writer  agrees to create custom poems, short stories, and songs for a patron who donates $50-$100. We host a reading at which all of the volunteer writers and songwriters read the works they have created for their patrons. It is a fun and sometimes moving event.

Board Members Roles

The Board of the Festival of Words needs many people to fulfill its Mission and to ensure the success of its events. 

Board Chair/President. The Board Chair/President most commonly performs the following functions:

  • Serves as the contact point for every board member on board issues;

  • Sets goals and objectives for the board and ensures that they are met;

  • Ensures that all board members are involved in committee activities; assigns committee chairs; and

  • Acts as Spokesperson for the organization.

Vice Chair/Vice President. In absence of Chair, 

  • Coordinates facilitation of board meetings;

  • Ensures agendas and minutes are distributed; 

  • Implements the strategic plan;

  • Reports to the Board Chair; and

  • Works closely with the Board Chair, board members, and organizational staff.

Grant Writer. 

  • Identifies, defines, and develops funding sources to support existing and planned program activities

  •  Leads the development, writing, and submission of grant proposals to federal, state, and private funding agencies.

Secretary. The secretary's duties include

  • Managing internal communications; and

  • Preparing and keeping track of board meeting dates, meeting agendas and minutes from the meeting.

  • Contacting board members to confirm attendance at scheduled meetings

The secretary should attend all board meetings to keep a detailed record of the board's actions.

Social Media Manager. The Social Media Manager is responsible for

  • Implementing the organization's social media strategy;

  • Developing awareness of the Festival of Words and its activities;

  • Generating inbound traffic (i.e., connections;

  • Writing and submitting press releases to print and broadcast media

  • Encouraging attendance, familiarity with the Festival, and sharing of media relating to the Festival’s activity; and

  • Coordinating on-air appearances

  • Leading smaller teams in creating and publishing content about the Festival of Words and its activities and maintaining relationships with communities on multiple platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)

Event manager. This individual (or team) 

  • Coordinates event logistics and publicity, including public relations, advertising and collateral material design, production and distribution;

  • Develops budgets for the event(s) and fulfills and reconciles those budgets with the Treasurer; and

  • Solicits in-kind donations for each event.

Volunteer coordinator

  • Recruits volunteers

  • Defines tasks

  • Organizes volunteer activity at events and behind the scenes

  • Strives to retain volunteer commitment

Board member. Board members are expected to 

  • Attend monthly board meetings;

  • Volunteer for events and tasks when needed; and

  • Vote on and provide input concerning organzationissues.

All of these roles are vital to our success.

Want to Join? Contact Martha at, 337-804-2482

Are you a New Board Member of Festival of Words? 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Attend the Board meetings. They are the first Thursday of the month, 6-7 p.m., currently via Zoom. These meetings are so important to learning the structure of the Board, its activities, its plans, and its challenges throughout the year. 

  2. Participate in the discussions. We need your suggestions, insight, concerns, experience, and questions).

  3. Volunteer for tasks/roles in events. It’s nice to share the role of host for events; those doing publicity need help getting the word out; occasionally we need help shuttling guests to a venue, etc.

  4. Take on a larger role (social media, events manager, etc.).  If you have experience or just want to help with a larger role, it is likely we can use that help.  

  5. Encourage others to join the Board and attend events. The Festival of Words needs an audience, and you can help get people to our events. And maybe you know someone who would be great for our Board!

The Festival of Words has support from several other organizations and institutions and we are always looking for partners. The following have partnered with us to create events and to help us fulfill our Mission Statement: 

  • N-AWP (National Associated Writing Programs)

  • Thensted Center

  • St. Landry Parish Schools

  • Venues throughout Acadiana, including Nunu’s in Arnaudville, Java Square in Opelousas, among others.

Contact information 

Martha Garner,, 337-804-2482

Web site:

Facebook: Festival of Words