Magic Hour Writers

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

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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.

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


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 abut 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.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Meeting Highlights - October 11, 2017

Members Present: Judy, Valia, Luneil, Patty, Karen, Rachel

Judy moved into a new facility called Clarendale about a month ago and they having a room that we can sometimes have meetings in.  We can also order meals.  She is going to make inquiries and get back to us.

Katherine Flotz was invited to give a talk about her book . The staff at Clarendale encourages outside activities for the residents. Judy wants to invite Valia to do his fossil presentation.  He also has some ideas about the web page he is going to discuss with Judy.

Rachel self published her book The Blue Pencil with Pen It Publishing.  She brought her book to the meeting.  She is working on her 2nd book The Lucky Beads.  Pen It has a contest for children's picture books and the deadline is December 1, 2017.

Valia read a poem titled Two Feathered Dove to mark the day of International Peace.

Patty read the second part of chapter three.  Viene is learning about her past and her mother.

Submitted by: Luneil M.

Next Meeting: Rosati's, November 8, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Highland Bike Trail Ride and Read Event, September 16th, 2017

Thanks to all who stopped by to talk with us!

Meeting Highlights September 13, 2017

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

Members discussed the upcoming Ride and Read event that will be along the Highland bike trail September 16thJackie is making poem posters (Ruthann will send her a poem), Judy has created a reading flower activity, Valia will bring his fossils. Patty bought bags with the MHW logo and Helena also plans to help that day. Karen will bring coloring sheets and talk about Rescuing Ivy. Jackie will bring pencils and crossword puzzles from Rachel.

Pete discussed his experience with PenIt! Publishers for both The Tall Man and King of the Hill. His third book, Frightful Night, will be out in time for Halloween. Both Pete and Rachael are reading and promoting their books at the Book Sale for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Rachael's son made a MHW banner for us and we will be able to use it Saturday.

Karen passed around The Cabooseman’s Garden, a book she published for the Griffith Historical Park and Museum back in 2012.  She then read a revised version of the first chapter in Ghost Lessons.

Patty and Karen are both planning to attend the IL SCBWI conference. Helena is attending the conference in Indiana.

Jackie announced that one of her poems will be published in High Five this upcoming April.

Helena read her humorous speech How to Hide from Table Topic Master.

Donna discussed the Chidlren’s Academy online course she took this past spring. She was not impressed as she felt her work did not receive enough helpful critique for the price she paid. Donna then read her latest children’s picture book story about a moving bed.

Next MHW meeting: October 11, 2017 at Rosati’s at 6:30.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Meeting Highlights for August 9, 2017

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

Members discussed the upcoming Ride and Read event. It is scheduled for September 16, 10-12 p.m. on the bike trail in Highland. MHW will set up in the gazebo and the surrounding area. Our interactive activities and readings will be geared toward elementary age children.  Patty will purchase 50 inexpensive bags, Rachael will provide blue pencils, Donna has stamps that coordinate with several MHW stories, Karen will bring Tootsie Rolls because elephants love sweets, Jackie will read “Earth is Wasted” and will pass out a nature scavenger hunt sheet, Valia will bring his rocks and read A Miracle Called Earth. Luneil will talk about Barty the Clumsey Vampire and we also plan to read Pete’s book The Tall Man. Judy will have tattoos for the kids and will read one of her stories. There will also be a poetry brainstorming session and much more. A MHW gift basket with our books and nature note cards will be raffled off at the event.  Helen and others will discuss our group and authors, hand out information, and talk about what is coming next. Jackie will include information on Pam, Ruthann, and Mari's stories as well and a few poems will be posted along the trail.

Judy will be the officiant at her granddaughter’s upcoming wedding so she shared the declaration of intent, rings exchange, and the pronouncement that she wrote. The ceremony will also include blessings from an Apache prayer.

Patty read the rest of chapter three from her novel Vienne.

Helena shared three of her poems. One was about autumn, the second one about a shooting star and the passing of a friend, the third about her favorite pastime, swimming.

Next meeting:  September 13, at Rosati’s, 6:30 p.m.