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 waterlinewriters@gmail.com.

Mar 142018

Waterline Writers is proud to participate in the inaugural Fox River Arts Ramble. Held April 21st, it will be your chance to visit more than 40 locations, featuring artists, artwork, performances and more, including individual artists’ studios and public and private galleries. For more information, check out this map!

Jan 142018

Experience a teen poetry slam!

Judges needed! Training included!



THE OPPORTUNITY: Attend Slamming The Sun Down as an audience member (come and go at anytime between 10:30am & 3pm) or as a ‘judge’ (9:30am-12:00pm or 3 pm)! Email sphillips@twaap.org to sign up!

Slamming The Sun Down is Sat. 1/20/18 
Bartlett High School
701 W Schick Rd, Bartlett, IL 60103
Park and enter at the front entrance of the school. Someone inside will give you directions to the auditorium.

Cost to attend: $5 (or $10 if you want lunch)
Cost for judges: Free, lunch included,
but please pay admission or donate* if you can!
For last-minute issues, text/call Diana Zwinak 630-677-8735

Hosts: Adam GottliebCorey Davis Dillard and T-WAAP Teaching Artists. STSD is produced by Teen Writers and Artists Project, Diana Zwinak, Artistic Director, and Shayne Morgan Phillips, Executive Director.

9:00 – 9:45 am Student Check-in & Ice Breaker Activities
9:30: Check in time for the judges!
9:45 – 10:15: Opening Ceremonies
10:15-10:30: Training for the judges!
10:30-11:30: Preliminary bouts. Judges will be assigned to one bout.
11:30-12 Pizza Included for judges. Or bring your own lunch.
12:15-1:00 Breakout workshops—free for judges
1-1:30 Sharing of work written in the workshops
1:45-2:45 Finals for winners of a.m. bouts
We only need 5 judges for the finals, but you may want to stay to hear the winners of your bout compete!

Email sphillips@twaap.org to sign up or ask questions, then visit Slamming The Sun Down on Facebook, and click Going or Interested!

You don’t have to be a spoken word poet, or a poet, or even a writer to be a ‘judge’. What qualifies you is an open heart and an interest in writing and/or young people and how the see they world they are inheriting and trying to negotiate. For the past 4 years we’ve offered the opportunity to be a ‘judge’ at Slamming The Sun Down, the T-WAAP-sponsored spoken word poetry competitions where “The points are not the point; the poetry is the point!” However, a competitive aspect makes it more compelling, so judges get to assign points anyway—after a full 15 minutes of training. Training goes like this:

There are 5 judges in each of the two Preliminary Bouts from 10:30-11:30. The 5 of you will hear all poets assigned to that room. (This includes individual poets, teams where several members perform together, and Independent poets who have come alone and are not part of a team.) You will have a whiteboard and a marker, and will give each poet a score between 1 and 10. The poets don’t see what you write down, but the host sees all 5 scores, ignores the highest and the lowest, then awards the poet the average of the remaining 3 scores.

Before the bout begins, your host will give you some instruction on scoring. Usually numbers below 7 aren’t even used and the scoring is really done between 8 and 10. So an 8.1 is a poem you aren’t very impressed with, or maybe the poet forgot it and couldn’t recover. An 8.8 is pretty good, 9 is good, and then each degree above that is another degree of excellence. Score on your overall impression of the poem and its performance. It isn’t very scientific or fair, but do your best, and just enjoy.

There is also a SAC (sacrificial) Poet who goes first to help the judges “calibrate”. This poet will not be from any of the teams competing in that bout. You listen to the poem, then score the SAC Poet. That will give you a chance to see if your score is wildly different than the other judges’ scores. Once that calibration is finished, the bout will begin.

Again, email sphillips@twaap.org to sign up or ask questions, then visit Slamming The Sun Down on Facebook, and click Going or Interested! Thank you again for judging!
If you’d like to donate to T-WAAP, contact sphillips@twaap.org, visit Guidestar or designate Teen Writers and Artists Project as your charity on Smile.Amazon.com.


Jan 132016

Each year Waterline Writers and friends volunteer to judge Slammin’ The Sun Down, the teen spoken word poetry competitions where “the points are not the point; the poetry is the pointbut judges get to assign points anyway—after 15 minutes of training!  You don’t have to be a spoken word poet, a poet, or even a writer to be a judge.  If you have an open heart and an interest in young people and how they see they world they are inheriting and trying to negotiate, you’re qualified!

Poetry club students from Schaumburg, Bartlett, Glenbard East, and 3 Chicago high schools compete in these regional competitions in preparation for Louder Than A Bomb* in Chicago next month.

This year’s hosts are Adam Gottlieb and Corey Davis Dillard. For the workshops, they are joined by teaching artist  +

If YOU will be available THIS SATURDAY, January 16, from 9:30-3 (or even from 9:30-12), email us at waterlinewriters@gmail.com. There is no cost to judges for admission and participation in the workshops. If you’re not judging, admission is $7. This year STSD will be at:

Schaumburg High School 
1100 W Schaumburg Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60194

9:00 – 9:45 Student Check-in & Ice Breakers

9:30 Check-in for the judges!
9:45 – 10:15 Opening Ceremonies

10:15-10-30 Training for the judges!
10:30 – 11:30 Preliminary Bouts

(you’ll be assigned to one of two rooms)
11:30 – 12:00 Lunch (free for judges)
12:15 – 1:00 Breakout Workshops (free for judges)
1:00 – 1:30 Open stage for Workshop material
1:45 – 2:45 Finals for winners of a.m. bouts

(fewer judges needed)

Email waterlinewriters@gmail.com to sign up or ask questions, then visit Slammin’ The Sun Down on Facebook, and click Join or Maybe!

Testimonials: Judges say “I’d love to help out again next year!” and “I have been telling everyone–there is no shortage of young talent on the literary scene!” and “I was blown away! I wasn’t expecting it to be such an inspiring 2 hours!” “It was so much fun and I got a good poem out of the workshop.”

Diana Zwinak, Executive Director of Teen Writers and Artists Project, the organization that makes this event a reality, says, “Y’all don’t even KNOW the magic that can happen here!”  Anne Veague of Waterline Writers adds, “The opportunity to experience STSD as a judge really is one of the best opportunities we can send your way–don’t miss it!”

Louder Than A Bomb * links to the award-winning documentary about this phenomenon’s Chicago origins. The website with current details is under construction for a few days.

Nov 022015


It’s that time of year again. Novelists – this is your month. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has commenced. To help you get that novel done, both the Batavia Library and the Geneva Library are hosting NaNoWriMo writes this Saturday (November 7th)! Go to the Batavia Library from 9:30 am to 1 pm, and then to the Geneva Public Library  from 1 to 4:30 pm the same day. Both will have coffee and snacks in the meeting room, as well as power strips. Thanks to our local libraries for promoting writing in our area!

Jul 162015

AASLogoAnderson Animal Shelter will celebrate their 30th Annual Gala Dinner & Auction, A Night to Paws, on November 14th at the Q Center in St. Charles. This annual premier fundraiser allows the shelter to continue to save lives and impact the community. Attendees are treated to a wonderful evening with dinner, entertainment and a chance to bid on some spectacular auction items.

That’s where you come in! This year the shelter would like to auction off a local author book basket. Please consider donating your book, preferably signed! An associate of Anderson will be more than happy to pick it up. The book does not have to be animal themed and “local” can be anywhere in Illinois. If you would like a charitable donation receipt, provide your address and Anderson will send you one.

Book baskets have been very popular in past years and I believe this local author themed basket is going to be something really incredible and desirable. Any bibliophile or writer will want to bid on it. Please consider donating – it’s for a great cause.

If you can donate, contact us at waterlinewriters@gmail.com and we will coordinate with Anderson to make it happen.