Over the years Waterline Writers has earned a reputation as the Fox Valley’s premiere reading series. Held inside the gorgeous Water Street Studios on the 3rd Sunday of every month during the academic year (September-May). The event begins at 7pm, featuring several writers selected by submission, followed by an Open Mic at 9pm. Readings are traditionally held in the main art gallery. This series is currently hosted by Cathy Borders.


Our history

Anne Veague and Kevin Moriarity began Waterline Writers in 2012 because they fell in love with Batavia’s art scene but couldn’t believe the absolute lack of literary events. Now, today, Waterline Writers has become a staple in the local literary community. Not only because of the excellent readers and performers, but also because of the chance to meet and connect with other writers and readers in the community. We’ve featured over 200 different readers—and you can find those readings in our Video Library! Published authors have sold many books and unpublished writers have found the support to self-publish or submit to online or traditional publishers. New writers’ groups have formed and stars have risen. Writers working in isolation have found a home for the other quiet introverts interested in writing. They’ve noticed that an audience for their work provides satisfaction, recognition, and direction.

In 2018 Anne and Kevin stepped down to pursue other passions, now Cathy Borders from The Republic of Letters has taken over as Creative Director. She hopes to carry out the legacy of Waterline Writers’ pristine reputation and also to find new voices and grow the community.


We don’t have members. Admissions ($5/$3 for students) make it possible to give each featured writer $25 and to cover our minimal expenses. However, if you like Waterline Writers and have benefitted from your connection with us, please become a member of Water Street Studios, where memberships start at $25! And let us know! It means a lot to us—and them!

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Creative director

Cathy Borders is the co-founder of The Republic of Letters, a not-for-profit literary center and bookstore in Geneva, where they offer editing services and writing classes. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Fiction from The New School in New York and got her BA in literature and literary theory at the University of Iowa. She’s the author of A Suburb of Monogamy, and also founded the micropresses, Omnia Vanitas Review and Analog Books. She thinks of writing differently, as something much more interesting, and much more important than a thing you produce for money. She is overjoyed to join Waterline Writers.

(Photo by Chuck Bennorth.)


Barbara Barrows is a poet, actor & artist living in Batavia with her kid and various pets. By day, she is a media researcher working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is an integral part of both Waterline Writers and Teen Writers and Artists Project and heartily encourages you to support T-WAAP, an amazing resource for young writers and artists.

Hear Barbara’s readings from February 2017, May 2014, August 2013, November 2012. (Photo by Chuck Bennorth.)



Ray (R.G.) Ziemer was born and bred on the south side of Chicago, but today makes his home on the West Branch of the DuPage River. He is a teacher, a construction worker, and a writer. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in local journals , and his novel The Ghost of Jamie McVay is available from Black Rose Writing. Ziemer participates in the Naperville Writing Group and others. He is pleased to be part of Waterline Writers.

Watch Ray’s readings from February 2015, March 2015, October 2015, February 2016, March 2017 and March 2018. (Photo by Chuck Bennorth.)



Bennorth Images is a husband-wife photography team who take photos for Waterline Writers. Chuck and Denise Bennorth work together as Bennorth Images, capturing photos for many organizations throughout the art community in the Fox River Valley. Their company motto is “Beautiful memories should be priceless, not expensive.”

Chuck Bennorth teases he’s a frustrated writer who has discovered he is better at taking photos of writers than he is at writing.

Denise Bennorth is a retired teacher who finally has time for her passions of writing and photography. Her blog Randomocity is mostly memoir with a sprinkling of recipes, her favorite photographs, and anecdotes of life with Chuck, their six children, and two dogs.

If you’d like to use any of the photos the Bennorths have taken (for free!), please give them photo credit, and let them know at bennorthimages@gmail.com.