Write by the Rails had its first official monthly meeting Nov. 15, 7-9 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church.  In attendance were: Prince William County – Carol Covin, June Forte, Leigh Giza, Katherine Gotthardt, Linda Johnston; City of Manassas – Cindy Brookshire, John Budesky, Dan Verner; City of Manassas Park – Val Wallace
Election of officers (temporary):
Cindy Brookshire – President/Treasurer
Linda Johnston – Projects Manager/Liaison to Virginia Writers Club
Katherine Gotthardt – Liaison to the Prince William County Arts Council
Carol Keily – Keeper of the Membership List
Virginia Writers Club news:  We have our charter!  Write by the Rails is now the Prince William Chapter of the VWC.  The next VWC event is the Board of Governors meeting, a quarterly gathering of VWC officers and chapter representatives in February 2013 in Northern Virginia.  Linda Johnston will represent us at that meeting which rotates to different chapters – our chapter will eventually host it.
Old Business:  Members of Write by the Rails participated in these events: Book Sales at Winery at La Grange Oct 13, Marketing for Arts Council Groups on Oct 27, National Novel Writing Month in Nov, National Young Readers Day on Nov 13, Meetup at Panera Westgate Nov 13, Arts Council Meeting Nov 13.
Reports from individual writers:  John Budesky is writing a leadership book and is looking for a writer/editor to help him bring the book to completion by Spring 2013…June Forte pointed out that many jurisdictions have poets or writers in residence; the Prince William area does not, and perhaps that is a future goal to consider…Carol Covin recommends http://fiverr.com/ as an economical resource for writers who need small projects completed from illustrators to book cover designs and more….Linda Johnston’s book Hope Amid Hardship: Pioneer Voices from Kansas Territory is now listed on Amazon.com for presales.  The book, which Linda is writing and illustrating, is due out in August 2013…Dan Verner is getting many more hits on his blog since he started blogging for Manassas.Patch.com…Cindy Brookshire encouraged all members to contact the Prince William County arts group of your choice and volunteer to help them get the word out in the media about their activities.  Specifically, Sally Lay with the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory would like a volunteer to write blog posts for their organization.
New Business:  The chapter made its first decision – all present voted to purchase a domain name that will move us from blogspot to website.  Katherine is handling the purchase.  Write by the Rails is applying to become a group member of the Prince William Arts Council in January 2013.  The New Departures anthology is DONE, but a glitch on CreateSpace is preventing orders; as soon as that is resolved, Cindy Brookshire will send out an email to all contributors with instructions on how to order the book wholesale, an email to all members directing them to the retail site; as well as a press release to the media.  Dan Peacock, spouse of author Barbara Peacock, has produced a video book trailer on YouTube, and that link will also go out to everyone.  Cindy was able to order 20 preview copies, which she will sell exclusively at the Write by the Rails table at the City of Manassas Neighborhood Conference on Sat. Nov. 17 from 9 am to 3:30 pm at the Manassas Boys & Girls Club.  Stuart Schadt invites all writers to sell books at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West Street, Manassas, from 9 am to noon on Dec. 2.  Please begin thinking about what you think our presence should be at Arts Alive! 2013 in mid April at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  The arts council would really like to see us connect with youth this time; that may require work in the months leading up to the event.
Next Meeting:  Write by the Rails meets Thurs., Dec. 20 at 7 pm at Trinity. Plans are in the works to make this a potluck celebration in honor of our charter and a Book Launch Party for our anthology, New Departures. Look for details on that and any informal meetups around the Prince William area on the Facebook group.
For more information email writebytherails@gmail.com.   There is no charge to join Write by the Rails, but everyone is encouraged to join the Virginia Writers Club to amplify your efforts on the state level – first year membership is $15 and includes a listing on the state website at www.virginiawritersclub.org. 
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