Top 'Veterans-Lit' Series Trumpets 2020 Deadline

Deadline for submissions to a ninth volume titled "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors"—an anthology of military-themed fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, oral histories, and photography—is April 17, 2020. The project is open to all military personnel, veterans, family members, and more.

The Aiming Circle regards this as one of three premier venues for military-themed literary writing.

According to the call for submissions, entrants can submit to a contest in which each category carries a first-prize of $250, or submit to the anthology alone. All entries will be considered for the anthology. There is no entry fee to the contest or publication.

Through the efforts of the Warriors Arts Alliance, the Missouri Humanities Council, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, the first "Proud to Be" volume was published in November 2012.

"[T]his series of anthologies preserves and shares the perspectives of our military and veterans of all conflicts and of their families," reads the Southeast Missouri State University Press contest page. "It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history."

With second, third, and fourth issues, the press established itself as a leading venue for "veterans-lit," consistent in both quality and quantity. In 2014, the press also published "The Shape of our Faces No Longer Matters," a poetry collection by U.S. Marine veteran Gerardo "Tony" Mena.

The tradition of excellence continued with the fifth, sixth, seventh, and soon-to-be-released eighth issues. (Preview announcement of the latter has been posted here.)

Red Bull Rising blog reviews of past issues of the "Proud to Be" anthology appear here and here.

For a 2012 Red Bull Rising interview with Susan Swartout, who was then the editor of the series, click here.

Submissions must be made through the Southeast Missouri State University Press Submittable page here. According to guidelines:

  • Put your name and contact info on first page and nowhere else on the manuscript.
  • Limit one submission in each category per person.
  • Poetry: up to 3 poems (5 pages maximum). Keep poems in one document (with 1st poem as title).
  • Fiction, essay, or interview: 5,000-word limit.
  • Photography: up to 3 good-quality photos (will be printed in the book as black and white).
  • Submissions exceeding the limits will be disqualified.
  • Include a biography of 75 words or less with each submission. Explicitly mention author's connection to military.
  • Winners and contributors will be notified by Aug. 1, 2020.

*****

Aiming Circle Rating: 4.4 on a 5.0 scale. In our patron-exclusive rating system, this indicates: "Be motivated. Contributors should have high confidence in a project's conduct, delivery, and/or quality. Inclusion in this level of project is likely to carry prestige and/or financial reward. The Aiming Circle regards this long-standing anthology as one of three premier venues for literary writing by military veterans, family members, and others.


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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 77 exclusive posts
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Writings