2024 Writing Goals

We’ve all been to workshops that teach us how to submit our work, even where to submit our work, but very few one- or even two-day workshops can help us decide WHAT to submit or help us hone and polish our writing so that, when we submit it, it is in the best shape it can be.

This year, Write by the Rails will be dedicating its monthly Writers Enrichments and our new Spring Workshop to helping our members craft stories, poems, and pieces that we can, with confidence, submit to journals and anthologies. In January and February, we will focus on inspiring new poems and stories, exploring new POVs, and new forms of poetry. At each enrichment, there will be time for a few members to share their work – or a snippet of it – to get others’ reactions and suggestions. Our Spring Workshop will be filled with presentations designed to help you edit your work, give you tips for tightening your dialogue and structure, and will include a dedicated time for our members to speak their words out loud, which is a vital part of editing.

We’d love to help our members increase their writing portfolios, to build up their files of poems, stories, and other writing pieces so that when an opportunity for submission presents itself, we aren’t found scrambling. Hurriedly writing something to meet the submission guidelines, quickly jotting something down to present to a journal or a contest often doesn’t shine a spotlight on our best work.

And we will have opportunities to submit! Our parent organization, Virginia Writers Club, allows submissions to its journal every spring – wouldn’t it be great to already have a finished, polished piece to submit when that deadline rolls around next March? The VWC also holds their Golden Nib Contest every year. This year, you could have a poem, story, or prose piece edited and ready to submit to that contest without the usual panic we tend to feel when we see the announcement. (WbtR encourages you to become a member of VWC so that you can submit. It costs very little and opens up a world of opportunities!)
Write by the Rails will also be compiling a members’ anthology this fall. Imagine seeing the announcement for open submissions, opening your portfolio, and having to decide between already finished and edited pieces!

We hope you’ll join us on this year-long quest to fill your writing files with pieces that have been written, edited, and shined up for submission. If you have a suggestion about a workshop that could help us attain that goal, please let us know at [email protected].