25 May 2016

11th Annual Ride Remembers 'Red Bull' Soldier

Photos: Dan Sesker Memorial Poker Run
Organizers of the 11th Annual Dan Sesker Memorial Poker Run are taking on-line registrations for the Sun., May 29, 2016 event, which takes place during Memorial Day weekend.

The event commemorates Iowa Army National Guard Sgt. Dan Sesker, killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) on April 6, 2006 in the vicinity of Tikrit, Iraq. He was nine days short of his twenty-third birthday.

The event will start and finish in Ogden, Iowa. Day-of-ride registration and sign-in will be 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Ogden city park.

In a poker run, registered participants are dealt random cards and each stop along a designated route. At the final stop of the day, the participant with the highest poker hand wins a pot of cash. Raffles, T-shirt sales, and other fund-raising efforts may also take place during the event. There will be food, drinks, and entertainment at the end of the ride, according to organizers, and the event will be held rain or shine.

James "Juice" Justice and Dan Sesker
Sesker was a member of Troop C, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment (1-113th Cav.), both then and now part of the Iowa's 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division. In his role as a citizen, he was a youth counselor and part-time police officer. He learned his fiancée was pregnant with their first child while he was deployed, and looked forward to his future role as a father. S

esker was friends with many citizen-soldiers, including Staff Sgt. James "Juice" Justice, who was himself killed in action during a later brigade deployment to Afghanistan. Proceeds for 2016 poker run event will go to:
  • The Gage Sesker Trust Fund
  • Iowa C.O.P.S.
  • Sesker Memorial Scholarship
A Facebook page for the event is here.

A website is here.

When available, the 2016 route map will be posted here. Via social media, organizers have announced stops will include:

  • Ogden
  • Boxholm 
  • Grand Junction 
  • Jamaica 
  • Woodward 
  • Ogden

18 May 2016

Lit-Journal to Focus on Military Stories Beyond Service

Faculty editors at the University of Washington—Tacoma have announced "Collateral," a twice-annual on-line journal, published in summer and winter issues. The journal will feature creative writing and art that "explores the impact of the military and military service on the lives of people beyond the active service person." The editors seek fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and art that illuminate these "collateral" narratives.

Submissions are via the publication's website here. Microsoft Word or PDF files are preferred. The journal requests first serial Internet rights. All other rights remain with the author. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable. Notifications within an anticipated average of 8 weeks, depending on time of year.

The publication's mission statement reads:
Collateral explores the perspectives of those whose lives are touched indirectly by the realities of military service. Numerous journals already showcase war literature, but we provide a creative platform that highlights the experiences of those who exist in the space around military personnel and the combat experience. 
We feel these voices sometimes go unheard, and this journal captures the "collateral" impact of military service, whether it is from the perspective of the partner or child; the parent or sibling; the friend or co-worker; or the elderly veteran, the refugee, or the protester. In any issue, you might find the haiku of a seven-year old girl whose father is in Afghanistan alongside the short story of an award-winning fiction writer. Or the first-person essay of a military spouse alongside the critical essay of an academic.
Editors suggest submission of 3-5 poems or 1-3 pieces of prose, with no length requirements.

In addition to creative writing, editors plan to include feature articles and interviews in future issues. Query the editors via e-mail: submissions AT collateraljournal.com.

11 May 2016

Deadline for 5th Mil-Writing Anthology is June 1, 2016

Deadline for submissions to a fifth volume of the series "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors"—an anthology of military-themed fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, oral histories, and photography—is June 1, 2016. The project is open to all military personnel, veterans, and family members.

According to the call for submissions, entrants can submit to a contest in which each category carries a first-prize of $250, or submit to the anthology alone. All entries will be considered for the anthology. There is no entry fee to the contest or publication.

Through the efforts of the Warriors Arts Alliance, the Missouri Humanities Council, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, the first "Proud to Be" volume was published in November 2012.

"[T]his series of anthologies preserves and shares the perspectives of our military and veterans of all conflicts and of their families," reads the Southeast Missouri State University Press contest page. "It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history."

With second, third, and fourth issues, the press established itself as a leading venue for "veterans-lit," consistent in both quality and quantity. In 2014, the press also published "The Shape of our Faces No Longer Matters," a poetry collection by Iraq War veteran Gerardo "Tony" Mena.

Red Bull Rising blog reviews of past issues of the "Proud to Be" anthology appear here and here.

For a 2012 Red Bull Rising interview with series editor Susan Swartwout, click here.

To submit only to the 2016 anthology, mail previously unpublished work with self-addressed, stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.) for notification to:
Warriors Anthology
Southeast Missouri State University Press, MS 2650
Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701
To submit to both contest and anthology, e-mail previously unpublished work to: upress@semo.edu. Also note:
  • Entries must be sent electronically as Microsoft Word files (.doc or .docx).
  • Keep poems in one document (with 1st poem as title).
  • Put your name and contact info on first page and nowhere else on the manuscript.
For all submissions, whether mailed or electronic:
  • Limit one submission in each category per person.
  • Poetry: up to 3 poems (5 pages maximum).
  • Fiction, essay, or interview: 5,000-word limit.
  • Photography: up to 3 good-quality photos (will be printed in the book as black and white).
  • Submissions exceeding the limits will be disqualified.
  • Include a biography of 75 words or less with each submission. Explicitly mention author's connection to military.
  • Winners and contributors will be notified by Nov. 1, 2016.