National Endowment for the Arts Hosts Operation Homecoming Writing Workshops in San Diego At Naval Air Station North Island, Dec. 8-9
Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden and journalist Lawrence Christon to lead writing workshops for military and their families
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the United States Navy, will host writing workshops and discussions for military personnel and their families at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California on December 8 and 9. The workshops are part of the NEA’s Operation Homecoming, a unique program that documents and preserves the wartime experiences of men and women in uniform and their families. Since April 2004, Operation Homecoming has brought writing workshops with distinguished authors to military bases nationwide and abroad.
The San Diego writing workshops will be conducted by two award-winning writers: Mark Bowden and Lawrence Christon. Bowden’s critically acclaimed book Black Hawk Down (1999) tells the story of two downed army helicopters and a daring rescue mission by U.S. Special Forces. Publishers Weekly praised the book as "a gripping account of combat that merits thoughtful reading by anyone concerned with the future course of the country's military strategy and its relationship to foreign policy." Black Hawk Down earned Bowden the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award and was made into an award-winning film. A former journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bowden’s other nonfiction works include Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw.
Journalist Lawrence Christon served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1963 to 1969, including active Reserve duty in communications at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. For 23 years, Christon served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where he was drama critic, columnist, features and profiles writer, essayist, and reporter. In recognition of his achievements, he has received the Los Angeles Press Club Award. Christon has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, among others. Many of his articles have focused on the U.S. military, including the Persian Gulf War.
"We are delighted to have Mark Bowden and Lawrence Christon share their experiences in writing about war through the lens of journalism," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
Operation Homecoming is presented in coordination with the Department of Defense and the Southern Arts Federation. Operation Homecoming is made possible by The Boeing Company.
Naval Air Station North Island hosts workshops and reception
An opening reception featuring both authors will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, Dec. 8, followed by Mark Bowden’s workshop from 1-3 pm. Lawrence Christon’s workshop will be held Thursday, Dec. 9 from 1-3 pm. Both workshops and the reception will take place at the Island Club, on Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island.
The writing workshops and reception are open to military personnel who served after September 11, 2001, retired veterans, reservists, and members of the National Guard as well as their immediate adult family. Naval Air Station North Island will admit eligible military personnel and guests as capacity allows.
Personnel and guests who would like to attend the workshops and opening reception should call Sarah Burford at the Public Affairs Office of Commander Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) at 619-532-1434 or 619-532-1430. The registration deadline is 4 pm PT, Friday, December 3. Media that wish to attend must RSVP by 12 pm PT, December 7, by contacting the CNRSW Public Affairs Office 619-532-1434.
Military personnel and family members who want to learn more about wartime literature can obtain the Operation Homecoming audio CD. The CD features recordings of war letters, poems, fiction and memoirs from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Copies of the Operation Homecoming CD can be ordered free of charge through the NEA Publications section at www.arts.gov. Audio clips are also available at www.operationhomecoming.org.
Call for submissions
In addition to workshops and educational resources, the NEA has issued an open call for submissions from military personnel, reservists, National Guard members, and Coalition Authority members who served after September 11, 2001, as well as their immediate families. Items may include essays, letters, short stories, poems, and other writings related to recent military service. All submissions will be preserved in an appropriate federal archive, and an Operation Homecoming anthology will feature the best writings submitted to the program. The anthology will be distributed free of charge to military installations, schools, and libraries. Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2005. To learn more about Operation Homecoming submission guidelines, visit www.operationhomecoming.org.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts – both new and established – bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency