Announcing the 2017 UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop
June 18-23, 2017
University of California, Santa Barbara | La Casa de Maria

“Creative writing offers veterans a way to integrate their military experiences into their larger life narratives. When veterans write and share their stories, they build bridges to the civilian community, and they strengthen their ties to other veterans.”

– Susan Derwin, Director, UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop


Every veteran has memories of his or her military service, from enlistment, boot camp and trainings, through deployments and homecomings. At the 2017 UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop, student veterans from all ten campuses of the University of California will gather for five days to study and practice the art of storytelling. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, students will learn how to compose personal narratives about their military experiences and share their stories with others.

Program date: Sunday-Friday, June 18-23, 2017

Location: This year’s workshop will be held at La Casa de Maria, a 26-acre retreat situated on the banks of San Ysidro Creek, in Montecito, California. Known for its tranquil beauty, La Casa de Maria was described in the New York Times as a place of “pure splendor.” La Casa provides an ideal environment in which to disconnect from the stresses of the world and focus on ideas and feelings associated with military life.

Application and costs: Space is limited. Admission is on a rolling basis and will begin on
December 1, 2016 and close when filled.
Click here to apply now.

The UC Veterans Summer Writing Workshop is FREE of charge for all participants. Travel reimbursement, lodging and meals will be provided. Click here for more details about transportation and lodging.

Who Should Apply: Undergraduate and graduate UC student veterans interested in writing narratives about their military experiences in a workshop composed of student veterans from across the UC system. Applicants need not have any experience with creative writing.

Program: The program schedule includes daily writing workshops, group discussions and story circles. Afternoons are devoted to writing and are a time of quiet work. The grounds of La Casa de Maria have many scenic, comfortable spots conducive to reflection and writing. While people will be writing independently, there is inspiration to be derived from working in the company of others similarly engaged. The late afternoons will be reserved for recreation: attending a yoga class to refresh mind and body, swimming in the pool on the premises, meditating, and strolling the beautiful grounds.

The daily communal meals and evening gatherings will afford time for conversation, friendship-building, and conviviality. There will be two excursions, one to a local beach for a sunset barbecue, and another on the final evening, to the UC Santa Barbara campus, for a celebratory banquet in which participants will present their written stories to members of the university community.

Goals: The UC Student Veterans Writing Workshop was created in the belief that when veterans write their stories and share then with others, they become more connected to themselves, they heal invisible wounds, they discover new meanings in their life and they build bridges of communication to the civilian world.

If you are a UC student veteran interested in exploring what your service has meant to you, developing your writing skills, and strengthening your ability to communicate with others about your military experiences, we invite you to apply to the 2017 UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop.



The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop: the National Endowment for the Humanities; the UC President’s Public Partnerships in the Humanities; the Townsend Center for Humanities, UC Berkeley; the Office of the Provost and Dean of Humanities, Arts & Cultural Studies, UC Davis; the Humanities Commons at UC Irvine; the Office of the Provost and Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, UC Merced; the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, UC Riverside; the Dean of the Division of Humanities, College of Letters and Science, UC Los Angeles; Office of the Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities, UC San Diego; the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Executive Vice-Chancellor and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, UC Santa Barbara and the Institute for Humanities Research, UC Santa Cruz.





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