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, June 2, 2022

Zoom Meeting Highlights - May 11, 2022

Members Attending: Judy, JC, Patty


Judy shared her experiences with the Writing for Young Children workshop she has completed through Authors Publish.

Judy shared a book recommended by John Claude Bemis who led the workshop she just finished.  It is the Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.  She feels this is a great book that helps writers craft emotion in their stories.  

When the group discussed agents, Judy shared the following statistics

    1.      If you are published through an agent, your advance would average $27,000.  Without the average is $3,000

    2.      In 2017, 75% of middle grade books published were through an agent.  Picture books 50% were agent assisted.

    3.      Even with an agent, no guarantee of being published.  Agented authors get 30 or more rejections for debut novels.

    4.      Getting an agent isn't a breeze. 20% of authors get rejected by more than 60 agents a year. An average agent will sign 1% of the authors who query them.


JC is considering trying her hand at poetry for children.


Patty read chapters 31 &32. She discussed the SCBWI webinar she and Karen attended regarding “LOG lines” and submitting your book to agents and editors. Patty recommended Story Genius by Lisa Cron.  Story Genius is a writing guide on how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a blueprint for a story. She had heard about it from that Esther.


Next Meeting:  June 8, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Zoom Meeting Highlights - April 13th 2022

Members Present: Judith Whitcomb, Luneil Morrow, Patty Yackanich, Karen Kulinski, Joyce Shone, Debbie Lewandowski, Jackie Huppenthal, and Hardarshan Valia

Zoom meeting started promptly at 6:30 PM.

Judy described her experience of participating a writer’s workshop with Authors Publish.

Karen mentioned about that Gold Star Mother’s group is going to order her Purple Star Medal book for promoting in their community. Someone introduced her book to VA Deputy Director. She also got request for her book from VA Hospital in Chicago.

Debbie read a revision of her story The One We Could Not See about grieving the loss of a baby. 

Patty read Chapter 30 about Vienne making the decision to step out of her comfort level and take some control over her life. She will bring home Rene, Amelie and The Rat to spend the night in the warm chateau. The Rat discovers it was Yves who stopped his father from killing him. Reluctantly, Yves agrees to take them all to Rue de Grenelle for the night

Hardarshan Valia wrote about his experience during last summer walk-through Wicker Park, He was attracted to a free jazz concert at the other end. The meditative scene initiated emotions as represented in his poem entitled 'Healers of the Night' published in Jerry Jazz Musician, A Collection of Jazz Poetry – Spring, 2022 Edition.

Next meeting:  May 11, 2022, at 6:30 PM.

Submitted by,

Hardarshan Singh Valia


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Zoom Meeting Highlights - January 12, 2022

Members Present: Judy, Luneil, Patty, Karen, Joyce S, and Hardarshan Valia

Zoom meeting started promptly at 6:30 PM.

PATTY, read Chapters 26. Chapter 23. This chapter described her everyday trip to Montmartre, the place she hated. However, on her way she would see horse-driven carts with pre-fabricated panels heading to Eiffel Tower that would give her strength. After all Eiffel Tower was the Iron Lady that instilled iron-will power in her too! One practice she developed was taking food for Rene, Amelie, and Rat. Vienne was able to convince the carriage driver to take carriage through her old street where she was thrilled to see displays dedicated to her on her favorite window shops.

LUNEIL and JUDY, shared Chapters 8 and 9 entitled “Enter the Bullies,” “Feelings.” In these chapters, Ryleigh and Lottie tried to get information about the incident at the tournament that affected Michael’s behavior. They came across boys who were friendlier with Michael but their conversations did not provide any answers. Then they encountered some other boys named Jacob, Tom, and Smitty who were not only mean but spoke with racial overtone. When Tom grabbed Rayleigh’s hat off, that made Ryleigh pretty mad. She also did tit for tat by pulling off Tom’s red cap. Soon after they both fled to Rayleigh’s home where her brother Brain and her two friends who were playing basketball were good enough to force the three boys to retreat back to where they came from. One thing is commendable in how Luneil and Judy introduced the sensitive issue of race in a non-preachy way.

HARDARSHAN VALIA read his poem entitled, “Exodus at an Alzheimer Care unit wherein the newly admitted preacher ends up giving sermon to fellow inhabitants of the care unit.

JOYCE S., who was attending Memoir Writing class by Judy first time attended Magic Hour Writer’s meeting. She is interested in developing writing skills with confidence.

Submitted by,

Hardarshan Singh Valia