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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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Party Meeting - December 11, 2010

Date: December 11, 2010
Time: 7:00

Joan Bodefeld
Jackie Huppenthal
Luneil Morrow
Sharon Palmeri

Jackie reported that Borders Books in Merrillville has given us permission to hold our gatherings there. The members decided to change their meeting location to Borders starting in January 2011 and meet a half hour early as well. New meeting time is 6:30 p.m. Since Borders' meeting area will accommodate a larger group we can publicize more to draw in new members. Flyers can be posted at local libraries, information can be submitted to newspapers and coffee shops, also on Lake Net. Borders made up a little blurb to post online about our group as well. Sharon discussed the possibility of MHW doing reviews on children's books that are available at the bookstore.

Luneil reported she submitted Barty the Clumsy Vampire to August House and Highlights Magazine for Children. She had to do some editing to meet submission guidelines. Good Luck Luneil!

Jackie read the latest rejection letter she received on 12-7-10 from Boyds Mills. She is still waiting to hear from two more publishers.

The group exchanged gifts and enjoyed refreshments.

Joan handed out handmade pot holders she made to honor her childhood friend who is sick. Joan is asking for prayers for Cona who is also pictured in Joan's book A Pause in My Life: The Story of Andy.

Meeting Minutes - November 11, 2011

Date:  November 11, 2010
Start time:  7:00
End time:

Location: Mellow Brew

Joan Bodefeld
Cathy Dzubla
Jackie Huppenthal
Judy Whitcomb

Guest: Paul Benninghoff, author

Members welcomed guest Paul Benninghoff from the Dyer Historical Society who is the author of Dyer (Images of America).

Members introduced themselves to Paul and mentioned current projects. We also discussed membership and our group dynamics. Paul is, among other things, an accomplished writer and artist, a ghost hunter, and a student. He is back in school working on his Elementary Education degree.

PoPP update: Sharon, Judy, Katherine, and Jackie talked to the teachers of Lake Street Elementary then presented a poetry lesson to the students. A teacher book on poetry with links and tips was also distributed. The IWC (Indiana Writers' Consortium) members will collect the poems in January, judge them, and host an awards assembly in April at the school.

Prairie Writer's Guild: Judy and Jackie are Published! We picked up our books and are official. Anyone interested in submitting for next year's edition? Submission deadline for poems, short stories, and photos is April 1, 2011.

The guild is asking each member obtain $100 worth of sponsors to help offset next year's cost. A book (currently valued at $12) will be give to businesses and individuals who donate at least $25. That is a great deal. MHW may want to be a sponsor if our members choose to submit again. This year's topic is "trees".

Mary Kay Emmrich is one of the editors for the Prairie Writer's Guild. She was an English teacher and is the librarian at Morocco, Newton, and one other library. She will help us polish our work for a minimal fee. It is always a good idea to have professional input and suggestions! She will also read our books to children if we would like to have that experience as well. We can send our manuscript to her directly if it is in book form. Contact her at and say you are a Magic Hour Writer and that you got her name from Jackie and Judy from Prairie Writers. Ask Jackie for contact information.

Lansing Writing Contest: The Lansing Public Library Writers' Group is presenting a short story and poetry contest open to the public. The deadline for submission is 1-1-11. Reading fee of $5.00 per short and $3 per poem. Prizes: $25, $10, and Honorable mention - all published in the LLWG book and will be invited to read at the meeting on April 15, 2011.

For more information:

We may be interested in having a contest next year to draw in more writers.

Future Meeting Location: The group discussed holding future meetings at Borders Bookstore in Merrillville, IN. Thursday evenings are currently available.

Business Cards: Judy discussed MHW business cards which will include individual members' information on the back side.

Bios: Jackie asked the group for any updated bio information. It needs to be determined if we want to include a page on the MHW blog that includes member's short bios. Bios should be updated on an annual basis.

Christmas Party: Anyone interested in attending the writer's Christmas Party? It's December 1, 2010,
7 p.m. at the clubhouse dining room for a cost of $17.77 per person.

Jackie read a rejection letter she received from Dawn Publications on 11-4-10.

Judy showed her two submissions that were ready to be mailed and discussed the reasons why she choose to submit My Grandma is a Science Teacher to those publishers.

Jackie read Read, a poem written for David L. Harrison's Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. It is about a mother reading to her young son. She announced she was featured on David's site in October as a guest reader. The spot included a brief bio and showcased a few of her pictures and poems for children.

Cathy read a funny poem entitled Children are Like That. It takes a humorous look at little boys and how "grimy" they can be.

Paul read several children's poems from his collection. He got much of his inspiration from Shel Silverstein.

Meeting Minutes - September 9, 2010

Date:  September 9, 2010
Start time: 7:00
End time:

Members Present
Joan Bodefeld
Jackie Huppenthal
Luneil Morrow
Sharon Palmeri
Judy Whitcomb

Guest Speaker: Katherine Flotz, author of A Pebble in My Shoe, A Memoir

Katherine Flotz self-published A Pebble in My Shoe in 2004. It is a story about her German family's struggle to survive as refugees and in concentration camps in Yugoslavia and other parts of Europe during WWII. Katherine shared her marketing strategies with the group. Out of 3,300 books printed, Katherine has sold 3,000. Her husband George is another survivor who tells his story in her book as well. Over 45 different libraries in the Midwest have purchased a copy and several local bookstores agreed to take them on consignment. She explained the process of working with and being her own distributor.

Katherine and George have filled numerous requests to do speaking engagements at churches, libraries, and schools in Indiana, neighboring states (including IL, WI, and MI), and as far away as Arizona. They have spoken at Purdue University twice a year since 2005. Many concentration camp survivors from all over the world have been reunited because of the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Flotz and their story.

Mrs. Flotz is almost out of books and is uncertain if she will be placing an order for another 1,000. The group encouraged her to relate her writing and marketing success with known publishing houses to see if they are interested in doing a second publishing.