Writing Tips from Children’s Author Donna McDine


It is always a true honor to learn from a master.  In 2009, I had the privilege to meet for the first time award winning author, Donna McDine.   I have grown to revere Donna’s abilities as a very gifted writer. I will forever remain grateful to Donna not only because of her friendship but more importantly she has been an outstanding inspiration to me.  Today, I am hugely honored to host Donna on my blog.  Please join me in welcoming day four of Donna McDine’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour as she discusses practicing your writing as if it’s an instrument or sport.

Nicole, it’s an honor to be here with you today. We met several years ago and I’ve been enjoying watching your own writing career blossom.

Just like taking up an instrument or sport – practice, practice and practice some more practice is essential in honing your writing skills. Participate in writer’s workshops in the genre you are interested in is a key component in developing your unique voice. Many times people think writing for children is a snap, when it is the complete opposite. Children are quite intuitive and know when you are preaching or speaking down to them.

Studying the market and what publishers want is imperative. If your goal is to write for children’s magazines, taking the time out to read back issues will provide you with insights on the direction of a particular magazine. For children’s book publishers, review their catalogues for what they are currently publishing. You may just find a niche that needs to be filled. And whether you are submitting to children’s magazines or children’s book publishers reading their submission guidelines is imperative. I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the specific guidelines to the “letter.” Even if you go over the word count by a few words it can mean instant rejection.

Never be afraid to ask questions. We all have something to learn each and every day and you’ll be surprised how many people have the same question as you.

Happy writing to you all and let your voice soar.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. McDine’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.


11 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent article, Donna. Research ahead of time definitely pays off.


  2. Thanks for the good advice, Donna. Many would-be writers don’t understand how difficult it is to write for children.


  3. What strong advice you give here and how true it is. You’ve done a wonderful job, Donna, making it clear and concise. And Nicole, you always conduct your interviews with dignity and a real sense of purpose. Well done to you both!


  4. Hi Nicole,
    I share your feelings. Donna is a great writer and person.
    Good luck with your tour, Donna!


  5. Thanks for posting Donna’s great advice, Nicole!


  6. Dear Nicole:

    I am truly humbled by your heartwarming intro words of support. I am honored and priviledged to have you as friend and fellow Angel at Guardian Angel Publishing.

    ccgevry…thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Lovely to meet you.

    Janet, Nancy, Mayra and Donna…thank you for taking the time out to always support me with your lovely words.

    Best wishes to all!

    Warm regards,


  7. Thank you for the tips. How do you find local writers workshops to participate in?


  8. Rebecca:

    Check out your local library or community college. Many times arrangements are made directly through them. Or complete a search on the Internet and type in your county or town name along with writers workshops.

    Thank you for visiting.

    Best wishes,


  9. Hey, Nicole and Donna,

    Great tips, Donna! I’m always surprised at how often writers don’t bother to follow guidelines, then they wonder why their work is rejected Go figure…


  10. Donna,

    Thanks for letting me host you today. A huge thanks to all who took time to stop by. Your support is hugely appreciated. Have a great evening.
    Nicole Weaver


  11. Suzanne:

    Not following guidelines always amazes me. Thanks for visiting today…it’s been a blast touring through the NWFCC.


    Thank you for being such a gracious host.

    Happy Easter,


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