The Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project will return to the Outer Banks for its 5th anniversary November 4 and 5, 2017.
The Dare County Arts Council is now accepting applications for the free, two-day writing workshop, which will be held at UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese.
Beginner and experienced writers will explore the theme of Memoir writing, the art of writing biographical or historical accounts from personal experience, in this year’s workshop.
Lieutenant Commander Jerri Bell, United States Navy Retired, from the Veterans Writing Project in Washington, DC will lead the two-day workshop for Veterans, Active Duty Servicemembers and members of military families. Bell is the Managing Editor for O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project. Her fiction has been published in a variety of journals and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize; her nonfiction has been published in journals, newspapers and on blogs. She and former Marine Tracy Crow are the co-authors of It’s My Country Too: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan, forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books in 2017.
“Writing memoir is an exercise in examining one’s life, or some part of it, in an effort to understand the meaning and impact of our actions and choices,” said Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project Instructor Jerri Bell. “For most veterans, the things we did and the choices we made during our time in the armed forces were critical to our personal and professional growth and development. And whether or not we served in combat, we were witnesses to history and have a unique perspective on our country. The unpublished and published memoirs of women veterans that former Marine Tracy Crow and I read when we were writing It’s My Country Too gave me a new appreciation for the importance of documenting stories of our military service, and their significance for future generations.”
Dare County Arts Council encourages all former and current service men and women and members of their families in North Carolina, Virginia and surrounding areas to submit applications for the writing workshop, which will accommodate up to 25 participants.
“The Outer Banks has really been leading the way in Veteran initiatives,” said Army Veteran and Dare County Arts Council Board Member Kelli Harmon. “Congress voted to increase funding to the Military Healing Arts Program in 2016 and North Carolina quickly followed with $100,000 in annual grants, as studies continue to show strong support of the Arts helping to heal combat related injuries. We will be hosting the Veterans Writing Project for its fifth year this November, so we're excited that more people are seeing the positive effects that programs such as this are having on our communities. The Arts are helping Veterans find their voice, and we couldn't be more excited or proud to be leading the pack.”
Modeled after the DC-based Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit foundation that teaches combat Veterans to express their military experiences through literature, the goal of the Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project is to teach enrolled applicants the art of writing.
The Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project is part of the Veteran-friendly events sponsored by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau during November’s Outer Banks Veterans Week, which hosts numerous Veteran celebrations from Corolla to Hatteras and everywhere in between.
For more information or to submit an online application for the Veterans Writing Project, visit DareArts.org/veterans or call (252) 473-5558.