Home Shenandoah University Veterans Writing Project gives voice to those who served

Shenandoah University Veterans Writing Project gives voice to those who served


shenandoah uEvery veteran has a story; some just need a little help telling it. The newly-formed Shenandoah University Veterans Writing Project (VWP) will provide veterans, active and reserve service members, and military families an effective and cost-free outlet to tell their unique stories.

The VWP does this through three approaches:

  • Literary: Veterans have a distinct perspective on the world; their compelling viewpoints should be amply represented in our nation’s literature.
  • Social: In the United States, we currently have the smallest ever portion of our population in service during a time of war, and less than one percent of Americans have taken part in the most recent wars. Although these individuals represent a fraction of America’s population, their stories are of great significance.
  • Therapeutic: Returning veterans have time and again utilized the healing power of narrative, whether through writing, standup comedy, music or motivational speaking.

The Shenandoah University VWP aims to strengthen ties between the local veteran community and the university community by providing veterans in the area with the skills necessary to convey their stories in an environment of trust and respect.

The Shenandoah University VWP will be taught by Jerri Bell, who served as a Navy intelligence officer for 20 years. Bell holds a Master of Arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian/Soviet studies from Vassar College.

The two-day seminar, geared toward a class of 25 attendees, will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Shenandoah University Health Professions Building located behind Winchester Medical Center just off of Route 50 West (1775 North Sector Court, Winchester, VA, 22601). There is no charge for participation in the seminar.

At the beginning of the seminar, participants will be given a copy of the VWP’s critically acclaimed curriculum, “Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story,” to use both during and after completing the course.

Upon finishing the seminar, participants will be encouraged to develop and submit their writing to be published in O-Dark-Thirty, the quarterly literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project. Additional opportunities to stay connected will be discussed and implemented based on the time and interests of the participants and future participants.

To register for the seminar, please email Lander Manuel, administrative assistant for Shenandoah University’s Center for Public Service and Scholarship, at [email protected]. For questions, please call Ms. Manuel at 540/665-4696. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Shenandoah University is the private, nationally recognized applied liberal arts institution, located in Winchester, Va., with an enrollment of more than 4,000 students. Shenandoah’s close-knit community is rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. Shenandoah empowers its students to help the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go. For more information, visit www.su.edu.



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