AUGUST 22, 2012

Writing Contest to benefit Wounded Warriors

Retired Marine seeks short stories
Bookmark and Share

short rationsMajor Ralph Stoney Bates USMC (Ret.) of Greenville, SC, is seeking short stories for an anthology that will be published and distributed nationally next year. Tentatively titled Short Rations: Ready-to-Read Stories from the Battlefield and the Homefront of United States Marines, the collection will feature both heroic tales of war and stories that Bates calls “everyday tales of the unwashed masses.”

“We’re looking for any true, first person account that gives readers insight into the lives of U.S. Marines, Fleet Marine Force sailors (veterans and retired included), and their families. The stories could be about historic events or humorous incidents that come with everyday life,” Bates said. “It takes all kinds to keep the mean green machine running.”

Bates’s background includes a tour of duty as a drill instructor at Parris Island. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he served 26 years on active duty as an enlisted man, warrant officer, and commissioned officer. He developed the idea for the book while taking a writing class. The instructor, Amanda Capps, knew Bates had enough stories of his own to fill several books, but, together, they decided to broaden the scope. Now acting as Bates’s assistant editor, Capps said they are seeking submissions from all over the U.S., and they’ve spread the word to those stationed on bases as far as Lisbon, Portugal, where Bates served as keynote speaker at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in 2010 and 2011.

The deadline for submitting a story to the anthology is October 1, 2012, and there is a $25 entry fee, which goes toward publication costs, distribution, and donations to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Selected writers will be published alongside distinguished military personnel and journalists. Each selected contributor will receive two copies of the book and will be able to obtain additional copies at a discount. Bates and Capps will coordinate book signings and make copies available in a variety of stores. Contributions are also gratefully accepted.

Please mail typed stories to Short Rations, c/o Major Ralph Bates at P.O. Box 26196, Greenville, SC, 29616. Make a check or money order for $25 payable to Short Rations. Include a title, along with contact information and any relevant notes about the story or past publishing experience. Send e-mail submissions to Those who submit online should pay via Paypal on the Short Rations website. Full submission guidelines can be viewed at For more information, e-mail or call Assistant Editor Amanda Capps at 864-363-1528.