Meeting Pics
Grounds Central Meeting 2
Grounds Central Meeting
June, John, Jan

Who Are the Writers of Write By the Rails?

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Your Write by the Rails Board

Katherine Gotthardt, President

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, is a founding member of Write by the Rails, currently serves as President and has twice been nominated for Poet Laureate of Prince William County.

Katherine considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing for fun as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. She has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years.

While Katherine's first love is poetry, she also holds an interest in writing articles, columns and short fiction. Besides being published in dozens of print and online journals, she has authored four books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water and Bury Me Under a Lilac. On Facebook, she is dabbling in short pieces that she calls her "social experiment," #KatherinesCoffeehouse.

In her "other" life, Katherine is CEO of ATW- All Things Writing, focusing on content development and content marketing for small to mid-size businesses, writing and disseminating material to increase client visibility while supporting their brand. She works with local publications such as Prince William Living magazine, Brides & Weddings magazine, Potomac Local News and Manassas Patch. Previously, she wrote for Bristow Beat, News & Messenger, PW Business and the Quantico Sentry. Her company has been nominated for two Prince William Chamber of Commerce business awards.

Katherine aims to use her professional background to elevate the practice of writing and give writers a space where they will be recognized as workers honoring a timeless craft. "Writing is hard work," she says. "I want that work to be valued."

Katherine's full profile can be found on LinkedIn.

Jan Rayl, Vice President

Most authors love to read a good story as well as tell one. Write by the Rails President, Jan Rayl, is no exception. She is an avid reader as well as a writer. The display cases she is pictured with are one of the many ways Write by the Rails promotes its members. These display cases honored local authors for a month!

Jan was published in both No Additional Postage Necessary and New Departures, anthologies by Write by the Rails. Jan has a short story about coming of age in New Departures. In No Additional Postage Necessary, she wrote a short story inspired by the postcard on the cover of the book.

Jan is a Registered Nurse with additional certification in infusion (intravenous therapy). With over forty years of nursing experience. Jan felt a strong desire to pass her knowledge to the next generation. She currently teaches nursing full-time and continues to see patients part-time. Jan has been published in many nursing journals. In the professional journals, Jan writes primarily about her nursing specialties of home health care and infusion nursing.

Jan has also written some poetry and is a frequent reader at Spilled Ink.  Spilled Ink is the local open mic night for area writers that Write by the Rails was instrumental in starting. Like most writers, Jan is working on a novel, a few short stories and a couple of poems.

Jan is a blogger and primarily writes about travel and reviews books. Jan will give her honest feedback on books she has read. Of course she will follow her Grandmother's sage advice: “Praise in public, punish behind the wood shed.” Some of the books Jan reviews have been written by award-wining, famous authors.  Other book reviews are on books from fresh authors with books hot off the press, many from Write by the Rails. Learn more about Jan at her blog Write4Jan.

Jan hopes you can find your writing home with the encouragement of the members of Write by the Rails. This group has authors from many genres and is very supportive of its members. Jan says, "We have had folks come to a meeting with an idea. Mix that idea with a little help from members of Write by the Rails and voila! Published authors!"

Rebecca "Becks" Sosa, Secretary

Previously a photojournalist, Becks Sosa graduated from the University of Florida with a journalism degree. She switched careers to education and, now that her three children are grown, is an author. She says her strength is the life she has had with her husband and children - their sense of humor, singular drive and quirky personalities inspire her.

Becks is author of The Industrious Giraffe: A Suburban Tail. This illustrated children's story features Daddy Giraffe and is the first Suburban Tails book to be published.

"Daddy Giraffe is unstoppable when he decides to do something," says Becks. "And my husband is the same way. This character is based on him."

Even the smallest, uneventful things can lead to great stories, Sosa believes. Her imagination is especially sparked by the mundane. And, she believes, a good sense of humor helps.

As secretary, Becks documents meetings, events and board actions. She is part of the larger decision-making process of the WbtR board.

Ready to learn about becoming a member?

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Cathy Ryan, Treasurer

Cathy is a WbtR member and our new WbtR Treasurer. Bio coming soon!

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