13 November 2012

Editor: Military-Writing Anthologies Are a 'Triple-Win'

In terms of military writing, November 2012 exploded with the publication of multiple anthologies focused on themes of war, peace, service, and remembrance. Many of these journals have open calls for submission, and are working toward publishing new volumes in 2013.

These include:

Despite looming deadlines, the editors of these respective publications recently offered Red Bull Rising readers their insights into writing for, submitting to, and getting published in journals and anthologies.

This is Part I of a 3-part series of blog-posts resulting from those on-line interviews.


Susan Swartwout is the editor of "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors," a 255-page anthology of veterans' fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published earlier this month by the Southeast Missouri State University Press. (In the interest of full disclosure: The author of the Red Bull Rising blog has a poem that appears in this work.)

The project was undertaken with assistance from the Missouri Humanities Council (M.H.C.) and the Warriors Arts Alliance, the latter a non-profit organization dedicated to building communication and understanding between veterans, families, and communities through creative writing and visual arts.

Swartwout calls anthologies a potential "triple-win" for military writers, families, and members of the public:
[T]he soldier-writer is the expert voice here. Without those voices, the general American citizen remains hugely uninformed about the daily events and the ground-level opinions of our soldiers involved in conflicts. We only hear the news media’s coverage, maybe a few oral stories from friends and family. But little else is actually crafted by the soldiers into a permanent piece of written communication that is published in a professional volume to help inform the public.

The anthology format preserves not only the individual pieces of writing, but also the multiple opinions and viewpoints of involved human beings, all in one artifact. The printed anthology informs the public, allows the soldiers’ and their families’ voices to be heard, and preserves their writing. Triple win.
Swartwout also notes the utility of published credits in marketing oneself or one's work: "For the soldier, or any writer, it never hurts to have a publication credit or two! When one enters the job market—or reenters—publication credits can help make the difference between [one] writer's application and all the others. Businesses like employees who can communicate well in writing."

According to a news release, the road to achieving the final "Proud to Be" product was long and twisted:
The warriors writing project began with Geoff Giglierano, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council, and Deb Marshall, president of The Missouri Writers’ Guild, who paired up to launch a pilot program: The Missouri Warrior Writers Project. The project featured creative writing workshops in veterans hospitals to promote self-expression and confidence, with laptops provided by Missouri Humanities Council and writing instruction by Deb Marshall.

The workshops metamorphosed into the Warriors Arts Alliance and a new project: an annual anthology funded by the Missouri Humanities Council. The Missouri Humanities Council and Warriors Arts Alliance extended their partnership to include Southeast Missouri State University Press and its director Dr. Susan Swartwout, who edited the anthology. The project grew to include a writing contest, judged by stellar writers Mark Bowden (“Black Hawk Down”), William Trent Pancoast (“WILDCAT”), and veteran/poet Brian Turner (“Here, Bullet” and “Phantom Noise”). The title of the anthology emerged from veterans’ comments about the pride they feel in serving their country [...]
The $15 book is available via Amazon as well as directly from the university press.

To help celebrate the anthology's publication, an evening of readings from the book will hosted by the St. Louis Poetry Center Nov. 27, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., The Focal Point events center, 2720 Sutton, Maplewood, Mo. 63143.

Submissions guidelines for the next volume will be published later this month.


Disclaimer: This content regarding military writing is underwritten by Victor Ian LLC, a military media and gaming business. The business publishes Lanterloon, an eclectic lifestyle, technology, and military blog; has a physical retail storefront called "Dragons and Dragoons" located in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and hosts military-writing workshops and other events under the "Sangria Summit" brand name.

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