Veterans Writing Workshop prompts

The prompts below are updated each meeting day of the Veterans Writing Workshop. Writings can be submitted in person at our weekly meetings, or by using the submission form, which appears on this page and on the workshop main page.

A Change in Perspective

How has your perspective or view of the military changed or deepened over time? Write about a concrete experience, conversation, or encounter that led to that change. Or write a scene from that younger perspective, maybe adding moments of reflection from the wiser writer today.

Lost

Write about a time when your were lost, or felt lost. This can be literal, in a city or jungle or dense fog. Maybe relocating or moving. Or, it could be metaphorical or psychological: in war or returning home; some existential moment.

Extremes

Write about extremes you experienced in military life: weather, emotions, locations, terrain, personalities, physical challenges, food, sleep. Whatever comes to mind. Could be funny or serious or anything in between.

A Change in Perspective

How has your perspective or view of the military changed or deepened over time? Write about a concrete experience, conversation, or encounter that led to that change. Or write a scene from that younger perspective, maybe adding moments of reflection from the wiser writer today.

Interesting Character or Culture

Military life often puts us in contact with a host of unique characters and cultures. Select one, a person or peoples, and write about your interaction with them. Or a character sketch. Or how they affected your life.

Anniversary

Write about an anniversary date that is important to you, or any associations to a certain time of year. Could be a season, a holiday, a memory of a friend or loved one. Could be a milestone date, or day leaving country, or something coming to an end. Whatever link your mind makes.

Religion or Spirituality

Any experiences with how military life or war changed your spiritual views? A deepening of religious conviction, or a distancing. Any struggles or white-light moments?

Letter writing

Option A

Write a letter to a former military team member, or to an enemy combatant. Tell this person whatever feels important or relevant to say in this space. Tell them how much of an impact they’ve had on your life. Or any lessons learned. Or reminisce about old experiences. Whatever feels right.

Option B

Write a letter to an important person in your life, past or present. This can be someone you know personally or from a distance. Share with this person how they’ve impacted your life. Or any other pressing thoughts or feelings.

Labels

Write about your experience with being labeled, whether in military, in civilian life, as a veteran, even medical diagnosis. Explore how it felt or feels to be labeled. What would you want people to know about you or your duty or your condition? Any specific scenes?

Opposite Perspective

Write a story or scene from the perspective of someone on the other side, perhaps a so-called enemy, or adversary. Try to get inside their head for a few moments and describe how they might see the world or the events unfolding.

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