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New Army writing program asks soldiers to imagine the future of warfare

Calling all fiction writers. The Army wants to publish your work.

The Army's new Future Warfare Writing Program seeks soldier-written fiction that can be published on the Army Press Online website. Stories are to be about future challenges and problems the Army could face in a complex world, along the vein of the highly popular novel "Ghost Fleet," which imagines how World War III might play out.

The folks behind Army Press "believe strongly that fiction is a really great tool for planning for the future and preparing for the future," said Amanda Hemmingsen, editor of the Army Press Online Journal. She also manages the Future Warfare Writing Program.

Fiction writing encourages a "well-developed imagination," which in turn "helps you be adaptable and think on your feet," Hemmingsen said.

The popularity of "Ghost Fleet," which was released last summer, also helped, she said, adding that the book "has really turned up a lot of interest in fiction as a tool for thinking."

The book gave the Army "an opportunity for us to dispel some of the myths that fiction is just for fun," Hemmingsen said.

Submissions to Army Press should look to the future but also be grounded in a plausible reality, she said.

"It could be a geopolitical reality, legal reality, technical reality or organizational reality," she said. "From there, the author can take it where they want in order to raise questions or get people thinking about the trajectory of the future."

The program is open to all soldiers. Submissions should be relatively short, coming in at three to eight pages. Soldiers also are encouraged to submit photos, sketches, drawings or graphics with their work.

The first submission was posted in June. "It Ain't Much to Look At — Reconnaissance and Security Operations in the Future ABCT Cavalry Troop," explores how tactical operations might change based on potential technological advancements in the future, Hemmingsen said.

A second submission is scheduled to be posted in July.

Not all submissions will be published, however.

"We're looking for work that helps people prepare for the future," she said. "At the heart of this, it helps create more flexible thinkers."

All submissions or any questions about the program should be sent to usarmy.leavenworth.tradoc.mbx.army-press@mail.mil.

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