Veteran Writing Workshop Facilitated by Duquesne Professor Connects Academic, Veteran Communities

A series of free workshops developed to help veterans and their families learn to share their stories and experiences through written word will be available to the veteran community in the Greater Pittsburgh region.

Jeff Martin, visiting assistant English professor at Duquesne University, was asked to collaborate with students and faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg on the Veterans Write project. The initiative is modeled after the DU Dog Tags Literary Society, a creative writing group Martin fashioned for Duquesne's student veterans.

"Bringing the Duquesne and Pitt academic communities together to reach out and create this new community is incredible," Martin said. "We want to be as encouraging and inclusive as possible by not focusing as much on the 'academic' part of writing, but by focusing more on how to convey the experience of living through written word."

Martin co-directs Veterans Write with Jason Eichner, a veteran and Pitt-Greensburg student; Gretchen Uhrinek, a 2017 Pitt-Greensburg creative writing graduate; and Lori Jakiela, a professor of English and creative writing at Pitt-Greensburg who approached Martin about the project.

Martin and his colleagues will facilitate the writing workshops and teach participants to write through the senses and develop voice, characters and setting.

The Veterans Write workshops will launch on Monday, Oct. 2, at the Pitt-Greensburg campus. They are open to all veterans and their loved ones, regardless of experience or prior education. For more information, email

"It's a win that we're simply in the room together and forming this community," Martin added. "It's important to write about 'society' not as something abstract or distant from our realities, but as something we experience and play an active role in changing."

Veterans Write
Veterans Write provides free weekly writing workshops to veterans and their loved ones as an outlet for people to share their stories through craft and expression, to grow and to learn, and to communicate the experience of life before, during and after military service.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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