You might remember my review of the Connection Amish magazine from earlier in the year, in which I described it as “one of my favorites” and “pretty packed with information and material”.
While in Topeka, Indiana this summer I was heading down main street and glanced over at a pleasant-looking but otherwise non-descript little building on the south side of the avenue. Looking closer, what should I see but the Connection logo on the front?
It was then I recalled that Topeka was the HQ for this magazine which I had first encountered in the home of a Pennsylvania Amish friend the previous year. I knew I had to stop in.
I had a chance to meet both Mary Alice Yoder and briefly her daughter Doretta on that trip. I think I caught Doretta at the end of the day hard at work; it looked like deadline time, so I didn’t want to linger, just get the latest issue and go!
The next morning I dropped back in and enjoyed a nice talk with Mary Alice, and heard a little more about Topeka happenings, the Connection story, and how this chunky magazine gets put together each month.
Mary Alice is kind and warm, with a great sense of humor. Since then I’ve enjoyed corresponding with her from 5000 miles away while here in Poland, and look forward to my next visit to Indiana. I’ve also since had a good chat with founder Nancy Amor on the phone, who obviously cares a lot about putting out a quality publication.
I want to thank the Connection for supporting this site, and encourage anyone who enjoys wholesome monthly reading to give it a try. There really are a ton of features and columns in each month’s issue, including: Home Cookin’, Hen Party, Featured Craftsman, School Days, The Poet’s Porch, Swiss Gems, Hoosier Doodles, and on and on.
Also, I’ve always been curious about how Plain publications get put together. So I asked Nancy, Mary Alice, and Doretta to share a bit about the behind-the scenes of their magazine. I think you’ll enjoy today’s Q-and-A:
Amish America: How and when did you get the idea for The Connection?
Nancy, Mary Alice, Doretta:The idea came to Nancy Amor; Publisher/Editor, in 2003. With the encouragement of a few special people, including the late David Otto, Nancy (age 50 at the time) went on with her idea, asking God for the name of the young person who’s going to continue this project when she retires. Immediately Doretta Yoder’s (Amish) name came to her. With Mary Alice Yoder (also Amish/Doretta’s mom) being her long-time friend Nancy decided to ask them both to join in this adventure. Thus the start of The Connection magazine.
How would you describe the magazine?
The Connection magazine includes both serious & humorous stories, fiction and non-fiction. You will find inspirational thoughts & parts that bring laughter, which is good medicine for the soul. It contains contests for children & adults, recipes, crafts, children’s stories, and much more.
How did/do you find your writers? Who are they?
In the beginning we begged and started with asking people we knew. We asked some who had been writing for other newspapers or magazines. We feel we were led to some very talented writers.
Now we don’t need to ask for new writers because people volunteer. We get adult entries in all the time and if we find a talented writer we will keep the name in our files.
Currently our writers are from 10 states and Canada. We have mostly Amish, with a few non-Amish writers. We are one big Connection family.
Who reads The Connection? Is it only for an Amish readership?
The magazine was designed with Amish in mind, but you definitely don’t have to be Amish to enjoy it! Everyone enjoys The Connection!
How do you put the magazine together?
Nancy does the photography & the design layout. Mary Alice handles mail; incoming & outgoing, and gets stories typed. Doretta is in charge of editing and the subscription list. Printing and mailing are done at Mignone Communications, Huntington, Indiana.
There’s more work involved since we accept handwritten articles from our Amish writers without the modern technology. Since The Connection is a monthly publication we find that the work on one issue overlaps with the next. There’s no downtime!
What makes your magazine popular?
We have many unique writers and every reader will find some writer they can relate to; maybe from their growing up years or at the present time.
We have colored pages in our magazine, photos and glimpses into Amish life.
We have interests for men, women & children of all ages which sets us apart from most magazines that will just focus on getting readership in one of these 3 categories.
How can people get a subscription?
At $3.75 per month for 86 pages of wholesome reading material send $45.00 to The Connection LLC, PO Box 603, Topeka, IN 46571. Please include your Name, Mailing Address (Street/PO Box-City-State-Zip), Phone #, and Order Code “AMA12”.
Canadian subscribers should send $72.00 US funds. Other countries, please contact The Connection either by phone (260) 593-3999, or by email at email@example.com for rates (and please let us know you heard about us through Amish America–thanks!).
Thanks again to Nancy, Mary Alice, and Doretta.
The Connection makes a great present; Mary Alice let me know that they do get a lot of gift subscriptions this time of year (or really I guess it’s 12 monthly gifts in the mailbox spread out over a whole year!).
You can find a full description of the magazine and list of monthly writers here. And to view more sample pages, go here.
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<<<LOVES THE CONNECTION
My DH, Darrell, and I have a subscription to The Connection and we just love it. It’s often a “fight” to see gets to read it first. What we like the most about it is that it’s robust enough to last the whole month if you take your time reading it! And it makes a great Christmas present.
Now Mary is Darrell your “Designated Hitter” or “Dear Hubby” or…? 😉 (Sorry I was talking baseball w/ somebody today!)
Erik, he is my darling hubby, devoted hubby, dang-best hubby, dearest hubby…. etc. etc. etc…..
2 responses to Nancy Amor, Mary Alice Yoder, and Doretta Yoder on The Connection Amish magazine
This looks like a nice publication. I love wholesome magazines…and this looks likes it’s front cover to back cover good 😉 🙂 Greetings from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂
I wondered if Canadians are allowed to get the magazine. Would they send it to use and if so would it cost more money.
Canadian Subscriber info
Hi Nancy Lynn, I checked with Mary Alice and she says that the charge would be $72.00 in US Funds for a Canadian subscription and delivery.
Also, for any other countries, you should contact them directly for prices–to get in touch by phone or fax:
Phone: (260) 593-3999 * Toll Free: (888) 333-2119 * Fax: (260) 356-2874
Also, email is an option: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was wondering the same thing, only I’m in England, so even further!
UK Connection subscriptions
Hi Donna, always a warm welcome to our Brit friends 🙂 I wasn’t able to get specific rates for England at this moment, but if you contact them via one of these methods, they said they can get you the rate:
Phone: (260) 593-3999 * Toll Free: (888) 333-2119 * Fax: (260) 356-2874
There is also an email address:
Now I know what I want for Christmas! A subscription to this magazine! Thanks, Erik!!
I am so proud and honored to know each of the staff here at The Connection! I know that this is an awsome magazine ,maybe even bridging a gap between different cultures, I know the community of Amish has touched me in a way of true loving and caring ways…. their simplicity, their sincerity, there way of helping without every expecting anything in return… truely a blessing…we can all learn alot from them and there ways!!! I know I have!!!
I read two issues of Connection this fall and enjoyed many of
the articles. Some reminded me of the same writing style of
“scribes” who write weekly letters (news reports) in The Budget.
I think it is a very interesting publication and one of which I
would like to read more issues.
I did wonder about a couple of things. On the front cover of
the November issue are a couple of pictures of children who are
dressed in non-plain clothes (girls wearing slacks, no head
coverings, logo t-shirt, etc). Then on p. 74 there were more
children dressed very similarly. So I wondered if children
in some higher order Amish communities no longer dressing plain?
Also, how is The Connection accepted in the lower order communities? Would lower order Amish be more likely to read
Family Life and Plain Interests and higher order Amish be more
likely to read The Connection?
Connection readership, and children in November issue
Hi Al, I’ve got some answers for you too. Mary Alice says that the children you mentioned in the November issue are not Amish, but are at an Amish home daycare and are dressed more plain due to the fact.
As for readership being more higher order Amish, at first she said she really didn’t think so–that they have a lot of readers from WI, IA, and MN…but that in fact their greatest numbers come from IN, OH and PA, so that might actually be the case.
Thanks Erik and Mary Alice for answers to my questions. I didn’t think Amish kids had started dressing just like English kids,
but was curious, since Amish life seems to be always changing
in one community or another.
I think The Connection is a very worthwhile publication and I
plan to subscribe. In the Sept. and Nov. issues I was as interested in reading the ads from the many Amish businesses
as well as all of the interesting articles.
Connection and the Lower Amish Orders
Erik, Al & Mary Alice ~ I would think that Amish from many levels read the magazine. I know of two Old Order families that subscribe as well as one Andy Weaver Order that subscribes. I would think that if the most conservative of the orders didn’t subscribe it would be based on financial choices as well as content choices. I have talked with a Schwartzentruber lady that I have come to know and she tells me that they don’t subscribe to any periodicals because it’s a frivolous waste of money that they can’t afford.
Erik,The Connection is a wonderful magazine and I know Mary Alice and Doretta they are both beautiful people I haven’t met Nancy yet but hoping this summer when we go to visit we will. I had a few days of visit with Mary Alice, Doretta and their families when they came to Tennessee the week after christmas they also had some dear friends with them Dennis and Ruth and there son. we had a wonderful visit.These ladies does a wonderful job on this magazine it is well worth the money for it.
would there be a price for a sample issue available
I am looking for a few publications to add to my wish list but sont want to subscribe till I read an issue. How much would it be for a sample issue?? I am in Texas if that makes a difference in price.
Thank you in advance for the info.
I noticed this article this morning, in 2013, and re-read the article. I was curious why the Canadian order price is 72.00 USD, does that give those of us interested in getting The Connection north of the boarder a year long (or longer) subscription?