F290. Beyond Combat: Nontraditional War Stories

Room 506, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Not all war stories look like American Sniper. War is a vast spectrum of experiences, but literature and film offer only a limited, formulaic glimpse. We seek to expand that view, covering conflicts across borders and eras through fiction, memoir, and poetry, from the perspectives of female veterans, bureaucrats, aid workers, family members, and men and women living in the war zones. We discuss the challenges and importance of writing against masculine traditions and combat-driven narratives.



Lauren Kay Halloran is a former Air Force public affairs officer and Afghanistan veteran. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Emerson College. Her forthcoming memoir chronicles her coming-of-age against the backdrop of war, through her mother’s Army career and her own service.

Olivia Kate Cerrone’s Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction recently won the Crab Orchard Review's Jack Dyer Prize. She serves as an editor for Consequence magazine and as a writing mentor for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. A regular contributor to the Rumpus, she is at work on a novel.

Qais Akbar Omar is the author of the internationally acclaimed memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers, which has been published in twenty-three languages. Omar has an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. He was a Scholars at Risk Fellow at Harvard University in 2014–15.

Mariette Katharine Kalinowski is a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps. She deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2008. She earned her MFA in fiction from Hunter College in 2014. Her story "The Train" appears in Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. She is currently working on her first novel.

Mieke Eerkens


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center