Writing After War

The other day Publishers Weekly posted this list of its ten best contemporary war novels. Ranging from Ben Fountain’s superb Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (one of my favorite reads of 2012), to David Abrams’ satirical Fobbit, to George Saunders’ surreal The Brief and Frightening Rein of Phil, the list demonstrates the vitality and range of work being produced out of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here at the St. Louis Public Library we’re excited to be offering a Veterans Writing Workshop in the spring of 2014, in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council. The series will offer veterans the resources they need to tell their stories, as well as the chance to adapt their work to other media using the technology in Central Library’s Creative Experience. Full details below.


Writing After War

St. Louis Public Library Central Branch

January 21 – March 25, 6:30-8:30 PM

Moderated by: Kathleen Nigro, Geoff Giglierano, Eric Lundgren

Workshop Coordinator: Deb Marshall, Warriors Arts Alliance

For six weeks, participants will have an opportunity to learn to write personal stories in these FREE workshops at St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch. Although these workshops are geared toward veterans and their family members, anyone interested in the writing craft will benefit from these workshops led by St. Louis writing professionals.

January 21 and 28: Writing Your Story: Getting Started

Everyone has a story to tell and we’ll help you get started writing yours by providing you with writing prompts, exercises and discussions which will help get you started writing yours. Poet and educator Jane Ellen Ibur will provide you with keys to help you unlock your personal Pandora’s box of poetic creativity.

February 4: “The Artist’s Way” to Find Inspiration

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, Julia Cameron’s milestone book, “The Artist’s Way” continues to help thousands of individuals discover their creative voices. We’ll use some of the techniques from “The Artist’s Way” to keep you inspired and to keep you writing, even after the workshop has ended.

February 11: Using What Has Already Been Written in Your Writing

Many of us write very few letters these days, choosing instead to communicate online. Letters, personal journals, and now emails, provide us with insight and history for our stories. We’ll explore piecing together stories from personal writings — some of them from generations ago.

February 18: Storytelling from the Interview Perspective

The interview process provides writers with information from which a story can be built, but sifting through interview information can be tricky. General questions to help build a framework for your interview and the interview process will be discussed and practiced in this session.

February 25: Building Your Story from the Ground Up

From outlines to pyramids and character descriptions to settings, participants will be introduced to writing tips to follow as we prepare to put the story together in a first draft.

March 4, 11, 18 and 25: Fiction, Graphic Novels and The Creative Experience

Using fiction writing as a basic framework, workshop participants will combine traditional fiction writing with other media to tell a story. Utilizing the resources of the SLPL’s Creative Experience media lab with its visually-augmented technology, participants will experiment with writing combined with music and images in order to create a video story.

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