Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Support for Writing On

provided by
Write-On, Hoosiers
Write–On, Hoosiers, Inc. has been offering education, friendship, critique, assistance, and book promotion to fellow writers in northwest Indiana for 26 years.
The organization meets at the Lake County Library in Merrillville every 1st and 3rd Thursday from 6 p.m. 8:15 p.m., except in December when an annual banquet is held. All area writers groups are invited to this annual festive event not only for a delicious meal and entertainment, but also to meet other northwest Indiana writers, and see or buy what they have published.
W.O.H. has embraced the social media scene with gusto. Not only do they have a traditional website, but a blog, two Facebook Pages, and a group page that is open by invitation to both members and non-members.
Being an affiliate of organizations such as The National Writers Association, The Association of Authors and Publishers for Special Sales, and Indiana Writers’ Consortium, Write-On, Hoosiers provides members with discounts on services and events through their affiliation with these organizations.
W.O.H. has occasional speakers at their events and banquets, and some outreach programs; but they have scaled back on these in order to allow their writers do what they do best write, critique, get critiqued and hone their work.
W.O.H beginnings: It was because of the abundance of writing talent in the area and the magnitude of novice writers seeking help and encouragement, that Write-On, Hoosiers, Inc. was founded in 1989 by Sharon Palmeri, at the request of her creative writing students.
The group became a 501c3 tax exempt organization in 1992, and had sprouted two additional chapters besides the Main chapter in Hobart, Indiana. A Westlake chapter in Munster and a Journal chapter in Schererville were added.
The organization has not only been a writers’ critique group, but also has hosted abundant writers’ outreach projects and events. The group published two annual Hoosiers Horizon magazines, one for children and one for adults and young adults. It also held regional poetry contests for elementary children, state-wide contests in fiction, nonfiction and poetry for young adults and adults, and local photography contests for its magazine covers. Winners were published in the magazine -- and honored at Awards Nights and Banquets.
Radio shows were also written by members and aired on a local radio station. Members and contest winners were also interviewed several times on local radio and television programs.
In addition to W.O.H. contests and awards banquets, many workshops, such as Midwest Writers Mini Workshops, The Write Passage, and other niche workshops were sponsored or co-sponsored. The group also had its own Sunday column in the Post Tribune called “The Writers’ Palette.”
In addition, when Sharon Palmeri founded the Indiana Writers’ Consortium in its infancy in 2007, she encouraged several W.O.H. members, as well as her past students to become involved in this new writers’ outreach and education-based organization. The creation and purpose of I.W.C. is  to inspire writers, and sponsor writers’ events, workshops and conferences in northwest Indiana, allowing writers’ groups such as Write- On, Hoosiers to ease up on organizing their own workshops and return to the art of honing their craft and concentrate on publication of their works.
For more information on Write-On, Hoosiers, Inc. visit their website: or their blog: and check out their Facebook and Write-On,  Hoosiers group pages.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Supporting Poetry in Northwest Indiana

North West Indiana Poetry Society
presents poetry in most all varieties
from sonneteers to sestina stanzas
some are sung like Mario Lonza’s
We meet in Lowell on Saturday three
in a meeting room, Lowell Library
amateur or pro, the poems are good to know
with bumps in some, fast or slow, though most do flow
In the morning, ten a.m. bright and shining
each poet reads a poem their taste inclining
a critique if wanted say yes or no
suggest a word, out of place or doesn’t go
Poetry in rhythmic beats or rhyme replete
Socialize, meet and greet is a real treat 
                                                                     © 2015 by Tom Spencer
The Lowell Public Library is located at 1505 West Commercial Avenue in Lowell, Indiana. Tom Spencer has provided the following additional information for anyone who wants to read at a meeting:
An original poem or one from a favored poet is welcome. We ask that the poem be no longer than two pages to give time for all to read. A portion of an epic poem may be read, however no more than two pages at a single session.  To be fair to all, compose in Times New Roman size twelve font. We try to end each session at 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read the printed word."

Hayley Morris
A highly regarded group, Magic Hour Writers is a cherished part of the writing community and continually supports IWC. Because of their value within the NWI community, earned from dedicating time and resources to promoting literacy and writing for children, IWC is highlighting the Magic Hour Writers this week.
Magic Hour Writers primarily work with children’s writing. Its mission statement is: “To encourage and promote excellence in writing for children through friendship, education, and peer support among writing colleagues.” According to Judy Whitcomb, the group’s name was taken from a quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, “Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read the printed word.” Judy said this quote represents why the group writes for children.
The idea for Magic Hour Writers emerged in 2009 when Judy Whitcomb and Jackie Huppenthal took a children’s writing class from Sharon Palmeri. The group’s meetings began in January 2010. Along with Judy and Jackie, five other founding members were in that same children’s writing class. The group averages about 11 members per year.
As creative writers, Magic Hour members are involved in events and activities throughout the year to promote and encourage children’s writers. Members of the group have provided support for the Power of Poetry Project (P.o.P.P.), which is sponsored by IWC and primarily funded by the Crown Point Community Foundation. This year, four of the members volunteered to judge flash fiction and poetry entries by middle school and high school students for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
In order to stay in touch, the group meets on the second Thursday of each month. But, to keep communication open and make sure that members are up-to-date, Jackie and Judy send daily/weekly emails that inform members of contests, new publishers, agents looking for clients, etc., so that members do not miss any valuable opportunities.
During each meeting, the members work together in different ways to ensure that the group fulfills its mission statement. They work as a team, with many subgroups that make up the entire group. During the critique group session, there is time to read and critique each other’s work. Though the main focus is on children’s writing, if a member has another piece of writing to share, the group eagerly critiques and provides feedback for that piece as well. For yearly educational goals, the group brings in speakers to their meetings from time to time, and they purchase books annually which become part of a lending library for member use. Members provide peer support to each other by having a directory that indicates what the members are interested in and what they are working on, which allows sharing of information. If other members come across something that another member may find useful in their work, they send it along.
The community built within this group is one of admiration. It is always comforting surrounding yourself with people who have the same interests as you. This group does just that, with its main focus on promoting reading and writing for children. Magic Hour Writers, in fulfilling its mission statement, is making a better community for children and children’s writers. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Encouragement, Critique, and Networking for Creative Writers

Hayley Morris
IWC would like to highlight the Highland Writers Group this week.
I spoke with Gordon Stamper of Highland Writers Group (HWG) and would like to share some more information about the group and what they do.
The group was first established by Larry and Sharon Ginensky in 1997; however, six years ago, Gordon and his wife, Heather, took over the co-moderating duties. Gordon said, “…although we have changed over time and may meet in different locations, the dues-free and free-spirit attitude of Highland Writers Group still abides.” While the group does not have a specific mission statement, Gordon added that the group is here to “provide encouragement, critique, and networking for creative writers who are serious about exploring their craft.”
HWG meets on Saturdays. Meetings are held at the Grindhouse Café in Griffith at 3:30 pm on the first and third Saturdays of the month. On the second and fourth Saturdays, the meetings are held at the Blackbird Café in Valparaiso, also at 3:30 pm. At the weekly meetings, members generally socialize for the first half hour and talk about writing news. HWG members then pass around copies of their writing pieces and read them aloud to other members. This, then, is followed by a section of critique for the member’s work, and this cycle is repeated until the members have finished. Typically, meetings end around 6:00 and last no later than 6:30. Highland Writers Group members write in all creative genres—short and novel-length from creative nonfiction to poetry and fiction. Three hours of quality reading and writing, and a community of writers sharing their work—what could be more rewarding than this?
In addition, as an affiliated group of Indiana Writers’ Consortium, members of HWG have, in the past, served as officers, board members, and active volunteers in the organization. HWG also has special holiday editions of its meetings. Gordon said, “This year, HWG will have special Saturday meetings marking the unique poetic and storytelling possibilities for St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween.”
All of Highland Writers Group’s activities and the events they participate in are valued highly as ways to encourage, critique, and network with creative writers. HWG works together to do all of those things, “and we try to do it with a sense of humor when we can,” Gordon adds.
This kind of community creates an environment that allows creativity to flow and inspires new creative works—which keeps writers writing and encourages writing enthusiasts to emerge.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Call for Classic Writing Advice

IWC’s July blog posts will call on past masters of the writing art for their advice. We are looking for 200-800 word passages from well-known (and preferably long-dead) writers. If you submit a passage and we use it, you will receive a very generous payment: the blog post will acknowledge that you submitted it. Oh well. It isn’t all about the money.

Please submit your suggestions, with full text, to by May 31, 2015, and put "Classic Writing Advice" in the re line. The first publication date should be before 1923 for copyright reasons, and original source information must be included. This does not mean reference to BrainyQuote or some other website.

There are other instances where the material may be in the public domain, but the rules for material published in or after 1923 become more complex. If you want to submit material that was not published before 1923, please provide the original publication date, the date of the author’s death, and a description of the source (including length). This information will help our copyright advisor determine whether the material is in the public domain or publishing the quote would be a fair use.