What We Do

At the Veterans Writing Project we believe that every veteran has a story. But we know that some of us need a little help telling that story. So we provide no-cost creative writing and songwriting workshops for veterans, service members, and their adult family members. We publish a quarterly literary review of writing by this same community on our sister site, O-Dark-Thirty.

We approach our creative writing work with three goals in mind. The first is literary. We believe there is a new wave of great literature coming and that much of that will be written by veterans and their families. The next is social. Less than 1% of America took part in our most recent wars. We think it’s important to capture their stories and put as many of these stories in front of as many readers as we can. Finally, writing is therapeutic. Returning warriors have known for centuries the healing power of narrative. We give veterans the skills they need to capture their stories and do so in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Our creative writing seminars are led by working writers who hold MA or MFA writing degrees and who are, perhaps most importantly, themselves veterans. We have a number of different workshop models &  we seek to bring our programs to where veterans are, and particularly to underserved areas around the country.

Our creative writing curriculum is Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story. Written by a veteran for veterans, it details the elements of craft involved in writing fiction, non-fiction, poetry or plays. It is written to be accessible to beginning and more experienced writers. To purchase a copy of Writing War, click here.

Our songwriting curriculum focuses on the elements of the craft as well. We look at melody, harmony, song structure, developing lyrics, prosody, and more. Our instructors and mentors will be a mix of veterans and non-veterans but all are experienced songwriters, professional musicians, and teachers.

We invite veterans, serving members of the armed forces (active or reserve), and military or veterans’ family members to participate in our seminars and workshops. The Veterans Writing Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by veterans and family members.