Monthly Archives: May 2012

Writing for Peace News, May 2012

DoveTales Submission Guidelines Released

Our June 1st posting begins an exciting new phase for Writing for Peace. First, we are announcing the release of the DoveTales Submission Guidelines.  DoveTales will feature our young writers’ winning stories, along with the stories, poems, essays, interviews, art and photography of established contributors. Our first issue will be published on January 1st, 2013, and will center on the theme “Occupied” – in its myriad of meanings.

Free Teen Summer Writing Workshops

Writing for Peace Wolf Writing WorkshopWe’ve also put together a terrific series of Free Teen Summer Writing Workshops, offered in libraries across Colorado’s Front Range. Young writers will focus on subtleties of the craft, while considering voice and point-of-view through the perspective of wild animals in urban environments, wolves, and other pack animals. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear stories of refugees of the human sort, and contemplate the many ways that the seeds of a story can take root and grow. Check our site periodically to catch new offerings as they appear.

Young Writers Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp

The summer workshop series will culminate in the unforgettable Young Writers Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp onWriting for Peace cowboys September 8th from 9am – 8pm at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, featuring keynote speakers John Gritts, Page Lambert, and William Haywood Henderson. The cost for this full day writing workshop is $65. There is an additional charge of $50 for the Horseback Writing Class (Poetry in the Saddle). Young writers, ages 13 – 19, delve into both the cowboy and Indian way of life, explore the written and oral traditions of these Western Americans, and the animals that were vital to both cultures. We’ll experience the late summer beauty of this working ranch nestled against the Rocky Mountains, walk a mile in another’s moccassins…and put that experience into words.

Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry…writers will explore aspects of point of view and voice, and outline future writing projects. After dinner, writers will be invited to share their work around the campfire. Space is limited, so please register early!

Writing for Peace Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Writing for Peace Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

 

Workshop includes…

*Continental breakfast, ranch lunch, and workshop supplies

*Traditional horse painting and riding demonstration

*Poetry in the saddle (horseback writing, additional $50)

*Tractor-drawn hayride tour and ranch talk

*Cowboy poetry reading (ever read your work to a cow?)

*We’ll end our day camp with a campfire reading, pizza and roasted marshmallows!

Download the brochure and registration form here.  Writing for Peace Summer Camp Brochure

 

Contributing Advisor, Brian Wrixon

And perhaps the best news of all…

If you’ve had the opportunity to explore the Writing for Peace website, you’ve most likely come across our impressive list of Advisors. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with advisors who were available to answer questions and guide us as we navigated through unfamiliar territory. Our growing Advisory Panel includes award-winning poets, novelists, memoirists and essayists. They are activists and entrepreneurs of immense personal integrity and determination, some who may not even consider themselves writers in the traditional sense, but their writings have played a vital role in promoting awareness and bridging the cultural divides that separate us. In addition to their important work and behind-the-scenes support for Writing for Peace, they have graciously agreed to contribute their insights and inspiration through our blog.

We are pleased to introduce our very first Contributing Advisor, Brian Wrixon. For his full biography and a links to his publications, please check out his Advisor Page.

 

Brian Wrixon, Writing for Peace AdvisorCommentary by Brian Wrixon – poet, writer, publisher, and member of Writing for Peace’s Advisory Panel

I know that Writing for Peace will play an important role in building harmony in the world. Our process is a logical one and a simple one, two, three approach  –  cultivate empathy in order to develop a foundation of compassion, and on this foundation, build peace. Using education as the driver for the process is not something new, but focusing on creative writing and gearing that focus towards our youth is what makes Writing for Peace unique. That uniqueness is what prompted me to agree when I was asked to serve on the organization’s Advisory Panel.

One of the points made on the website is that, “Writing can be a solitary occupation, but there is much to be gained by sharing your work and process with other writers.” I have experienced this firsthand in the last few months. Through Facebook, I am connected with an incredible number of authors from all over the world. I asked them to share their works with me for the purpose of publishing a series of anthologies on different themes. The response was amazing!

Our first book will be of particular interest to the members and supporters of Writing for Peace. It is called “The Poetry of War & Peace”, and features the writings of 80 poets from 20 countries. Many of these authors are young people still in school and before this book, were unpublished. What struck me most was the intensity with which they wrote. On the back cover of the book you can find the following: “Theirs is a powerful message. Their feelings run deep and their words are strong, sometimes not for the faint of heart. But then again, war and peace are not for the faint of heart either. WARNING: CONTAINS CONTENT THAT MAY CAUSE AN OUTBREAK OF PEACE!” It is no small wonder that I named our Facebook support group of 450+ writers, Poets with Voices Strong.

When I looked at Writing for Peace’s mission, the approach that they intended to take, and the value proposition that they were offering to young writers, I knew that the experience that I had with my international writers group was something that could be replicated. I look forward to working with this group and seeing that excitement grow in other young people through creative writing.

I seem to spend a lot of time working on my publishing projects, but I am first and foremost a poet. At this writing, we have published two major anthologies so far and two more are about to be released in the next month, but I still try to find time to write. I have written a lot of poetry about war, some 50 poems to be exact. They were not written to glorify war, but to foster peace. In that respect, I find myself  living in synch with the mission statement of Writing for Peace. Please allow me to share with you one of my personal favourites from my collection of war poems.

In the Morning Mist

Morning mists swirl around marble headstones

Like the spirits of the dead who play among the tombs

The call of a crow breaks the eerie silence

As a frail and bent figure approaches the grave

She places a single rose on the cold and weathered stone

Softly she speaks the words “My Love”

And lingers a moment lost in a silent prayer

As she leaves the sun shines through the mist

And illuminates the words chiseled so long ago

“A Victim of the Great War”

I have always had a great fascination for the “Great War for Civilization”, the “War to end all wars”, WW1. What a hopelessly futile waste of men and material. Thousands were killed on a daily basis in order to secure a plot of ground which would then be abandoned a few days later. Millions of men were moved about like chess pieces by commanders and generals sitting in the comfort of far away headquarters smoking cigars and sipping brandy. We never learn!

When I wrote “In the Morning Mist”, I was unsure who the frail and bent old lady was who was mourning at the grave all those many years later. Perhaps her lover or husband had not returned from the conflict. Perhaps she was a mother who had lost a son. Perhaps she was a retired nurse who still held special feelings for a young soldier who had died in her arms in a field hospital, happy to have her comfort at his death. Then I realized that she was all these women – she is the grieving woman of history personified.

I use my creative writings to express my feelings. I hope that through your involvement with Writing for Peace, you will have the same opportunity to connect with yourself and with your fellow writers.

Brian Wrixon

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

 

Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

2012 Young Writers’ Contest Winners

On this special May Day, we are delighted to announce the winners for the 2012 Writing for Peace Young Writers’ Contest. The contest challenged writers, ages 13-19, to research and write in the voice of a character from another culture, digging beneath the surface to explore common humanity and universal themes. Young writers from all over the United States took up our short fiction challenge, and their stories reflected a broad spectrum of cultures. Our editors were amazed at the quality of work submitted across the board, but our three winners stood out in not only the beauty of their prose, but in their cultural insights.

Learn more about these talented young writers by clicking on their links (below).

 

Shadia Farah, 1st place 2012

Shadia Farah

First Place Winner

“A North Korean Perspective”

Shadia Farah, 11th grade, Brooklyn Technical High School New York
Our Fiction Judge, William Haywood Henderson, had this to say about Shadia’s short story: “A North Korean Perspective” is a sharp, intense glimpse into the personal consequences of living under a totalitarian regime. We’re left with haunting images—the blisters on a girl’s fingers as she practices her string instrument for an upcoming ceremony, a photo of a ballistic missile slowly fading on a computer screen, the beautiful dress the girl has hidden beneath her bed, a dress she feels compelled to destroy. Shadia Farah has beautifully evoked a girl’s struggles to contain her emotions, to do the right thing, to conform, and in that the story is universal. “The U.S.A. has its flaws, but those are minor scratches compared to the deep wounds of North Korea.” ~Shadia Farah  
Caroline Nawrocki, 2nd place 2012

Caroline Nawrocki

Second Place Winner

“Unparalleled Freedom”

Caroline Nawrocki, 10th grade, Germantown Academy, Pennsylvania

“There is something so nomadically beautiful about the Romani people that it seems like a crime for them to be oppressed as much as they are.  Awareness needs to be spread about their cause, and through the written word I hope that can be accomplished.”  ~Caroline Nawrocki

 

Tait Rutherford, 3rd Place 2012

Tait Rutherford

Third Place Winner

“Women are Women the World Over”

Tait Rutherford, 12th grade, Fort Collins High School, Colorado

 “Compassion is a beautiful thing, possibly the most beautiful thing in the world, especially when combined with initiative and ingenuity, and a will to create peace where none now exists.” ~Tait Rutherford

2012 Writing for Peace Young Writer’s Contest winners will receive $250 for first place, and $75 for second and third places.  You can read their award winning short fiction in our upcoming journal, DoveTales, appearing online on January 1st, 2013. General submission guidelines will be posted June 1st, as well as guidelines for the 2013 Writing for Peace Young Writers’ Contest.

Happy May Day, and Congratulations to all our 2012 Young Writers!

 

Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.