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

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meeting Minutes - March 11, 2010

Date:  March 11, 2010      
Start Time:  7:00 P.M.  
End Time:  9:30 P.M.

Joan Bodefeld 
Pam Gonzalez
Jackie Huppenthal 
Luneil Morrow
Sharon Palmeri
Judy Whitcomb

Treasurer’s Report
Dues were collected from all present members bringing total Funds to $120.
Membership cards for 2010-11 were distributed.

Unfinished Business/Progress Report:
Jackie passed out the Welcome and guidelines document for Magic Hour Writers.  She asked everyone to look it over and see if they think there is anything that needs to be adjusted.  If you didn’t have time at the meeting, please take a look before the next meeting.

Jennifer, who was unable to attend because she was visiting her daughter in New York, checked on the availability of the library as a location for future meetings when our group outgrows a house.   It’s available only if we have the state form stating we are a non-profit organization.  We don’t have that designation.  As the group grows it may be something we want to obtain.  Jennifer offered her house as a site for meetings, she lives near the Lake County Fair Grounds.  Judy said she doesn’t mind if meetings continue at her house but now there’s a choice.

Most members have a blog site.  Jackie will keep updating the information sheet.
Luneil’s can’t be reached through the address.  (At the end of the meeting Luneil, with group support, created a new blog site, Luneil’s Jewels.)
Judy is in the process of updating her blog and adding the Dr. Science page that will have information and activities for parents about children and science.

Publish On Demand (POD) Research:
Sharon clarified the difference between self-publishing and POD publishing.
    Self-publishing is when you do the publishing, you find a printer who will print your book.
POD publishing is what we are researching.  You work with a company that prints the book for you.  Most offer a variety of other services (ex.  Create a web page with book cover, author bio, and excerpts)
    Luneil provided us with a list of current POD publishers.
Judy suggested that, rather than waiting to present our research at the May meeting, we move it up to the April meeting.  The group agreed.  They also agreed to reduce the number from 3 PODs per person to 2.
Sharon was prepared to share at this meeting and we asked her to so we all would have some idea of what we would be presenting.  Sharon presented two:
·    Infinity  is a company in Haverford, PA.  Sharon had some copies of the information booklet that she passed out.  Some of her students had copies already.  She also provided us with a list of questions to ask if you are considering a publisher.  This is a good guideline for us to use as we contact our research publishers.
·    Trafford Publishing.  This is a company located in Canada.  Sharon said the person she spoke with was very nice and accommodating.  She was able to obtain their information booklet for each of us.  It is colorful and appealing with easy to understand information about services, pricing, and a complete contract.  Sharon pointed out that some companies do not do children’s books and/or color paged books.  Trafford does.  Sharon and the group thought this company might be a good possibility for POD publishing.

Based on Sharon’s modeling, when we contact the other publishers we should:
·    Ask if the have a hard copy or on-line copy of an information booklet containing information about their services and pricing.  It isn’t necessary to obtain one for each member.
·    Ask for a copy of their contract.
·    Use Infinity’s list of questions to guide our queries.
·    Who do they use as distributors?  POD should have connections with Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor distributors.

It was decided that each person should have a short one page or less summary of the publishers information (services, pricing, contract, etc.).  If the company has an information booklet, each researcher should have one that they keep.  At a future time, if a member wants to review info, they can obtain the booklet from that person.

A current list of the PODs that each member is researching is at the end of these minutes.

Pam announced that her husband, who is serving in Iraq, was promoted to sergeant.  Way to go, Benardo!  She also reported that her presentation about children in the Civil War went very well.  She was surprised that this was a group Civil War historian buffs that were unaware of much of the information she shared.  She is thinking of writing a children’s book about two young men in the civil war.  One was a drummer at 10 years old and after having two drums destroyed, picked up a gun and joined in the fighting.  He was a sergeant by the age of 12.  The other boy was befriended by Todd Lincoln.  The group was enthusiastic about the idea and thought she should write about them because those stories would be something that would trigger an interest in history for children.

Sharon has added new information to the Writing for Children website (  One thing that was added was a series of links for top POD companies.  This is very useful for our research. Thanks, Sharon.  She also suggested everyone should take a look at Illumination Arts website ( even though the publishing company is not accepting any submissions now.

Sharon and Judy are meeting with other members of the Indiana Writer’s Consortium to begin planning a poetry writing project/contest for school children.  For a model, the group may use a project that Write-On Hoosiers sponsored for six years that culminated with a celebration for the participants, parents, and teachers as well as a publication containing the students’ poems.  Once the project is initiated, Sharon is hoping that some members of our group will volunteer to be readers of the poems in order to select winners.

Jackie plans to edit once more then submit two of her poems to a contest in Alabama.  Good Luck!

Judy showed the picture book she made to go with the poem “The Puddle”.  She also read a story she wrote in Sharon’s Basic Writing class.  “Unbalanced” is a story of a teen boy caught between a long time friend and a new “love” interest.  She was asking for comments on whether this was something that could be expanded into a book or series of short stories.  Joan thought she should focus on following through with the Dr. Science series.  Others thought she could work on both.

Pam introduced us to village of Dikibyr, the beast Grimma, Halvor, a young man in his “fifteenth year”, and others in Thokkaland.  This is the beginning of her fantasy trilogy.  The beginning of the story made us all curious and eager to hear what happens.  Sharon reminded her to make readers “see” a setting (as she did at the beginning) rather than “tell” it.

Jackie read the two poems she is submitting to the contest.  One was “Joe” about an industrious worker with a surprise ending.  The other is one she submitted to David L. Harrison’s adult word poem of the month called “The Life of a Housewife” that she has since revised.  It is a humorous look at how a housewife’s workload is underestimated.  Both poems were joyfully received by the group.

In the Know:
Jackie shared information about the Northwest Indiana Poetry Society.    It meets every 3rd Saturday at 10:00 A.M. in the Lowell Public Library.  They do poetry work only.  There is no fee to join the group.  E-mail notification of meetings and events can be obtained by contacting  Tom Spencer at  In addition, The Indiana Federation of Poetry Clubs is having a Spring Meeting on May 16th beginning at 9 a.m., also at the Lowell Library.  It starts with a business meeting, then there will be an open microphone session, lunch, and an Emily Dickenson event (at 1:00 p.m.) where an impersonator puts on a performance as the poet and has a question and answer period following the performance.   It is open to the public.  Jackie has the information sheet if you have any questions.

Judy reminded the group the submissions for possible inclusion in “The Edge of the Prairie” are due April 1st.   She also informed them that the copy of submission requirement she handed out in a class had changed.  The theme now should incorporate something about food within the region.  Sharon contacted the project coordinator who said they would still consider submission on the sense of place topic.

Luneil’s blog is up and running.

On Demand Publishing Research

Bodefeld, Joan - Create Space (formerly Booksurge), 48 Hours Books     
Gonzalez, Pam - Art Book Bindery, IUniverse     
Huppenthal, Jackie - Selfpublishing, Inc., Lumina Press     
Morrow, Luneil - Lulu,     
Palmeri, Sharon - Infinity, Trafford     
Romano, Jennifer -             

Notes respectfully submitted by Judy Whitcomb

No comments:

Post a Comment