The Kansas City Veterans Writing Team, in conjunction with the Moral Injury Association of America, will conduct a weekly series of five FREE writing workshops for military veterans, service members, and family members ages 16 and up.
Sessions are 3.5 hours long, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Saturdays Sept. 14 to Oct. 12, 2019. Location is Cohen Meeting Room at the Plaza Branch Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. Coffee and snacks provided.
Although free, class size is limited to 30 and registration is required. Participants should register for each week's session. Registration page is here.
September 14: "Learning Poetry"
Take dive into poetry and learn about this expressive form of creative writing. Review basic tools and participate in writing exercises. Participants may work on existing or new writings.
September 21: "Learning Prose"
Fiction or nonfiction. It's up to you. Learn basic tools of composition and participate in writing exercises. Participants may work on existing or new writings.
September 28: "Creating Your Composition"
Participants will look at their writing from a location standpoint and drill down to the heart of the story, which feeds naturally into the mapping collage. Writing exercises focus on the vets composing and then sharing aloud for critique from the group.
October 5: "Mapping Collage"
Participants will use the technique of collage to create a “map” of a place significant to the veteran’s writing. By taking a more contemplative and intuitive approach to our geographies, creative mapping processes seek a deeper insight into our understandings of identity and place as context for our broader understanding of our experiences.
October 12: "Final Critique"
You'll bring your final poem or piece of prose and have it critiqued by the group. Participants will review one another’s drafts and offer suggestions for improvement. The process is led by the Kansas City Veterans Writing Team and guidelines will be followed for offering feedback in a constructive way.
This is the fifth year for the writing program, which conducts such workshop events in spring and fall. "By using reading and writing exercises to explore deployment, wartime and post-deployment experiences--fear, boredom, anxieties, thrills, brutality, tears and beauty--attendees learn how to write their stories and make them compelling," say press materials. "Through our workshops, monthly veteran critique groups and other literary events, participants explore the many approaches possible to create personal stories, poetry, fiction and essays."
The association notes that more than 500 veterans and family members have attended the programs. "Many graduates of the workshops now meet on a monthly basis in a structured writing critique group, continuing to hone their writing skills, and share their personal stories in a safe environment, offering the camaraderie of military life."