Shortly after I heard from Solace in So Many Words contributor D. J. Lachance (“Nagasaki Shadows”) about posting his short short (“The Fall”) as a guest blog, two notices about writing after war came across my desk. The first is a post by John Evans on his Wellness & Writing Connections Facebook site, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) flashbacks shatter normalcy and the new identity you try to live. If you have PTSD, writing after a flashback can help you reconstruct that identity and return to normalcy. Writing cannot cure PTSD, nothing can, but with writing you can manage coming back from that far country where you go.”
The second was also on Facebook, and posted by Kelli Allen who is the director of the Missouri Warrior Writer Project, and concerns a call for submissions, which I cut and paste below.
Is writing a way to process pain and stress? Yes, I suspect it is. Is it therapeutic to write? Yes, I suspect it is. But one reason I would urge those who have experienced war to write about it is not just because the writer needs to write these words, but because the reader needs them. It is through writing about war that those of us who have never experienced it firsthand can learn. And when the topic is as deadly serious as war, we must never forget about it or stop learning about it.
Holding Each Elephant’s Tail: Voices from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
The Missouri Warrior Writers Project, in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council, is pleased to announce a contest and call for submissions for its national anthology of writing by veterans and active military service personnel of Afghanistan and Iraq about their wartime experience. This experience includes deployments and those who have never been deployed. Transition back into civilian life is also a topic of interest for this anthology. The contest will award 250.00 each to the top entries in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. All entries will be considered for publication in the anthology. There is no entry fee. Guidelines are listed below:
-Prose limited to 5000 words. Up to 3 poems (max 5 pages). Submissions that exceed these limits will be disqualified.
– Deadline December 30, 2011. Winners will be announced by April 1, 2012.
– There is no entry fee for submission, but submissions must be limited to one per person per genera
– Manuscripts must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word document. (Save with a *.doc extension). Please combine all poems into one document and use first poem as title. Send to: submissions @ mowarriors.com
-Put your name and contact information on the first page of your submission document and nowhere else within the manuscript.
-Please include a brief (75 words or less) bio with your submission.
-Work previously published will be considered, but new work is preferred.
-Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. (This will avoid potentially awkward situations.)
-Southeast Missouri State University Press acquires first-time North American rights for previously unpublished work. After publication, all rights revert to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement to the anthology is made. All entries will be considered for publication.
JUDGES: Brian Turner, poetry. Mark Bowden, nonfiction. William Pancoast, fiction.
The anthology will be released on Armed Forces Day, 2012.