Veterans Writing Conference

Veterans Writing Conference Scheduled

Las Vegas June 1-2, 2012

Special thanks to the English department of the College of Southern Nevada for its help and support of this project.


writing conf sep 2011The Veterans Writing Project takes on a regional scope in June when veterans and family members from a four state area will be invited to attend a writing conference in Las Vegas, NV. At a two day meeting, June 1-2, attendees will be able to attend sessions with a group of well known and well published authors all from varying backgrounds in military life experience and all accomplished authors in creative writing.

Download Veterans_Writing_Conference_Flyer.pdf

"We had so much success with the first two writing projects within the state, we believe this conference could be the catalyst for offering more educational opportunities like this one for veterans and their family members," said Executive Director Caleb Cage. "With six different notable authors and teachers conducting the two-day sessions, there is a wealth of knowledge and direction to be gained for those who would like to pursue creative writing."

The conference will be held at New York New York hotel on Las Vegas Strip with space expected for the first 100 people to register. "This is our first undertaking of this kind with this level of scope. We're not sure what kind of reception to expect, but if it is anything like the state level efforts, we should have good attendance," said Cage.

Registration for the event will be through the NOVS website and a promotional launch for the four states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California will be coming in the next few weeks.

Date: June 1-2, 2012

Location: New York New York, Las Vegas.

To be put on an email list to receive information, email

Conference Speakers / Panelists

April Conway

speaker photo april conway webMajor April Conway is the State Public Affairs Officer for the Joint Force Headquarters, Nevada National Guard, responsible for strategic communications, internal communications and media relations for the 4,300 Airmen and Soldiers of the unit. She is also the reputation manager for the Battle Born Guard and oversees communication efforts with the state's congressional delegation, state legislators, and a variety of spheres of influence in Las Vegas, Reno and other Nevada communities. With time spent in the active duty Army with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, the Reno resident has risen in rank from private first class to a field grade officer. She has served at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Antarctica, Korea, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and several locations in Europe. 


Allen Herritage

speaker photo allen herritage webMajor Allen Herritage entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in 1997 after receiving a degree in English.  He has served in various positions as a public affairs officer at the wing, center, numbered Air Force and major command levels as well as joint tours.  He has deployed to Haiti in support of humanitarian exercises, Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to Iraq twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Scott Yarbrough

Speaker photo scott webR. Scott Yarbrough has published poetry, short fiction, and drama in The United States and Canada in over fifty national literary journals.  His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Hollin’s Critic, Puerto Del Sol, Descant, The Nassau Review, and others.  His upcoming spring publications of 2012 include The Evansville Review, Bluestem/Karamu, and The Concho River Review.  Yarbrough is The Honored Texas Piper Professor of Creative Writing/Literature of 2001 and Editor of Forces Literary Journal of Arts and Literature. He has been teaching literature and creative writing, full-time, for 29 years on the college level.

David Abrams

Speaker Photo David AbramsHis short stories have appeared in Esquire, Narrative, The Literarian, Connecticut Review, and other literary quarterlies. Abrams had a 20-year career in the active-duty Army as a journalist, was named the Department of Defense's Military Journalist of the Year in 1994 and received several other military commendations throughout his career. He joined the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His journal during that year formed the blueprint for the novel which became known as Fobbit, and is scheduled for publishing in 2012. He earned a BA in English from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Sally Drum

Speaker Photo Sally DrummSally Drumm served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from 1978 through 1998. During August 2005, having earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte while participating in a Veterans Administration education program for disabled veterans, Sally founded MilSpeak Creative Writing Seminars, a free creative writing program for military people. In 2009, Sally founded MilSpeak Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness about creative works by military people. Through the foundation, Sally operates a number of military focused creative writing outlets. Along with MilSpeak Books, an eBooks publisher, MilSpeak Memo, a literary magazine, and other programs, Sally is a leader in promoting military people in the arts by developing and encouraging creativity among military people.

Lee Barnes

Speaker Photo Lee BarnesH. Lee Barnes lives and writes in Las Vegas, where he teaches English and creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada. In his past lives, he was a soldier, a deputy sheriff, a narcotics agent, a casino dealer, and a martial arts instructor. His short stories have won the Willamette and the Arizona Authors Association fiction awards. Gunning for Ho, his first collection of short stories, was a finalist for the Stephen Turner First Fiction Award offered by the Texas Institute of Letters. In 2009 he was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.


Siobhan Fallon

Speaker Photo Siobhan FallonSiobhan Fallon, an army spouse, is the author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, “lean, powerful stories” (NY Times) set at Fort Hood, Texas. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Publishers’ Weekly, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, New Letters, and she is currently writing a monthly fiction series for Military Spouse Magazine. She earned her MFA from the New School in New York City.



Matt Gallagher

Speaker Photo Matt GallagherMatt Gallagher joined the U.S. Army in 2005 and received a commission in the armored cavalry. Following a fifteen-month deployment in Iraq, Gallagher left the army as a captain in 2009. The author of the war memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, he works at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) as a Senior Fellow and is an MFA candidate at Columbia University.



Pinckney Benedict

Speaker Photo Pinckney BenedictPinckney Benedict grew up in the mountains of southern West Virginia. He has published four volumes of fiction; his work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including 2009's Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform. He is currently at work on a thriller, the protagonist of which is a veteran of combat in Iraq who suffers from traumatic brain injury.