The Writers House‘s Outside the Wire program focuses on the impact of service on veterans’ families. As part of this program, two virtual retreats invite veterans and/or military family members to participate in a menu of workshops that encourage reflection and self-care. 

The first retreat, on Saturday, February 20, features the following workshops. Attend the full day or just one session. Please note registration is required. 

Archival Skills Workshop (12 n – 1 pm EST) Do you have photos, correspondence, objects or video from your family’s service experience? Led by Rutgers archivist and military family member Julie Still, this workshop will show participants ways of using archival skills to organize and label family artifacts and begin to identify narratives of their family histories. Open to all ages. 

Writing Workshop. (1:20 – 3:20 pm EST) Facilitated by Hugh Martin and Portia Simmons, experienced leaders from Warrior Writers, this generative workshop will invite participants to reflect on their service experiences and create new work. Open to veterans and military family members ages 15 and up. 

Somatic/Wellness Workshop. (3:40 – 4:40 pm EST) Join Somatic Movement Educator & Therapist Lee Fogel, for a session that explores movement and sensory awareness as a foundation for increasing joy and decreasing stress in our day-to-day lives. Together we’ll explore how tuning into our bodies’ needs supports our well being individually as well as in our families and communities. Open to all ages. 

Lee Fogel, MA, RSME/T is a Somatic Movement Educator & Therapist, Reiki practitioner, and interdisciplinary artist helping individuals and organizations live out their visions with wellbeing and embodied wisdom. Through her practice, The Visioning Body, she has worked with community organizations, schools, arts and wellness centers, medical centers, corporate finance firms, artists, activists, and healers. She served on the board of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association, helping to found their Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Lee holds an MA in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing from the University of Central Lancashire, a BA in Art and Dance from Oberlin College. She believes that the creative intelligence of our bodies can help guide us to a healthier world. Learn more about Lee and her work at

Visual Arts Workshop. (5 – 6 pm EST) Throughout our service experiences, family connections can be sources of both comfort and complexity. In this workshop, we’ll draw on both aspects to create a family coat of arms with images, symbols, words, and colors that explore the character of your connections and the changes they’ve undergone. No drawing experience needed; participants will want to have white paper, pencil, erasers, and crayons or colored pencils on hand. Open to all ages. 

Hollis Citron is on a mission to make creativity accessible to everyone. She is a seasoned art teacher and founder of I Am Creative. She is passionate and wants to shout from the rooftops that being creative is not just about drawing and painting. Creativity is within everyone. Learn more at