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Contribute, Share, Teach: All About the WWrite Blog

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Do you want to contribute to WWrite? Know someone who could write an awesome post? Want to get students to post or use as a resource? Want to put in requests for topics or themes? Have any comments or suggestions? If you've said yes, then you will want to read what's next: all about the WWrite Blog.

What is the WWrite Blog?

dulcemanuscript"Dulce et Decorum Est" Manuscript by Wilfred OwenWWrite is a blog sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission that features both emerging and established writers from all genres who want to help expand and modernize WWI’s complex and abandoned memory in the United States and in the world. WWrite posts a new contribution every 1-2 weeks and provides a weekend update on writerly WWI news 1-2 times per month. With 8,000 subscribers (and growing everyday!), the blog enjoys a diverse readership, which includes, among others, teachers, students, other writers and artists, scholars, military personnel, engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses, chefs, government officials, and business owners. For a more in-depth description click here and here. To access the blog, click here.

Contribute: Who Can Write for the WWrite Blog? How to Submit a Post?

The short answer to the first question is anybody, everybody inspired by writing or events from 1914-1918. The long answer: anybody and everybody who is interested in uncovering and creating the memory of WWI. Read on:

"Uncovering"
 By uncovering, the blog means that it wants to reveal the numerous forgotten elements in WWI's collective memory: the reality of the soldier’s experience, important roles played by women and other minorities, writers who perished before their poems had a chance at publication, the battles fought on the Eastern front, families holding up the home front, international perspectives of the war, the debilitating injuries, the invisible wounds of PTSD, or the changed life of veterans and their communities after WWI’s end. For example, veteran writer, Benjamin Busch, posted about discovering a WWI cemetery during the Iraq War, highlighting the often-neglected story of the Middle East. Veteran writer Kayla Williams discussed the inspiration she takes from the story of the first enlisted woman in the U.S. military, Loretta Walsh. Allan Howerton talked about the link between his experience as a WWII soldier and his father's, a WWI seaman (Allan is 94-year-old WWII veteran and has just published his third book!).

PSWorkingImage16Poet Seth Brady Tucker in Iraq"Creating"
By creating, the blog asks writers, even if they have never written about WWI, to search for it somewhere in their lives, their families, or their writing. The blog believes that this war influenced and still influences many aspects of today’s conceptions of culture, society, history, and identity. Once found, the blog asks writers to compose a short piece dealing with the experience of this discovery and its possible influence in their art. For example, actor and writer, Darryl Dillard, did research into the history of black actors during the WWI-era. In his post, he made a connection between the terrible black actor stereotypes and the mistreatment of black soldiers during the war. Veteran writer, Brian Turner, created a musical composition, “Sleeping in the Trenches,” and talked about the piece’s relationship to war poetry.

Promotion
The blog promotes the featured posts through official WWI Centennial Commission email bulletins to subscribers and through social media on the WWICC Facebook and news feed. We also encourage blog writers to publicize it within their own networks. Usually, the posts receive quite a few hits when they’re first published and then are read at a slower rate afterwards. However, the history has shown that people continue to read older posts as the blog evolves.

Publication Project
A project is underway to publish the blog entries in a book after November 11, 2108. The book will serve as a permanent memory of contemporary thought during the last few years of the centennial. Your writing has the potential to be part of this meaningful contribution to history.

 Father Son Seaman Bonnie Roy Howerton U.S Navy 1917 18 copy WWI Father, Bonnie Roy Howerton. WWII Son, Allan Howerton.Submit a post
Posts average at around 500-700 words, but the blog does not impose a strict word limit. If you'd like to submit a post, you may email the blog curator, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, at jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org or you may go to the main page and click "I would like to contribute a story" from the left-hand column menu. Enter your email address, name, and a short message. You do not have to have the post completed before emailing the curator. A simple idea or inspiration can work at first. She enjoys bouncing ideas back and forth with writers and editing their texts.

Share: How Can I Share the WWRite Blog? How Can I Subscribe?
If you like something you read on the WWrite Blog, you can simply share the links within your network. Note: if you just post the link when sharing on Facebook, the image that goes with the link will automatically appear as the WWI Centennial Commission logo. If you wish to keep the images with the original Facebook post, just share the link onto your page. If you would like to share by email with more than just the link, you can, as a subscriber, send  the email bulletin you receive each time a new post appears. This contains a short paragraph, a photo, and a link to the site. 

To become a subscriber and receive the bulletin, go the main page and click on "Subscribe to WWrite and More." After you give your email, you will be asked for a few delivery preferences and then prompted to provide an optional password. That's it!

JasminebiopicMajor Jasmine MotupalliTeach: How Can I Use the WWrite Blog as a Resource for Students?
Reading: Lesson Complement
The posts on WWrite can be used in conjunction with a history, political, or literature lesson for students in high school and above. They may complement a particular theme or book by bringing in a modern perspective and comparing it to contemporary conflicts. For example, if teaching Wilfred Owen's famous WWI poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est," Seth Brady Tucker's post, "Discovering WWI Poetry in an Iraqi Foxhole," might be used to show both the universality and specificity of WWI literature for soldiers fighting today's wars. If teaching about the role of African Americans in WWI, Darryl Dillard's post, "The Great War's Influence on Black Male Actors Today," and Jasmine Motupalli's "Iraq and Afghanistan Inspired by Ida B. Wells' WWI Fight", will offer an interesting perspective on the home front during the war.

Writing: Prompt or Submission
The blog posts can certainly be used as writing prompts for students thinking about the influence of WWI on today's writing and culture. However, teachers are also encouraged to get students to submit to WWrite as writers. Why not have students, after a lesson about WWI, submit something themselves? For example, a reflection on Owen's poem after reading Tucker's piece? Or, reflections on an investigation into WWI's place in a family history? Teachers may even hold a contest for the best essay, which can be submitted to WWrite for consideration. The curator would also be happy to sit as a "judge" for such submissions if possible.

WWrite is happy to work with educators from all levels if they need help incorporating the blog in their teaching. Please email the curator at jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org 

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  1. Timothy Noonan

I would be interested to hear about the Gold Star Mothers and WWI became a defining event for them.

 
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