|PHOTO: Vicki Hudson|
In a new anthology, editor, poet, photographer, and 33-year U.S. Army veteran Vicki Hudson has taken on the mission to collect stories of the aftermath of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The book is tentatively titled "Repeal Day—September 20, 2011, When DADT Became History."
"I want to acknowledge the courage for those in the military that first year that went ahead and came out," she says. "The repeal did not change culture in an instant, and those that were out in the beginning were breaking down huge barriers. Their families, their comrades in units, their commanders all have some part to tell."
To further inspire writers, the Submittable page for the project is peppered with potential prompts:
- Did you take part in a celebration, make a point of coming out to those you work with, do a small yet significant or symbolic action (like try and update your DD 93 with a change of ‘friend’ to ‘spouse’) that marked the requirement from forced in the closet to finally able to be yourself and true about those who are your family?
- What is your story of how you experienced Repeal Day? What was the significance of the day for you and your family? How does the repeal affect you?
- In the months following September 20th, what was life like for you in the service? What was your experience in that first year? What are your thoughts, opinions, emotions, and observations for you and your family during this historic first year when LGBT service members were finally visible?
- Are you an ally? What was your experience of your compatriots no longer having to hide? Were you a leader? How did this impact your unit or leader responsibilities?
"As an editor, you aren't just asking for stories and then you print whatever shows up in the mail box," Hudson says of creating, collecting, and publishing anthologies. "Often, what I have received are short snippets of an experience well written in military writing style. [...] Part of my role as the editor is help that story be fleshed out a bit, and bring the person who had the experience more present in the story. This helps make the recounting of a memory turn into a compelling narrative which reflects and resonates for the reader."
The project will acquire first-time world anthology rights in English and translation, as well as audio and e-book anthology rights. Beyond that, writers retain copyright to their works, although mentions in any future publication of a given work would be appreciated.
For a full set of guidelines, click here. Submissions may be made electronically here, or via postal mail:
MRD c/o HudsonHudson has a history of encouraging writers to creatively and honestly take on tough topics, and resourcing her fellow editors to do likewise. For the past eight years, for example, she has sponsored a scholarship for an emerging writer to attend the annual San Francisco Writers Conference. This year, military writer Liz Hansen was the 2014 recipient of the award.
P.O. Box 387
Hayward, Calif. 94543
Hudson is also author of 2012's "No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique,"
a cargo-pocket-sized manual that's packed with tactics, tools, and techniques for optimizing workshop processes.
Some of her poetry was recently featured in a special issue of the Veteran Writing Project's "O-Dark-Thirty" literary journal.
In 2015, Hudson plans to collect an anthology of poetry and prose focused on a theme of military clothing and gear.