23 January 2015

Each 'O-Dark-Thirty' Packs Punch, Prose, and Poetry

Portions of this Red Bull Rising blog post originally appeared Oct. 2, 2013.

In the current literary terrain, there are dense, fine-printed journals that cover war and themes of war. There are also imposing anthologies of war fiction and fact. Also combatting for the public's attention are war novels, memoirs, and journalistic explorations and exposés.

Whatever the genre, however, too few of these are easy for readers to infiltrate. By force of page-count alone, too many tomes seem ready to overwhelm or intimidate—often driving away civilians who are, ironically, often considered the high-payoff targets of military writing.

Not so, however, the Veterans Writing Project's journal "O-Dark-Thirty."Launched in 2012, the print journal is published quarterly by the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, along with occasional on-line dispatches of additional prose and poetry, essays and interviews. As the journal's mission statement reads:
In our seminars we give participants the skills and confidence they need to tell their own stories; O-Dark-Thirty is the platform to put those stories and others in front of readers. This is not a peer-reviewed professional journal, nor is it a judged literary contest. Our editorial style is more curatorial than other journals. [...]
Each print edition averages less than 100 pages, and provides a brief burst of covering fire from each category of writing. It's accessible and approachable, easy-to-digest. It can also be indelible, however ... unforgettable.

In short, it's short. A quick hit of literary adrenalin. A mini-bottle of inspirational Tobasco. Each issue debuts new voices, demonstrates the versatility of each writing form, and depicts the military experience in new and provoking ways. Then, it disappears into the night. [...]

Stick a copy "O-Dark-Thirty" in your right cargo pocket, or hand it off to a brother or buddy. Better yet, use a subscription as a regular reminder to keep writing. A 4-issue subscription costs only $30; individual copies are $10.


A 2012 e-mail interview with Veterans Writing Project founder Ron Capps appears here. Also, click here for additional background on the group's useful differentiation of writing-as-therapy and writing-as-expression.

For submission guidelines to "O-Dark-Thirty,"click here.

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