May 212018

Thanks to all for a very unique and successful event, Let The Blues Be Your Muse! The videos of this event are available for all to enjoy! This was our final event of the 2017-18 season, and it was a collaboration intended to create crossroads between artistic communities, in particular writers and musicians, and to set the stage for June’s blues events in and around the area. The brainchild of Steve Warrenfeltz, LTBBYM evolved into a collaboration between Steve’s store, Kiss The Sky; the Fox Valley Music Foundation, of which he is the director; Water Street Studios and Waterline Writers.

In January, we sent out a call for submissions for written work inspired by or evoking blues music, and received 30 submissions, an impressive number! I also had a great team helping with submissions: Memphis-born Paula Garrett, whose love of the blues and National Public Radio led her to host a blues radio show during her years in Australia, also helped coordinate the entire event. Scott Tipping and Dave Nelson, two first-rate musicians, guitarists and dedicated blues lovers, lent their expertise to the submission selection process. Notably, they selected a poem from participant Latrina Childs and wrote a song with her lyrics, sharing it with us for the first time at the event. While Latrina was unable to attend at the last minute, we’ll be able to share the event video with her very soon.

Other selected participants who attended and co-created this great evening of fiction, poetry, essays and music included Robert Hellenga, Emily Hollis Tipping, Dave Ramont, Paula Garrett, Joan Colby, Sharon Kotzin Frolick, and Al Schubert. Christopher Stolle was also selected, but unable to attend. It was a strong evening from start to finish, but I have to say it was very special to be able to host Bob Hellenga, one of my first and most memorable Knox Professors, reading from one of his seven novels, Blues Lessons, and playing Mr. Jelly Roll Baker on his guitar.

We had a great time presenting this event from the Kiss The Sky music stage, so appropriate for a blues literary event. As always, in the adjoining art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, we offered authors’ books & CD’s, charcuterie from The Market At Gaetano’s, wine, beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers, hand-crafted books and journals from Tieri Ton Books, the chance to meet the folks from The Republic of Letters and The Book Shop Batavia. Look out for the launch of their upcoming Batavia Lyceum series.

Now that you’re in the mood, don’t miss these upcoming blues events:

Friday, 6/8: Art of the Blues art exhibit at Water Street Studios

Saturday, 6/9: Blues & Roots on Water Street with one stage at Kiss The Sky and another stage at Water Street Studios.

Friday & Saturday, 6/15-16: 22nd Annual Blues on the Fox Festival at RiverEdge Park in Aurora

And if you want to be a featured reader at Waterline Writers next year during the 2018-2019 season, please closely read and follow our Submission Guidelines and send us your work no earlier than August 15, 2018. 2018-19 events are held at 7 pm, on 3rd Sundays: 9/16, 10/21, 11/18, 12/16, 1/20, 2/17, 3/17 & 5/19. (No April event due to Easter.)

I can’t thank Water Street Studios’ executive director Dani Hollis and special events manager Jaime Gutierrez enough for being so supportive of Waterline Writers! We ask anyone who loves Waterline and is able to support the arts to become a member of or donate time, talent or money to Water Street Studios! They make Waterline Writers possible!

I also want to thank Kevin Moriarity, Managing Director and co-founder of Waterline, for another seamless, drama-free year of partnership. The other long-standing volunteers who make Waterline happen and have done so much to create the community it has become include Frank Rutledge, Ginny Klespitz, Barbara Barrows, Chuck Bennorth Photography, Denise Bennorth, Ray Ziemer and Paula Garrett. Rick Veague is not only on our volunteer list, but is on my A-list for supporting this endeavor at every level. Thanks to all of you!

Anne Veague, Creative Director of Waterline Writers



Apr 222018

Let The Blues Be Your Muse! will be a blues-themed literary evening hosted by Waterline Writers at 7 PM, Sunday May 20th 2018, at Water Street Studios and Kiss The Sky in Batavia, IL. The event includes poetry, prose, essays and lyrics that not only evoke or celebrate blues music, but also build on and play off each other to create a unique literary experience. Participants include Latrina Childs, Joan Colby, Sharon Kotzin Frolick, Paula K Garrett, Robert Hellenga,  Dave Ramont, Al Schubert, Christopher Stolle and Emily Hollis Tipping.

Thank you to all 30 writers who submitted so many good pieces from which to choose, to Kiss The Sky’s Steve Warrenfeltz, who suggested this concept, and to musicians Scott Tipping and Dave Nelson, who helped curate this event!

Scott Tipping has been a member of The Mighty Blue Kings, Backyard Tire Fire, Magic Box, Cornmeal and currently plays guitar with the Grammy/Emmy nominated singer/songwriter, Peter Himmelman. His latest project, Bluebird Sessions Vol 1 pays tribute to the historic recordings that were made in 1937-1938 at The Sky Club in Aurora, IL. The project features a host of national artists including Nora O’Connor, Robbie Fulks, Dave Hererro as well as local legends like Mick Ducker and Mae Koen, who is featured here on I Won’t Be in Hard Luck No More.

Guitarist Dave Nelson performs with Heartsfield, Electric Dirt, Rachel Drew & The Bitter Roots and many Chicago area musicians. He worked with producers Steve Warrenfeltz and Scott Tipping as a major contributor to the Leland Bluebird Sessions. These sessions paid tribute to the blues artists of the late 1930’s, of which Dave has a profound and deep admiration. For forty plus years Dave has taught, performed, written and recorded many different and diverse styles of music. But none resonate so close to his heart than primitive American blues music. This original and truly American art form captivated him early on in his musical life.  The real life stories of the men and women who pioneered this music is what Dave believes to be some of the most visceral and fascinating history of our country and whose influences reach so far into numerous genres of music today. Dave is with Clayhead Records and can be heard at Heartsfield | Rockin’ the Country and The Minutes I’m In, a recording with Ben Schiltz, a local writer whom Dave admires greatly.

This collaboration with the Fox Valley Music Foundation, Kiss the Sky Records and Water Street Studios sets the stage for:

Paula Garrett & Anne Veague at

Jan 022018

Waterline Writers announces a Call for Submissions, Let The Blues Be Your Muse, for a blues-themed literary event to be held on Sunday, May 20th, 2018 at 7 PM at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL. We welcome your submissions of poetry, prose, essays, and other written creations that evoke or celebrate blues music, this uniquely American art form with African roots.

This collaboration with the Fox Valley Music Foundation, Kiss the Sky Records and Water Street Studios sets the stage for area blues festivals on:

  • June 9, 2018:  Blues and Roots on Water Street, Batavia IL
  • June 14, 2018: Blues on Broadway, Aurora, IL
  • June 15-16, 2018: Blues on the Fox, Aurora IL

We’ll consider works of various lengths – from brief riffs on the blues to longer pieces. We seek diverse voices, styles and approaches. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Poems that bring to life the feel of blues music
  • Stories that feature blues music in the setting or characters
  • A fusion of blues and spoken word
  • Explorations of a blues song or a specific blues style
  • Personal perspectives on blues music
  • A portrayal of a blues musician
  • Lyrics to your own blues song
  • We’re open to writing that includes musical performances

Follow these Blues Event Submission Guidelines for writers:

  • We’ll accept submissions until 3/30/18
  • You must be available Sunday night 5/20/18
  • Length may be from 1-15 minutes
  • You may submit work previously read at Waterline or work that’s been previously published, if it doesn’t violate agreements with your publisher

Send your submission to and:

  • Attach the work to be read
    • Maximum length for prose is about 2000 words
    • Poets, attach no more than 8 poems, all in one document
    • Spoken Word Poets & Musicians, send video or audio
  • Attach a short bio, maximum 75 words
  • Attach a photo in JPG or PNG format—a head shot works best

You’ll get a confirmation email in a few days & a decision notification after April 15th.

Questions? Contact us at


Oct 052017


Authors Eric Bodwell, Roger Breisch, Laura Henrikson, Cathy Kern and Eileen Kimbrough will be featured atthe next Waterline Writers event on Sunday, October 15th at 7 pm. Roger Breisch reads two deep-dive essays from Questions That Matter, which will be available for purchase; Eric Bodwell, Laura Henrikson and Eileen Kimbrough take the tough topics we all tackle and treat them to the poet’s unflinching touch; and a chapter from Cathy Kern’s My View of the Bright Moon will further illuminate the evening.

Admission is $5/$3 students. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase an author’s book, beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, wine from Bright Angel Wine, a hand-tooled pen from Wooden Writers or a hand-constructed book from Tieri Ton. We also offer food from The Market at Gaetano’s and desserts from Limestone Coffee & Tea!

Everyone is welcome! Writers may bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic or visit Waterline and follow the Submission Guidelines to be considered as a future featured writer. Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, September to May, in the art gallery at Water Street Studios 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. Find us on Facebook or Twitter. Contact us at

Sep 152017

A previous post said Waterline’s event would happen BEFORE the Cuban music, but it was incorrect. Waterline Writers will be held at 7 PM (our usual time) on Sept. 17th, at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St. in Batavia, IL. This month we are inviting everyone to come early, between 5 and 6:30 pm, for a rare opportunity to hear Cuban & Colombian musicians, in the adjoining Kiss The Sky Record Store. Find more event information on Waterline’s live literature or KTS’s concert by following those links!  -AV

Jul 312017

Waterline Writers will be accepting submissions from August 1st through March 31st or until all reading slots are filled. Please send only ONE submission. If you have others, just mention that in your email. Follow our NEW Submission Guidelines and read the Tips for various types of submissions. Submissions that don’t meet the requirements will be returned as time allows. Click Submissions to find all Guidelines and Tips. It’s also a good idea to read the general FAQs about our events!

Mar 152017

Reading slots for our May 21st event have been filled and we’ll announce our lineup soon! We are not accepting or reading submissions again until August 1st, 2017. To stay informed, Like Waterline Writers on Facebook or subscribe to our website. Remember that no events are held in June, July or August due to our summer hiatus. Our 2017-2018 event dates are: Sept 17, Oct 15, Nov 19, Dec  17, Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 15, May 20. See you on May 21st!

Sep 302016

The next Waterline Writers event is Sunday, Oct 16th 2016 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome! Hear a chapter from Julie Oleszek’s The Fifth Floor, a powerful story of a teen’s struggle with grief and anorexia; savor fine literary poetry from three Waterline favorites, Kevin Burris, Katie Phillips and Lennart Lundh; then experience the change of tone and momentum in Hillary Kobernick’s insightful spoken word poetry. The authors’ books will be available for sale and signing. Admission is $5/$3 students. Writers, bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic or visit to find submission info for future events and browse videos of past readings. We meet 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, September to May, in the beautiful art gallery at Water Street Studios 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. Like us on Facebook!  Contact us at 

Jan 092016

Waterline Writers announces its next literary event, Sunday Jan. 17th, 2016 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome to hear this month’s five featured writers! The art gallery at Water Street Studios is the perfect place for Vida Cross’s poems, rich with the colors of Archibald J. Motley, and also Michelle Donfrio’s, dancing with partners as diverse as Gatsby and … Hefner! Jenny Scott’s “Ruder Still” is a short, tempered story of aging with a very short temper and very little grace. With Donald J. Hunt, we experience time-travel, as well as a measure of Jupiter Justice, then we flank retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Harold G. Walker on his first day — and night — in Vietnam. A 5-minute-limit open mic follows at 8:30 PM.

Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays, September to May, 7 PM (Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17, May 15). $5 admission, $3 students. Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL.

Submission info and videos of 225 readings at Contact us: