Sep 202015

A: EVERYONE is invited to Waterline Writers events! We still hear from people who think you have to be a writer or be a member of our organization or bring work to share. NOPE! There is no organization to join; we just host a monthly reading event featuring 5 writers pre-selected from all the submissions we receive, and we conclude with a 5-minute-limit Open Mic. You don’t have to be a writer, but you should probably be someone who likes–maybe even loves–reading all kinds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, essays, memoirs, etc. You should probably be someone who’d be interested in hearing authors read their own work in a beautiful art gallery setting!

We conceived of Waterline Writers as an event which would give all writers, whether affiliated with any of the area’s 20+ writers’ groups or not, an exciting chance to read their work to an audience, and we’d love to see YOU in that audience, even if you’re not a writer! Writing is often lonely, solitary work, and we hoped it would inspire writers to know that they could share their hard work with you, to see your faces as you listen to their words, to receive your feedback in terms of applause, laughter, tears, comments, or face-to-face book sales! We hoped that it would be a place for them to network with other writers and to find editors, agents, writers’ groups and other writing events to attend. In short, we wanted to build a community of writers AND those who love the written word.

We are amazed to have discovered that writers are everywhere amongst us–we have over 350 writers on our email contact list and add new names every week as people find out about us. We have featured many published AND not-yet-published writers, and you can find videos of nearly 200 individual readings in our treasury–I mean our Video Library! But don’t forgot to attend Waterline Writers on the 3rd Sunday of each month from September through May! 2015-2016 dates include Sunday Sept 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17 and May 15.

We ask $5 admission so that we can give our featured readers a $25 honorarium. If you are able to support Waterline Writers beyond the price of admission, we ask you to please become a member of Water Street Studios! Memberships start at the $30 level. Water Street Studios makes Waterline Writers possible. We are able to hold our events in their beautiful main gallery surrounded by ever-changing displays of juried paintings, photographs, sculptures and more. Many writers have told us that it is their favorite place to read their work. Come to Waterline Writers and become part of a very special event!

Many thanks to the 130 writers who have already read with us, to the hundreds who hope to read with us someday, to those who participate in our Open Mics, to our wonderful volunteers, and to the hundreds of people who’ve attended our events over the last 3.5 years!

Anne Veague     Creative Director, Waterline Writers

Sep 192015

CoreyDillard2How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer since I was young—making books about monkeys escaping from the zoo. The point when I really realized I might have some talent is when my 6th Grade teacher believed that one of my poems was written by a professional poet. I didn’t really begin taking my work seriously until I was awarded a creative writng scholoarship from Elgin Community College and began working alongside other accomplished and talented artists.

Describe your writing process.

My writing progress is kinda twofold. When I’m inspired by something, I mold it over in my mind for days/weeks/months until I feel ready to commit to the idea. By then, I usually have several lines/stanzas/paragraphs fully concieved in my mind and once I get writing I can usually carry myself to the end of the fist draft in one sitting. When not inspired, I freewrite for an hour first thing in the morning—typically 6am. During this time I’ll chase after underdeveloped ideas or give myself a challenge and see what happens. Sometimes these result in something wonderful, but a lot of the time it’s just a solid exercise to keep my writing chops sharp. I often get pretty attached to something after the first draft, but I always try to revise at least once after I’ve stepped away from a piece for a while. I do a lot of research in the planning/writing phase, but I try not to fall into the pitfall of doing all research and no writing. It’s tough to strike a balance sometimes.

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

There are many different inspirations for all my work. My goal is to bring a series of poems that carry a lot of energy and show some of the variety and diversity of my work.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently in the process of putting together a book of poetry, planning out a couple of performances, and writing a novel.

Sep 182015

Reed_Mary_CHI_ColorHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  Perhaps the first hint was when I wanted a toy printing press for Christmas when I was in first grade, and printed a Christmas poem for my folks.  I wrote for the highschool newspaper and for The Herald when it was a suburban weekly; then got intimidated in college, went to law school, and “made a decision” when I was 43 to go part time with law so that I could try to become a novelist.  Next to marrying Bill Reed, best decision of my life!

Describe your writing process.

I am a firm believer in the “page a day” rule.  I try to write every morning, Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 10; on a good day until 11:30.  I have written 12 novels without an outline, though the discovery process—starting with a character, a situation, an image, or a question.

I’m studying with a new coach who insists a professional knows the story before she writes it.  So, on #13, I don’t have an outline, but I do have a one page statement of the story, and I must say it helped me avoid the sputters along the way to the first draft.  Something must be right about that process:  the first chapters were just shortlisted for the William Wisdom William Faulkner  Prize for a Novel in Progress!

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

I started out wanting to write about street musicians in New Orleans, and got distracted by my main character’s counterpoint, a wealthy well-educated woman who puts up with terribly abusive  behavior from a well-educated man.  Not the “comparison” I’d expected and not the direction I expected to go, but I learned a lot about the subject.  Interestingly enough, only recently has the novel become “topical.”  I wrote the first draft in 2006!!

What are you working on now?

Always working on something new and something old.  New is a novel, Harmony’s Peace & Joy—just finished first draft and shortlisted for WWWF (see above.)  Just finished responding to my editor’s comments on One for the Ark, which I expect to publish with Ampersand in April, 2016.  I have one novel, “Markers” about being marked with a fatal disease (aren’t we all?”) which has been sent to some publishers by an agent, and a short story, “When Walls Weep” being published in The Florida Review this fall.  I’m also preparing a paper for presentation to the joint meeting of The Chicago Literary Club and The Fortnightly Club in 2016.

Sep 172015

EdHHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

For me, there two people primarily to blame for my believing I am a writer. The first was my 5th grade English teacher, who encouraged me to work outside the realm of homework and assignments to complete some poetry. Then, when I turned forty I had a dear friend who was like a father figure for me who told me one day, “Ed, you’re not a private detective. I mean you’re very good at what you do, but it’s not who you are – you’re a writer.” Many others have echoed that sentiment in various ways, and after having a series of non-fiction shorts published, as well as some ghost writing work, I finally accepted it.

Describe your writing process.

My writing process varies with the type of work. With poetry, for me a subconscious process combination of experience meeting inspiration, I will always try to write the full poem out immediately if possible, and then let it sit for a day or two. Then, I’ll reread it, and decide if I see changes necessary, and then let two very different people read it. For longer projects, I try to set a schedule of a minimum of three days a week where I put in at least two hours (with children desiring attention, this is often after 11pm). I generally tend to research as I write, as I tend to write from experiences, and so when I cross over into fictionalizing, I may need to research for accuracy/believability.

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

The inspiration for Franchise Operation was a combination of recent news events, experiences through the military and persons encountered through private investigations.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working two projects: Spirit Warrior; Taela Finds Her Path, the first in a three-part series of  young adult fantasy novels centered around a Native American female protagonist coming of age and discovering her destiny, and the other a poetry collection: Surface Tension and Undercurrents.

Sep 162015

John Arends Headshot-Final copyHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I wrote my first published poem in 6th grade — that is, if you can call “owning” page 23 in the Cossitt Avenue School’s mimeographed chapbook, Tiger Tales, being published!  All I can remember about it was that it was titled “Red” and that it was about the color, and that it felt electric to hold that booklet in my hands.

Describe your writing process.

I try to write every day. On a good day, I’m up and at the desk, pen in hand, from 5:30 to 8:30 am, before the day job begins. I write in longhand, with a brand of now-discontinued Papermate Silk ballpoint pens that I can still find and buy in bulk online. If I’m writing first draft pages, that morning time is golden. Late afternoons and evenings are for research, rewriting and transcribing the pages into the computer, where I continue to rewrite, edit and polish.

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

One of the pieces I’ll be reading will be a monologue from my work-in-progress play, The Traitor’s Song. It’s inspired by events in the life of Paul Robeson, one of the most remarkable and accomplished human beings to walk the planet during the 20th century. At the height of his popularity in the late 1930s and 1940s, his was perhaps the most recognized voice on the planet, due to his singing performances and radio concerts broadcast the world over. During the blacklisting and Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s, Robeson was relentlessly persecuted and oppressed by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, as well as the CIA. His passport was revoked for political speech, and Robeson had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to get it back. In 1962, according to his son, Paul Robeson Jr., his father was drugged with a devastating hallucinogenic cocktail, slipped to him by the CIA during an afterparty following a singing performance at the Kremlin, in Moscow. This targeted chemical attack left Robeson permanently disabled, psychologically. He was unable to appear or perform in public, or speak in front of large crowds, for the remainder of his life, which ended in 1977.

What are you working on now?

In addition to rewriting The Traitor’s Song, I’m currently writing and rewriting three pilot scripts for TV show concepts that I’ve been in pitching to producers and studios around Hollywood this past summer. I’m also working on getting the NFL screenplay project up on its feet and moving.

Aug 282015

John Arends, Corey Dillard, Ed Herdrich, Mary Hutchings Reed, Bruce Steinberg with Henriette Agnes.  Waterline Writers kicks off its 2015-2016 season of monthly reading events with five writers whose diverse styles and genres share one commonality: their high literary quality! John Arends will share his beautiful poetry and maybe a sneak preview of an upcoming film script; Edward Herdrich’s story takes us into a soldier’s transition from active duty to “the company”; Mary Hutchings Reed excerpts from her most recent novel, Saluting the Sun; Bruce Steinberg shares the memories of Henriette, whose house was surrounded by Nazis when she was three days shy of her 6th birthday, and Corey Davis Dillard uses his spoken word superpowers to cast yet another literary spell over our audience. Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a writer! Come to listen once a month, and let the words and work of writers from all over the Chicago area (and beyond) inspire you for days to come! 3rd Sundays from September to May at 7 PM, with open mic to follow. $5! Put these dates on your calendar now: Sept 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17 and May 15th. As always, the events are held at the art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL.

Aug 032015

As most of you know, we have recorded most of the Waterline events over the last 3+ years. You can see our readers on our website’s video library page. We’d like to be able to do this for our upcoming 2015 – 2016 season.

We need a camera operator. If you are interested in helping us air our readers on BATV and our video library, please contact us at If you know someone who might be interested, please send them the link to this post.

For those who are interested:

Don’t have any equipment? Not a problem! BATV (Batavia Access TV) has all the equipment we need to get the job done. You’re interested but don’t know how to run the camera? Again, not a problem! BATV will provide the operator all the training they need to set up and run the camera during the event. What do we need from you? We need you to attend the Waterline events (9/20/2015, 10/18/2015, 11/15/2015, 12/20/2015, 1/17/2016, 2/21/2016, 3/20/2016, 4/17/2016, 5/15/2016). Kevin Moriarity will pick up the equipment from BATV. You just show up, set it up and push the right buttons! Are you interested in film editing? If you are, you can get as deep into this as you want. BATV has excellent computers with the latest software, and most importantly, people to train you in the editing process and help as you edit and create your masterpiece.

Jul 212015

Summer moves along. Pretty soon a new season of Waterline Writers will begin. We will start reading submissions August 1st, so send us your work!

Put these dates on your calendar now:

  • 9/20/2015
  • 10/18/2015
  • 11/15/2015
  • 12/20/2015
  • 1/17/2016
  • 2/21/2016
  • 3/20/2016
  • 4/17/2016
  • 5/15/2016