Waterline Writers is a literary reading event held on the 3rd Sunday of each month (September-May). From 7:00 – 8:30 pm, we feature several writers selected by submission, followed by an Open Mic at 8:30, with no submission required. In the main art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, Illinois, writers and book lovers enjoy the curated readings, food from The Market at Gaetano’s, beer ($5) from Solemn Oath and wine ($5) from Bright Angel. No readings are held in June, July or August. Admission is $5 ($3 for students). Note that the main gallery and Waterline readings are fully accessible from the main entrance.

Waterline Writers is a favorite for many writers because of our beautiful venue, our friendly audience (50-90 people!), and the chance to network with other writers and readersSince 2012, we’ve hosted 50+ reading events featuring 200+ different writers—and you can find those readings in our Video Library! Published authors have sold many books and unpublished writers have found the support to self-publish or submit to online or traditional publishers. New writers’ groups have formed, and writers working in isolation have found that a community of writers benefits them in many ways, and an audience for their work provides satisfaction, recognition and direction.

Membership: We don’t have members. Admissions ($5/$3 for students) make it possible to give each featured writer $25 and to cover our minimal expenses. However, if you like Waterline Writers and have benefitted from your connection with us, please become a member of Water Street Studios, where memberships start at $25! And let us know! It means a lot to us—and them!

Notes: Our event is not a writers’ workshop. Work is not critiqued at the event. Readings often include adult content. Please don’t bring children who might talk or make noises during the readings.

For writers: We accept submissions each year from August 1st to March 31st. We seek fiction (short stories or novel excerpts of any genre), poetry, creative non-fiction or memoir, spoken word and the occasional essay, play excerpt, storyteller, stand-up comedian or multi-media artist. We consider work from published and not-yet-published writers. Each featured writer receives these great perks: a $25 honorarium, free admission for 2, one free drink coupon, free access to photo portraits by Chuck Bennorth Photography, the video of their reading and the opportunity to sell books at the event! Before sending a submission, read Submission Guidelines & Tips for featured writers!

Subscribe to our website, send us your email address and Like us on Facebook to receive event announcements and submission updates. Click here for Open Mic information.

Who We Are:

Anne Veague – Creative Director of Waterline Writers, is thrilled that over 200 different writers have had the opportunity to read to Waterline’s enthusiastic audience. Meeting and working with these writers has been very rewarding. Anne has a B.A. in Psychology from Knox College, where she won the American Colleges of the Midwest’s Nick Adams Short Story Contest. She is working on a collection of stories exploring the intricate joys and terrors we all experience while living out our deceptively long lives on this rich and beautiful planet. Watch Anne’s reading from March 2016. (Photo by Flo Kat.)

Kevin Moriarity

Kevin J Moriarity – Managing Director of Waterline Writers, spent a couple of decades working in the software business. A bunch of that time was spent writing software manuals and procedures. That got a bit dull, so he decided to give fiction a try. He ended up putting some of his work up at www.fewerthan500.com and www.kevinmoriarity.com. He leads the Fox Valley Writers writing group in North Aurora. He also cofounded Waterline Writers – a community of writers and writing enthusiasts in Batavia, IL. Watch Kevin’s readings from October 2012, September 2013. (Photo by Chuck Bennorth.)

Frank Rutledge is an author of poetry and short fiction, a musician, and popular host of 3 Open Mics: Modest Mic (3rd Wed, Sugar Grove Library), Harmonious Howl (Graham’s 318, 4th Thurs, summer), and Waterline’s (3rd Sundays). He’s a co-founder of Open Sky Poets and Early Risers Writers, and a pillar of Waterline Writers. He’s been published in A Cafe in Space: an Anais Nin literary magazine, Arts Beat, the Downtown Auroran and Foxtales Anthologies. His chapbooks, Clothed in August SkinEat the Punchline–This Joke Is Over and his haiku, Voice in a Whisper are all available on AmazonWatch Frank’s readings from February 2017April 2016May 2014, October 2013, January 2013, September 2012, May 2012, February 2012.


Barbara Barrows is a poet, actor & artist living in Batavia with her kid and various pets. By day, she is a media researcher working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is an integral part of both Waterline Writers and Teen Writers and Artists Project and heartily encourages you to support T-WAAP, an amazing resource for young writers and artists. Hear Barbara’s readings from February 2017May 2014, August 2013November 2012.


Ginny Klespitz was born in North Aurora, has a strong family history in the Fox Valley, and enjoyed many summers with her family in the U.P. After many years in the insurance industry she looks forward to a time when she can return to the peace of the North Woods. Ginny wrote her first plays at age 7, followed by many short stories, poetry and articles for the school paper…all before the 7th grade. Then came the hiatus. Years after raising her children, she revisited her love of writing. She looks forward to the self-discovery that occurs while writing and hopes that her work inspires others to their purpose in life. She’s the first of many friendly faces you’ll see when you attend a Waterline event!


Ray (R.G.) Ziemer regularly contributes to local journals, reads at open mics and works with several writing groups, especially enjoying the friends and contacts he’s made through Waterline Writers. He teaches composition at C.O.D. and is seeking representation for his YA novel, The Ghost of Jamie McVay. Born and bred on Chicago’s South Side, he now makes his home on the West Branch of the DuPage River with his wife Dawn, Mickey the Cat, Abby the Australian shepherd and Sparky the famous Canoe Dog. He has two grown sons who are involved in the family construction business. Ray enjoys travel, hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Watch Ray’s readings from February 2015March 2015October 2015February 2016, March 2017 and March 2018. (Photo by Chuck Bennorth.)

chuck-20141201-1-of-2Chuck Bennorth is a frustrated writer who discovered he is better at taking photos of writers than he is at writing. He is the staff photographer for Waterline Writers, and has thoroughly enjoyed taking photos for many organizations throughout the art community in the Fox Valley region. Chuck and his wife Denise are co-founders of Bennorth Photography in Saint Charles. If you’d like to use one of the photos he’s taken (for free!), please give him the photo credit and let him know at cbennorth@aol.com.



Paula Garrett is a transplanted Southerner, originally from Memphis.  Paula recently retired from her position as IMSA’s research librarian and library director. She’s also been involved in radio for several decades, sometimes hosting blues programs at home and abroad. Currently her radio essays air on WNIJ / 89.5 FM as part of the Perspectives series. In addition to helping Waterline with publicity, and coordinating the May 20, 2018 Let The Blues Be Your Muse event, she also has contributed poems to Aurora’s Poetry in Public Places initiative.  Other passions that inspire her include travel, blues music, and open water swimming.

Thanks to Water Street Studios for demonstrating what can happen when creative people collaborate to inspire and support each other! WSS includes 2 art galleries, juried and curated shows, artists’ studios, classes for adults and children, after-school programs and special events. If Waterline Writers is important to you, please consider becoming a member of WSS! Thank you!