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Arts & Culture

University Press Releases New Book Of Veterans’ Writing

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University Press
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University Press

Southeast Missouri State University Press is releasing a new volume of its Proud to Be series on November 11.

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 3 will be available on the University Press website and on Amazon.

Publisher for the University Press Susan Swartwout explained that the Proud to Be project started out of a need for a publication where veterans’ writing could be showcased. The anthology contains works by veterans, current military service personnel, and military family members from all over the nation.

“It’s important, I think, to make the differentiation between military writing by service personnel, and military writing by historians,” Swartwout said. “We wanted to get those stories that haven’t been told or aren’t being told because these people aren’t professional writers. Their information, their experiences are extremely valuable to us.”

The series, funded in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council’s Veteran Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance, is published annually. Swartwout said the volumes include poetry, fiction, essays, interviews and photography.

“This particular year we had well over 300 submissions, and we had to get it down to right around 65,” Swartwout said.

She said writing serves as a therapeutic outlet for veterans, and many readers are interested in hearing their stories.

The book features selected submissions and the winners of a writing contest. The competition has a prize of $250 for the top piece of writing or photo in each of its five categories. There are also two Honorable Mentions selected in each categories by the judges, who are represented by professionals in the field of writing.

Swartwout said she sees more fiction and poetry submissions than anything else.

“If it was an emotional experience or story, for many people, many of us as writers too, it is easier to tell it as fiction or as poetry. It gives you that little bit of distance,” she said. “So I think that’s why the creative writing rather than essay has been very popular.”

The deadline for submissions for the next volume of the anthology is June 1, 2015 and details can be found on the University Press website.