Magic Hour Writers

Our Mission: To encourage and promote excellence in writing for children through
friendship, education, and peer support to writing colleagues.

Follow us on Facebook

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meeting Highlighs - May 9, 2018

Members Present:  Jackie, Judy, Karen, Luneil, Patty

Karen has been editing Rescuing Ivy and plans to submit to publishers once it is complete.  She has been working closely with her agent as they feel the last publisher did little to promote sales. This version will be longer and the characters will be more developed. She will also change the title of the book.

Karen passed around illustrated pages from A Medal with a Heart and brought Peggy Archer’s latest book A Hippy Hoppy Toad. Peggy has been a regular contributor to Highlights Magazine, authoring six of their mini readers.

Judy met author Sharon M. Griffin RN, PhD and brought one of her books to the meeting. Griffin did a presentation at Clarendale and discussed her series as well as her partnership with St. Jude Hospital. Judy asked members if we wanted to invite Griffin to speak at a future meeting.

Judy read “My Shadow; My Life”. She plans to submit it to Prairie Writer’s Guild for the next From the Edge of the Prairie book.

Jackie passed around pictures of the solar and lunar eclipse. She plans to submit several photos for the PWG book. Jackie‘s poem “Hello Hoots” was published in the April 2018 issue of Highlights High Five. She brought a copy of the magazine and the thank you card she received from the company.


Patty reported she had finally submitted her novel to a publisher! She plans to start a social media platform. Patty read Chapter Five, Still More Revelations.

Next Meeting:  June 13, 2018 at Rosati’s in Schererville, 6:30 p.m.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Meeting Highlights - March 14, 2018

Members Present:  Jackie, Karen, Patty, Rachael, Valia

Guest:  Michael

Members encouraged Patty to get on social media. Rachael has linked her Facebook page to her blog and plans to use Pen It! Publications for the next book in her One Kindness At A Time Series.

Rachael read the intro to her latest story which will be on water purification. She would like it to be the first book in a survival series for young readers.

Michael read his story Rainbow Painter. He plans to submit to publishers after a few more rounds of edits or self-publish. This led to a discussion about Pen It! Publications and Create Space.

Valia read the first two chapter of Bill Quart’s Incredible Journey. His book is about the origin of life and history of Earth.

Patty passed out the cover letter she plans to send to Harper Collins Publishers.  She asked that we email her with comments and suggestions.

Karen showed the group some sample pages from her book The Medal With A Heart. She also provided information about how to pre-order copies.

Jackie posted links on the MHW Facebook page about the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Annual Contest (she just entered 6 poems) and Saturday's NW Indiana Poets meeting at the Lowell Library.

Next Meeting: April 11, 2018 at Rosati’s at 6:30 p.m.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

MT Publishing is taking pre-orders for Karen's latest book
The Medal With A Heart, coming this fall.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Meeting Highlights - February 21, 2017

Members Present: Jackie, Judy, Karen, Luneil, Patty, Ruthann

Guest:  Michael

Members took a vote and agreed to donate $50 toward the Poetry Pavilion gazebo that will honor Tom and Kathy Spencer. It will be built in Freedom Park in Lowell.

The Summer SCBWI Conference will be in held in Evansville Indiana on June 1-3. Cost is $150.

Patty is working on deleting 30,000 words from her YA novel then plans to submit her story to publishers.

Karen reported that her agent hired a screen writer for Rescuing Ivy and they are working on raising the necessary funds to turn Karen's book into a TV film.

Karen brought in a dummy book and story board thumb nails for her latest book The Medal with a Heart. Karen Gruntman is the illustrator. The book will be published through MT Publishing.


Michael is working on a picture book about colors for children ages 3-5. 

Ruthann is working on Chapter 2 of Boopy.

Luneil read Barty's New Friend, the latest chapter in her book about the clumsy vampire.

Luneil holds up a drawing of Barty

Judy shared articles on vocational and intellectual wellness. She wrote them for her fellow residents at Clarendale.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30. Rosati's in Schererville.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Meeting Highlights – January 10, 2018

Members Present:  Helena, Jackie, Karen, Luneil, Patty, Pete, Ruthann, Valia

Membership Dues were collected. Membership dues are only $10 per year and are used to reimburse guest speakers and help off-set the cost of promotional materials.

Jackie signed up to be a judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards again this year.

Pete talked about his ideas for a future book of poems. He wants to include notes about what influenced and inspired him so he can motivate others to do the same. Members suggested he look into publishers who deal with educational materials.

Patty read Chapter Four: A Friend Indeed.

Valia announced he is a finalist in the Quantum Leap Poetry contest. Pete read Valia’s poem Ode to Lake Michigan to help him with pronunciation and cadence. Valia will read his science-based poem in front of a live audience at the competition on January 19th.

Luneil has been working on Barty and asked for feedback and ideas.

Helena read her short story Begin Anew. It is about the Chinese New Year and starting over.

Next Meeting:  Since the second Wednesday is Valentine’s Day Jackie plans to call Rosati’s and ask if we can meet a week later.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Meeting Highlights - December 13, 2017

Members Present:  Jackie, Karen Luneil Ruthann, Valia

Valia discussed his visit to the American Writers Museum in Chicago and brought brochures and bookmarks for our members. Valia passed around “Baby Loves Thermodynamics” by Ruth Spiro. He bought a copy because he was curious after reading about the series on our Facebook page. He then read A scene at the Poetry Recital Venue which was a four stanza poem inspired by the cancelling of the event due to rain. Finally Valia announced his poetry is on display as part of the Gary Poetry Project. The Times covered the story and published a picture in the news and online.

Karen read The Last Ride of the 503. She had started this picture book story over 25 years ago and it has since gone through at least 10 revisions. It tells the tale of a caboose and its fate after becoming obsolete.

Ruthann read the beginning of Traditions, a memoir about Christmas with her grandparents.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you find lots of writing inspiration over the holidays!

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Meeting Highlights - November 8, 2017

Members Present:  Jackie, Judy, Karen, Luneil, Patty, Rachael

Patty and Karen discussed their experience at the IL SCBWI conference. They got to meet with editors and agents. Patty’s was very happy with the critique she received and shared the comments with the group. They also discussed local children’s author Angie Karcher who founded RhyPiBoMo (Rhyming Picture Book Month) and wrote Santa’s Gift. She does a lot to promote rhyming picture books and has over 6,000 followers. See her website for a list of the Top 10 Best in Rhyme books, information about the Rhyme Revolution Conference next fall in New Harmony, IN, and more.

Rachael will be doing a book signing at Half-Priced Books On November 18th in Bloomingdale, IL. Pen It! Publications has hired a publicist to help promote her book.

Rachael read her latest short story about mosquitoes.

Members suggested Rachel check out the Baby Loves Science series by Ruth Spiro.

Judy has taken on a lot of roles at her new complex including starting a writing group. She then read a bio she wrote about one of the residents.

Next meeting:  December 13, 2017 at Rosati’s in Schererville at 6:30 p.m.