Write by the Rails was born August 8, 2011 when a group of motivated writers, organized by community advocate, Prince William Arts Council member and writer Cindy Brookshire, met to brainstorm ways to get Prince William County/Manassas/Manassas Park writers more exposure. That year, the group
- held three networking meetings at area restaurants;
- started a Facebook group page and email distribution list;
- got the word out about Write by the Rails through local newspapers, online news sites and blogs;
- led a "What motivates you?" literary panel discussion at Trinity Episcopal Church, Manassas;
- held a multi-author book signing at La Grange Winery, Haymarket;
- held a multi-author book signing at the Manassas Neighborhood Conference;
- had a table and book signings at the Arts Alive! festival sponsored by the Prince William County Arts Council.
In 2012, Write by the Rails
- became the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club
- created and distributed an informational brochure;
- created a website with blog;
- conducted readings, discussions and book signings at the Arts Alive! festival sponsored by Prince William County Arts Council;
- published an anthology, New Departures, by Write by the Rails members;
- held a multi-author book signing at the Manassas Railroad Festival;
- held a networking/planning meeting at a local restaurant;
- took part in open mic night at a coffee house in Western Prince William County;
- boosted media and business relations;
- had 11 members join the Prince William County Arts Council, with one member being elected to the Arts Council Board of Directors as an individual writer;
- hosted a "How to Market Your Book" panel discussion with local, experienced authors;
- held regular meetings to plan long and short-term goals for the group.
In 2013, Write by the Rails became an organization member of the Prince William Arts Council.
In 2014, as a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, Write by the Rails expanded even more. Chapter member June Forte launched the Prince William Poet Laureate Program, working with PWC Arts Council, Tackett’s Mill and the Clearwater Foundation. On June 14 at the Poetry & Jazz on the Lake event, two Poets Laureate were named to a two-year term: Robert Scott and Zan Hailey.
- WbtR hosted a one-day Rising Writers Workshop for teens and young adults on March 29 using a grant from Prince William County.
- WbtR also led workshops, gallery readings and book sales at Arts Alive! May 3, 2014 - Prince William County Arts Council at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
- WbtR hosted a Write by the Rails “Endless Possibilities” Blog Tour for 8 weeks; 16 members participated; a followup podcast out-processed the experience.
- Monthly meetings averaged 20 to 25 in attendance and featured a guest speaker.
- The open group on Facebook increased from 160 to 257 members; website and chapter news on Virginia Writers Club website were maintained and updated.
- WbtR built community partnerships through active membership and participation in the Prince William County Arts Council, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and the Inter-Service Club Council of Greater Manassas.
- Community outreach expanded to local businesses and schools.
News, plans, members' writings and more are posted on the homepage, www.writebytherails.org, and in the Facebook group, www.facebook.com/groups/Writebytherails, which is open to the public.
The public may also keep up-to-date with our activities as well as other local writing-related opportunities by viewing our calendar.
The public may view our bylaws here.