UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop

Every veteran has memories of his or her military service, from enlistment, boot camp and trainings, through deployments and homecomings. At the UC Student Veterans Summer Writing Workshop, student veterans from all ten campuses of the University of California gather for five days to study and practice the art of storytelling. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, students learn how to compose personal narratives about their military experiences and share their stories with others.

Program date: Sunday-Friday, June 18-23, 2017

Location: This year’s workshop was held at La Casa de Maria, a 26-acre retreat situated on the banks of San Ysidro Creek, in Montecito, California. Known for its tranquil beauty, La Casa de Maria was described in the New York Times as a place of “pure splendor.” La Casa provides an ideal environment in which to disconnect from the stresses of the world and focus on ideas and feelings associated with military life.

Program: The program schedule includes daily writing workshops, group discussions and story circles. Afternoons are devoted to writing and are a time of quiet work. The grounds of La Casa de Maria have many scenic, comfortable spots conducive to reflection and writing. While people write independently, there is inspiration to be derived from working in the company of others similarly engaged. The late afternoons are reserved for recreation: attending a yoga class to refresh mind and body, swimming in the pool on the premises, meditating, and strolling the beautiful grounds.

The daily communal meals and evening gatherings afford time for conversation, friendship-building, and conviviality. There are two excursions, one to a local beach for a sunset barbecue, and another on the final evening, to the UC Santa Barbara campus, for a celebratory banquet in which participants present their written stories to members of the university community.


Who Should Apply: Undergraduate and graduate UC student veterans interested in writing narratives about their military experiences in a workshop composed of student veterans from across the UC system. Applicants need not have any experience with creative writing.

Grant Provision

The UC Veterans Summer Writing Workshop is FREE of charge for all participants. Travel reimbursement, lodging and meals are provided. Click here for more details about transportation and lodging.