Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's Rock the house at Deja Brew!

Join us for some great coffee, conversation and creativity when we take part in Deja Brew's Open Mic Night! 

Deja Brew is Western Prince William County's Mecca for the arts, a real coffee house where the community can enjoy the eclectic talents of writers, musicians and other artists. 

Our authors have been fortunate enough to market their books and conduct readings/book signings at this unique location.  We are so fortunate that owner Tom Nichols has invested in people like us, especially because he recently thought his last day of business would occur this May.  Let's support him in return and ensure chains like Starbucks don't take over the world!

We'll be at Deja Brew Saturday night, June 9 at 7:30.

Deja Brew is off Dominion Valley Drive.  The address is 5311 Merchants View Square, Haymarket, VA 20169.

For more information on Deja Brew, call 571-261-9418.

In The Fray Magazine Seeks Corruption

In The Fray Magazine | Call for Submissions | June 2012: Corruption

Corruption is an inevitable part of political life, in countries rich and poor. In India, a Transparency International study finds that 55 percent of citizens have had firsthand experience with bribing government officials. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, storeowners pay police officers protection money to “watch over” their shops. And in the United States, corruption has become a high, if hidden, art, with politicians and lobbyists conspiring to rewrite the rules to grant special interest groups an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

But in recent years, advancing technology and increased public awareness have changed the ways that corruption is tackled, exposed, and ultimately punished. In India, almost a quarter of the country's members of parliament were recently facing criminal corruption charges, and a strong case can be made that the evolving digital news environment is responsible for their undoing. Websites like Wikileaks have made it easier for whistleblowers to bring misdeeds to light — while also weakening the secrecy that governments argue is necessary for their diplomacy and strategizing.

This month, In The Fray wants your stories of corruption — political and otherwise. Tell us the ways that dishonesty and greed undermine the proper workings of organizations, from Congress to corporations, from regulations to relationships. Is corruption an inevitable human tendency or a curable condition? As usual, we are open to stories that deal with the topic broadly construed, and in a variety of approaches: profiles, interviews, reportage, personal essays, op-eds, travel writing, photo essays, artwork, videos, multimedia projects, and review essays of books, film, music, and art.

If interested, please email with a well-developed, one-paragraph pitch for your proposed piece as soon as possible — along with three links to your previous work — NO LATER THAN JULY 1, 2012. All contributors are urged to review our submissions guidelines at

We are also looking for artists, photographers, and writers, who can take care of specific assignments, including interviews, book and film reviews, and accompanying photos and artwork. If interested, please follow the instructions at the bottom of to join our contributors’ mailing list.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Editors of In The Fray Magazine

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Write by the Rails to be Right by the Rails on Saturday

Thanks to member Dan Verner, Write by the Rails will have a table and ten writers at the 18th Annual Manassas Railway Festival, sponsored by Historic Manassas, Inc. this Saturday, 06/02/2012, from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. We will be in booth V8, Freelance Writing, behind the Railroad depot on Prince William Street and diagonally across from the antique construction equipment.  Plan to come and enjoy the fun and support your local writers!

The 18th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is a family celebration of the rich railway history that Manassas has to offer. Manassas Junction was the site of both the 1st and 2nd Battles of Manassas during the Civil War and of the nation’s first military railroad.

Attracting over 30,000 individuals from the MD, DC, and Northern Virginia areas, Festival attendees can enjoy a day of train fun for the whole family. Attendees can enjoy elaborate model train displays, live music (Country to Blue Grass), performances by community groups, inflatables, vendors specializing in train memorabilia, or take an excursion ride on the VRE! Scenic Excursion Train Rides (to Clifton and back) will be available for purchase at the Manassas Train Depot (9431 West Street) starting on Monday, April 30th (M-F, 9AM-5PM). All trains board 10 minutes prior to train times. Everyone boarding the train will need a ticket. Train Ride Times: 10:00AM/11:00AM/12:00PM/1:00PM Tickets are $5.00 each (Cash/Check/Charge). All checks should be made out to Historic Manassas, Inc.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Plan to Attend the June 8 Networking Meeting

Write by the Rails will hold a networking meeting on Friday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. at Ashton Family Restaurant, 9920 Cockrell Road, Manassas, Virginia 20110. 

Get updates on activities and plans, and share your ideas and news. This is a great way to connect with local writers, exchange contact information and learn from each other. 

RSVP's are not required but are appreciated.  Email or post in our Facebook group.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Congrats to Award Winning Member Nancy Kyme!

Northern Virgina author wins literary award for book set in Northern Michigan.
Nancy S. Kyme’s debut novel-memoir, Memory Lake; The Forever Friendships of Summer, Vantage Point Books, has won The 2012 Next Generation Indie Book award in the Inspirational category.  Kyme’s novel hit book stores July 2011 and became an e-book January 2012.  David Lamb, President of Vantage Point says, "Memory Lake has handily outsold one of their USA Today bestselling authors by a factor of five.”  
Kyme’s heartwarming, coming-of-age story, told from a point of mature wisdom, is set along the shores of Lake Michigan near the Sleeping Bear Dunes, an area of the country named ABC Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place in America and recently selected by National Geographic as one of their ten best summer trips.  Not only is the setting inspirational, but Kyme’s complex, yet clearly presented characters evoke a richly remembered past and a calm present that is both inspiring and entertaining. 
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards recognizes and honors authors and publishers of exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories.  The not-for-profit awards program was started in 2007 by Catherine Goulet and is presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. The judges are professionals from the book publishing industry.  Cash prizes and medals are awarded to winners and finalists of the top books in each category. The awards are announced each year during BookExpo America in a catalog distributed to BookExpo attendees. 
As a member of Writers for a Cause, Kyme will present her cash prize to the Leelanau and Kohahna Foundation
Kyme can be reached for comment at She resides in Lake Ridge, Virginia.  Her next scheduled book signing will take place August 3rd in Traverse City, MI from 4:00 to 6:00pm at Horizon Books.   


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Members: Call for Submissions

Dear Members of Write by the Rails:

We are excited to announce that WbtR is planning an anthology of writing and sketches by YOU!  This professionally published book will help raise awareness of WbtR, showcase talent by our members and, through sales, earn funds for expanding WbtR’s support of local writers.  The anthology will be entitled New Departures and will be released mid November, 2012.

A small group of WbtR members has volunteered to take on this project, but we can’t do it without you.  Please consider submitting work for consideration.  Submission guidelines follow.  

The deadline for submitting is August 31, 2012. 

Theme: innovation. We are seeking work that expresses ideas in new ways, encourages creative and critical thinking and adds fresh energy to the local arts. 

Prose: fiction, essay, literary non-fiction
Submissions have a 2,000 word maximum, one submission per author. 

Poetry: any form
Submit 3-5 poems, no more than 40 lines per poem.    

All text submissions must be sent as MS Word document attachments.  Documents must be left justified, typed in 12-point Times font, grammar/spell-checked and titled in some way.  Please use page numbers and include the author’s name on each page.

Any submission that demonstrates research must be documented using citations and references in order to avoid plagiarism.

Art: sketches
Submit 3-5 sketches.  Submissions must be in high resolution, ready-to-print .jpg format and reproducible in black and white.  Images that might appear too light or too dark in print cannot be accepted. 

When submitting, please keep in mind

• Authors and artists must be age 18 or over; 

• Work must be original;

• Authors and artists retain copyrights;

• Previously published work must be noted as such in the submission. (Please be certain you are legally permitted to republish your work, as we will not be liable for copyright infringement.);

• Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of Write by the Rails members before being selected for publication;

• Accepted submissions are subject to editing;

• If work is accepted, authors and artists will be asked to sign a simple release to publish, as well as submit a short biography;

• All work must be submitted via email to
At this time, WbtR is unable to pay contributors. However, the anthology will be made available for sale at community events, through members’ sales, online through Amazon and other internet distributors and through select local businesses.  Contributors are encouraged to use the anthology as a marketing tool as well as circulate the publication through other appropriate venues.

Thank you for your efforts in strengthening the writing community by being actively involved in Write by the Rails.  We look forward to receiving your submissions.


New Departures Editorial Team

Dan Verner
Leigh Giza
Claudia Lefeve
Cindy Brookshire
Katherine Gotthardt

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What the heck are we doing?

Well first, we are celebrating the creation of the Write by the Rails blog, a place to help us stay informed, stimulated and inspired.  In a few short moments, WbtR members will see a Facebook post announcing this new facet which will add one more dimension to our group.

Why a blog?  To start, not everyone enjoys spending time on Facebook.  Then, the amount of information that can be posted on Facebook is limited and often difficult to locate.  Articles, essays, short fiction, reflection and other creative work by our members deserve a public forum, one that can be linked to our personal websites and added to email signatures.  Finally, a blog offers more opportunity for discussion.  There are other advantages to having a blog, of course, but these seem to be the most important for our group.

This blog will include information on Write by the Rails meetings, events and ventures.  Perhaps more importantly, however, is that blog posts will be by you, the members.  Got a short piece you would like to appear here?  Send it.  Jotted down some literary observations?  Let's see them.  Read a good book?  Tell us.  We hope to have a steady flow of member contributions, making for an eclectic, informative and interesting site.

You can get the conversation started by entering a comment below and/or submitting your thought provoking, well-written post to  Put "blog submission" in the subject line. 

Here's to what's happening!