The Veterans Writing Project

It’s the only program of its kind. We pair military vets who have a penchant for wordsmithing with a collection of WGA-enrolled film and television writers. Those writers mentor the vets in two phases: A weekend-long retreat, and a series of regular meetings throughout the following year.

Our vets arrive ready to work hard and get things done. And our mentors represent some of the most beloved movies and television series of the past 30 years.

Check back for updates on the application process for the 2017 session. View photos from the 2016 session

When is it?
The first phase of the Veterans Writing Project – the weekend retreat – takes place in May 2017. Vets who are accepted to the retreat will be eligible to take part in ongoing monthly workshops throughout 2017 and 2018.

How much does it cost?
The workshop is free to qualified veterans and military service members.

What are people saying about the retreat?
“I would climb a mountain just to feel as good about writing as I do today.”

“In the safe environment set up by the mentors, I discussed stories about my life that I’ve NEVER told before and felt safe.”

“While in jump school at Fort Benning, I recall feeling breathless with fear as I leaned out of a C-130. When I started writing, though, the fear was crippling. My mentor’s response was ‘Dude, fear is my middle name.’ Her words were powerful enough for me to feel confident to share my own words.”

Meet some alumni from the Veterans Writing Project

Who is eligible?
All military veterans and active duty service members are welcome; typically, we host representatives of all ages from every branch of the armed forces. Other than veteran status, the primary criterion we look for is a sincere passion for writing, although some preference is given to those who have had less access to writing guidance. NOTE: Vets who have attended the workshop in the past are ineligible to attend a second time.

Vets from outside the Los Angeles area may attend, but must provide their own transportation and lodging costs.

Veterans are mentored by professional writers with a variety of backgrounds. Most are television writers or screenwriters, but we also invite journalists, novelists and teachers.

How many vets does it serve?
The Veterans Writing Project is twofold. There is a weekend workshop in May, where 40 to 50 vets attend a series of small, intensive writing classes. About 25 to 30 mentors attend this workshop. But we don’t leave the vets after that. After that, a small group of Los-Angeles area vets meets periodically at the WGF headquarters, to continue to workshop their writing with industry mentors.

View photos from the Spring 2016 session
View photos from the Fall 2015 session 

How can I apply?
Applications are closed for the May 2016 session of the Veterans Writing Project retreat. Check back for updates on the next session.

How can I help?
The Veterans Writing Project is always in need of financial support, and we’re always on the lookout for passionate and motivated mentors working in the film and television industry. For more information on how you can help contact us at 323.782.4692 or make a donation here.

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A group of Veterans Writing Project alumni with TV legend Norman Lear and co-showrunner of Netflix’s ONE DAY AT A TIME Gloria Calderon Kellett on November 2016.