F120. Women, War, and the Military: How to Tell the Story

Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Five writers—three military veterans and two civilians—weigh the pros and cons of telling military women’s stories through fiction versus memoir. Is the novel still better, as Virginia Woolf argued, at representing the private discourses of women’s lives to the public? Or does the memoir better afford women the opportunity to write themselves into history? What can a novel do that a memoir cannot, and vice versa? Is there a reason why more women veterans have turned to memoir than to fiction?


Mariana Grohowski is an assistant professor of writing at Indiana University Southeast. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Veterans Studies, a refereed, open access, interdisciplinary journal.

Helen Benedict is the award-winning author of seven novels, including two about women and war, the recent Wolf Season and Sand Queen, a Publishers Weekly “Best Contemporary War Novel.” A professor at Columbia University, she has also written five nonfiction books and a play. 

Tracy Crow, president/CEO of MilSpeak Foundation, is the author/editor of five books to include It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan with coauthor Jerri Bell, and the award-winning memoir, Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine.

M.L. Doyle has served in the US Army at home and abroad for more than three decades as both a soldier and civilian. She calls on those experiences in her award-winning military-based mystery series, her urban fantasy, romance writing, and coauthored memoirs which feature women who wear combat boots.

Jerri Bell, a retired naval officer and instructor/editor for the Veterans Writing Project, has published short fiction and nonfiction. She and Tracy Crow are the authors of It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside