Many Veterans hesitate or worry that they don’t have a ‘great’ story to tell or aren’t good at writing it down. I was one of those Veterans. When I attended my first Warrior Writers Workshop in 2018, all I could think about was how I hadn’t deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, how I didn’t have a heroic battle tale to tell, or that I didn’t have a difficult transition out of the military. I felt like any story I told would pale in comparison to those around me.
Yet, when participants in that workshop introduced themselves and shared a little bit about their motivations for attending, my concerns dissipated. We all sought community with other Veterans and shared a desire to start telling our stories. As we responded to prompts and shared more stories, we built confidence through group encouragement and feedback. By the end of the two-hour session, we had formed a community with lasting bonds.
The Warrior Writers Workshop encourages the sharing of stories, opinions, and ideas for productive writing, reflecting, storytelling, and art-making. A highlight of this workshop for many Veterans is having a space to release bottled-up thoughts and emotions alongside others who understand, creating a sense of empowerment in the ability to tell their own story. By creating an open and accepting atmosphere, we build a community of support. Any service member or Veteran can join these workshops, regardless of experience with writing, deployment, or combat. Join the Minnesota Humanities Center and this growing community of Veterans at one of four upcoming Warrior Writers Workshops around the state.
June 8—St. Cloud
June 27—Granite Falls
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By: Mary Manor
Mary Manor is a proud union member and public school teacher who teaches social justice through the lens of literature and writing at Minneapolis South High School. Mary lives in South Minneapolis with spouse, Corinth, and their dog, Lenny.