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Write by the Rails

Raising the Profile of the Local Literary Community



Write by the Rails (WbtR) is the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We aim to raise the profile of the local literary community and explore ways we can nurture writers no matter where they are in their writing and publishing journey.

We strive to be an integral part of the larger arts community and enhance quality of life for residents and visitors of the area by providing opportunities to participate in events and activities that promote writing, literacy and self-expression.

If you are a writer age 18+, published or unpublished and affiliated with Manassas, Manassas Park or Prince William County, consider officially joining. 

December 11 at 10 a.m. is our Annual Meeting and we need YOU to attend! Find out what WbtR is planning for 2022, cast your vote for new board members, suggest ideas, network with other writers and get some free-writing in, too. This is a virtual meeting. Get the link by signing up for our newsletter. See you there!

Meet, Greet, Grow

Join Write by the Rails and enjoy monthly enrichment activities and a variety of events designed to help you grow. We meet regularly at local venues that support the literary community and the arts. We also announce monthly meetings in our newsletters and our membership Facebook group. We maintain a public Facebook page that anyone can follow.

House of Mercy Anniversary Celebration 2

Spilled Ink

Spilled Ink is an open mic night that celebrates the written word. Join local authors, poets, and scribblers as they read their work. All are welcome to listen or read. The event is held every second and fourth Friday of the month at 7:00 p.m.​ Please revise work to a PG-13 rating prior to reading!​

Table Arts Alive

Why Join Write by the Rails

We've all been there, alone in a room, staring at a blank screen or scribbling notes that make us wonder why we bother trying to write anything. Writing can be an isolating, frustrating experience. You need a community of cheerleaders, educators, experienced professionals and colleagues. That's where Write by the Rails (WbtR) comes in.

Core Values

  • Enthusiasm

    WbtR is passionate about the process of creating and propagating the written word, and encourages others to share in this fascination. WbtR, its officers, and members act in concert to meet common goals.

  • Integrity

    WbtR’s credibility rests on a foundation of personal and professional ethical standards.

  • Gratitude

    We are grateful for the support the local business and nonprofit communities have given us. We strive to be good guests by making purchases during meetings and leaving the premises the way we found them.

  • Respect

    WbtR cultivates an atmosphere of mutual respect for individuals and organizations both internal and external to our organization.

  • Genre

    WbtR is an inclusive organization that welcomes members without discrimination of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or disability. The organization accepts, recognizes, and fosters a diversity of intellectual and artistic written expression. Note, certain venues and publications do require written and spoken material to be at a "PG-13" rating. Writing is largely about audience, so please consider that before sharing graphic work.

Our Track Record

Our goal is to help connect you with other writers, and along the way, meet our mission of raising the profile of our talented, local literary community. We've done it, too, since 2011.


The area's longest-running literary group with a statewide affiliation, Write by the Rails is the Prince William area chapter of the nonprofit Virginia Writers Club which celebrated 100 years in 2018.


Since its inception, WbtR has held regular meet and greets and workshops, spearheaded programs for adults and youth, produced anthologies, kicked off the local Poet Laureate program, inspired readings and events and networked with other local groups.


Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park have become central to the Northern Virginia literary scene, and WbtR is proud to be a part of that.

Write by the Rails Publications


Writing in a time of turmoil takes enormous energy – more so than the usual reservoir of vigor it requires to produce a work of art. Yet, these members of Write by the Rails (WbtR) have done just that, even in the midst of the unrest and uncertainty that characterized 2020 and 2021. Welcome to Confetti, an anthology of diverse written word!


In this unique anthology, Write by the Rails showcases Twitter-friendly writings by 22 members and friends who took part in a three-month social media campaign in 2019. #BackOnTrackNow serves as a reflection of the times and an effort to change the discourse of social media.

New Departures

An anthology, New Departures reflects the diverse ideas and creative work of  Write by Rails's membership. In this first WbtR publication, members offer poetry, fiction, nonfiction and  even a merge of genres.

No Additional Postage Necessary

The product of Write by the Rails's first Rising Writers Workshop for young adults, No Additional Postage Necessary  inspires, surprises, amuses and raises some eyebrows, too.

WbtR in the Media

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