Veterans Writing Project offers vets a chance to tell their story

  • Published
  • By James Bishop
  • 439th Airlift Wing

During a Veterans Writing Project workshop in Amherst, Mass., while one young veteran was reading a story about his time in Afghanistan, his voice cracked and his face grew red. The room grew silent. Listeners wondered if he would be able to finish. He did continue reading his nonfiction, but it was clearly more than a traditional writers’ workshop for him and for the others.

VWP is a non-profit group which provides free writing seminars and workshops for veterans and their adult family members. Many of the workshops occur in Washington D.C., where they are based, but for vets worldwide, they also publish fiction, nonfiction, songs and poetry from vets and their families.

The organization has three main goals for their creative writing assistance. First is to produce great writing by veterans and their families. The second goal, according to the VWP website, is social: giving Americans who haven’t been to war a glimpse of life in the military. The third goal is to let veterans experience the healing power of simply telling their story.

The VWP publishes both an online and print magazine, O-Dark-Thirty. Vets and their families can submit military-related writing. VWP also offers professional writing mentors for veterans.

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