Creative Writers With Military Experience Prepare to Release First Anthology

Oct. 26, 2020, 3:08 p.m. ·

“From Warriors to Writers: Journey to Healing”

Nebraska veterans, service members, and their families are gearing up to publish an anthology of creative writing.

In 2014, The Nebraska Writing Project, the Veterans Administration, and Humanities Nebraska debuted The Nebraska Warrior Writers program, holding writing workshops for people with experience in the military.

Now, for the first time in its history, the program will publish 63 works of poetry, prose, and other writing by members. While the book does not focus solely on life in the military, Marine Corps veteran Sharon Robino-West says some participants are use their writing skills to heal after difficult experiences in the service.

“Some of us write past that and then draw from things we learned in the military. Others circle around their military experiences because they were traumatic and they’re able to now touch on those and write on those a bit.”

Robino-West is one of the 26 writers featured in the book. She says working with the Warrior Writers gave her the courage and drive to process hard moments in her life; like when her son returned from the Iraq War.

“I’ve been able to get through it without a tear now, and I’ve gotten a lot of good responses," she said. "And I think it's good for Americans and our local community to get the perspective from some of these writers that they wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.”

Sara Hollcroft is a co-leader of Nebraska Warrior Writers and the main editor for the anthology. "For me, it’s just humbling that I get to be a part of it,” she said.

The project has been in the works since before the pandemic, but that the long final product will be well worth the effort, according to Hollcroft.

“The writing is just ... it sometimes just takes your breath away,” she said.

“From Warriors to Writers: Journey to Healing” will be released around Veteran’s Day.