Write by the Rails – Summer Tune-Up Meetings
Sundays@2pm – 8908 Fort Drive, Manassas
July 9 – Cindy Brookshire, Chip Deyerle, Leigh Giza, Marv Josaitis, Claudia Lefeve, Dan Verner
Vision – What do you want out of Write by the Rails?
· To meet local writers, networking, get out and be with others
· To get better at the craft by seeing what works for others, improve from those who have more experience, to share lessons learned
· To encourage each other to be creative and productive
· To make our writing known
· To learn how to get a book to market
· To broaden the perspective of the community, to appreciate local creativity
· To fill the dead zone between Washington DC and Richmond with a creative zone for writers
· To fill the gap within the Prince William County Arts Council with a vibrant literary community
· To nurture a community of writers and be nurtured; to make members dreams happen
· To increase our own visibility as writers (Facebook, blog)
Obstacles – After one year as a group, what is keeping us from our vision?
· Figuring out if we want to be organized (by laws, etc) or loose networking on Facebook
· Anthology vs no anthology – we are/are not ready to showcase
· Money matters – bank account or non-profit, which should come first
· Writers are introverts not extroverts
· Some of us are not comfortable selling our books out there, getting up to talk
· Self-interest – only wanting what you want out of the group and not willing to give back
· So many genres (fantasy, romance, non-fiction) but not enough diversity of writers (age, race)
· Publishing platforms – traditional vs. self-published, print vs. e-book
· We don’t have a clear chain of command in decision-making
· We don’t have a board or some advisors to help steer us
· We don’t have enough programming – speakers, workshops, vs. book sales at events
· We aren’t connected into the schools
Resources – What can we connect with to overcome our obstacles and reach our vision?
· Toastmasters – develop as extroverts to market books
· PWC Library System, NVCC Continuing Education, Center for the Arts, Chamber of Commerce, Lifelong Learning Institute to offer courses such as “Marketing for Authors” to share our expertise
· James River Writers and Virginia Writers Club (Northern Virginia Writers) to learn best practices
· Member talents – Nancy Kyme (finance), Chip Deyerle (by-laws), survey monkey (Claudia LaFeve)
· Print media (News & Messenger, Prince William Living), hyperlocal news (BristowBeat.com, PotomacLocal.com, Manassas.Patch.com, etc) for jobs and publicity
· Schools – awareness of scholarships, speakers
Action Plan – What can you do to use resources to overcome obstacles and advance our vision?
· Claudia LaFeve will create a survey, using Survey Monkey, to the membership to ask basic questions to the full membership. The group that met on July 8 will help decide what the questions will be, such as, do you want to work toward becoming a non-profit, or remain a loose Facebook networking group? Do you want to move ahead with or delay the anthology?
· Leigh Giza will look into finding places where we can meet at least bi-monthly face to face in the western (Gainesville/Haymarket/Bristow), eastern (Woodbridge/Dale City/Dumfries) and central (City of Manassas to Hoadly/Minnieville Rd) Prince William region.
· Chip Deyerle, who has done by laws for the fire company, will draft an easy to understand constitution and by-laws based on information Nancy Kyme gathered from the Manassas Art Guild and the Northern Virginia Writers’ chapter of Virginia Writers Club – if results of survey indicate this is the avenue we want to pursue.
· Cindy Brookshire will gather a list of resources to add to the Write by the Rails blog, based on the brainstorming under “Resources” (Toastmasters to educational institutions to local media).
· Cindy Brookshire will learn “mail chimp” to create a monthly e-news for local writers to share their news (sign up for e-news on blog).
“How To Market Your Book” Workshop
A panel discussion with local members of Write by the Rails
Saturday, September 8
12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Bull Run Regional Library
8051 Ashton Avenue, Manassas
· Leigh is asking Claudia Lefeve, Nancy Kyme and Ross Murphy to be on the panel
· Chip Deyerle will be coerced to provide a banjo prelude/interlude
· Leigh Giza will MC and introduce panel
· Dan Verner and Leigh Giza will handle set-up and clean-up
· Cindy will handle publicity starting Aug. 1
NEXT MEETING: Sunday, July 15 @ 2pm – Cindy Brookshire’s,
8908 Fort Drive, Manassasby