09 May 2013

Eight Ways to Share Your Military Story, Part II

Editor's note: Much of the following appeared in my classroom materials for an April 2013 military-writing workshop. Fellow writer and journalist Doug Bradley and I presented workshops regarding online-journaling and military-blogging. This version is hyperlinked for easy reference.

For Part I, which first appeared on the Red Bull Rising blog Tues., May 7, 2013, click here.



Literary magazines and journals are periodicals, and are often published by academic and arts programs. Depending on mission, they may publish fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry, and visual art. While general-interest journals may devote a single issue to military themes (recent issues of Epiphany, The Iowa Review, and So It Goes, for example), there seems to be a growing number of journals specifically targeted toward such topics.

The literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project, O-Dark-Thirty is an online journal of lightly edited military-themed fiction, non-fiction, interviews, and poetry (“The Report”); and a more curated quarterly print publication (“The Review”). The publication accepts submissions year-round.

For a 2012 Red Bull Rising interview with Veterans Writing Project founder Ron Capps, click here.

Part of a growing family of campus-based publications started with
The Journal of Military Experience at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kent. Published in 2011, Volume No. 1 included non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and visual arts. Published in 2012, Volume No. 2 included academic papers and scholarly research. Editors continually emphasize the process as much as the product, and look forward to working with new and aspiring writers. In 2013, editors have announced The Blue Falcon, which will focus on military fiction; and The Blue Streak, a journal of military-themed poetry.

For a 2012 Red Bull Rising interview with The Journal of Military Experience's founder Travis Martin, click here.

Founded in 1990, War, Literature & the Arts is an international journal of the humanities published by the Department of English and Fine Arts at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. The annual journal is published both in print and online.

For a 2013 Red Bull Rising profile of the WLA Journal, click here.



Anthologies are one-shot collections of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and/or visual arts.

Published by the Warrior Arts Alliance and Southeastern Missouri University Press in November 2012, "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors" is currently accepting submissions for its second volume of military fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Deadline is July 1, 2013.

For a 2012 Red Bull Rising interview with "Proud to Be" editor Susan Swartout, click here.

Other examples of military-themed anthologies include:



A number of websites offer to repost short anecdotes or descriptions of military service. Always make sure to understand the copyright acquired by such sites. If a given site fails to be able to describe the copyright relationship it wants to establish with you and your work, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Real Combat Life republishes combat narratives from all eras. Successful participants receive a T-shirt.

Reminisce magazine, and its companion Reminisce EXTRA magazine, are published bi-monthly by the same Greendale, Wisconsin-based company that produces Reader’s Digest and The Family Handyman magazines. “Reminisce helps readers ‘bring back the good times’ through true stories and vintage photographs,” the mission statement reads. “Any appropriate photo or memory is welcome, as long as it originated from 1900 through the 1970s.”

The editors look for a first-person, conversational voice, as well as the possibility of supporting artwork or photography. It does not purchase freelance material, but instead relies upon reader submissions. Submissions are usually 700-words or less.

In addition to oral histories, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project accepts other historical items and records, including biographies of 20 or more pages (5,000 words or more).

According to the website:
The focus of the Veterans History Project is on first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans who served in World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), the Korean War (1950-1955), Vietnam War (1961-1975), Persian Gulf War (1990-1995) or the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts (2001-present). Those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their stories. The project greatly values and appreciates veterans' stories from additional combat arenas and those received will be processed as resources allow.

Good luck, and keep writing!

And, like the Red Bull says: "Attack! Attack! Attack!"


Note: This Red Bull Rising blog-post about military writing is sponsored by the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University. This Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program requires 10-day residencies twice a year, in January and July. The program encourages explorations in all forms of creative non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and literary and genre fiction. The program has been approved for post-9/11 G.I. Bill funding, and Oklahoma City University appears on Victory Media's 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools.

1 comment:

  1. In addition to those listed here, veterans and active-duty military are invited to submit their story, a fragment of a story, a poem, or an essay with or without their name and contact information for the Vets Tell Their Stories section of whenjohnnyandjanecomemarching.weebly.com, which is connected with my book, When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans.


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