19 July 2017

'As You Were' Now Open to Writing & Art Submissions

Editors at the literary journal "As You Were," published by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Military Experience & the Arts, have opened the window for submitting poetry, fiction, and non-fiction until Aug. 14, 2017. Submissions will be considered for the journal's upcoming seventh issue, to be published FREE on-line in November 2017.

According to a website page describing the organization's publishing history and philosophy:
Our title ["As You Were"] also connotes a harkening back, an exploration of the self and the past. We’re interested in those words and works of art that are brave enough to cut through rank and time, presenting military experience honestly, free of the white-washing that can appear in today’s war literature and art. We’ve published numerous volumes since 2011, providing each contributor–regardless of whether that contributor has published 25 words or 25 books–with some form of one-on-one consultation if they wanted it.
As previously reviewed on the Red Bull Rising blog, the journal "As You Were" uniquely packages its submissions process as something akin to a virtual writing workshop. Unlike the thumbs-up-or-down approach of other journals, writers of all experience levels may engage in multiple drafts with peer editors and readers, while preparing pieces for publication. Regardless of whether a piece is accepted after one edit or many, however, the objective, however, is always the same: Help writers find new ways to document and communicate the military experience.

Military service members, veterans, family members, and others may submit writing and art. Works must previously unpublished, either in print or on-line, although they may be simultaneously submitted to other journals.

For poetry submissions guidelines, click here.

For fiction submissions guidelines, click here.

For non-fiction submissions guidelines, click here.

For visual arts submissions guidelines, click here.

Disclosure: The writer of the Red Bull Rising blog is also the poetry editor of "As You Were" literary journal.

12 July 2017

Welcome to the Basic Training Poetry Lovers' Club!

At various times during the past 16 years of war, I've anonymously sent buddies deployed downrange all sorts of wacky mail and care packages. Some of my favorites included:
  • A voice-changing Darth Vader mask.
  • An inflatable hot tub that looked like a fuel blivet.
  • Truckstop automotive supplies, such as "new car smell" air fresheners, steering wheel covers, and dashboard hula dancers.
Now, however, now my buddies have gotten old enough that I can send mail to their kids, while the latter are off at Boot Camp. I'm not mean or crazy enough to send them cookies or other pogeybait—if you do that, you'd better bake enough for the entire platoon—but I will drop them some semi-motivational snail-mail. Hooah?

(Back in the 1980s, drill sergeants would drop you 10 push-ups for postcards, and 20 for letters. I wonder what the going rate is now?)

During my first training experiences in the Army, I carried a copy of William Shakespeare's "Henry V" in my left cargo pocket. During fire guard duty and other peaceful times—there were few—I'd work on memorizing the St. Crispin's Day speech, or deciphering the rest of the play.

Inspired by this memory, I've been sending at least one lucky basic trainee this summer cycle some 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division, U.S. Army, and Iowa-themed postcards, along with some potentially relevant selections from "Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire." Poems include:
  • "wait for it"
  • "your squad leader writes haiku"
  • "your drill sergeant writes haiku, too"
  • "Jody stole your haiku tools"
  • "Grace, Ready-to-Eat"
Of course, if I am truly lucky—and my beneficiary truly isn't—a drill sergeant may even ask them to perform a dramatic reading of my work, in front of their peers!

I would pay money to see that! I'd even do a push-up or two!