Q & A with Donna McDine, children’s author and publisher of new newsletter for writers


Note from Wendy: This is not the usual “10 Questions for…” format but rather a Q & A from Donna about her new newsletter for writers. I thought this was worthy of posting in the place of the standard author interviews.


Write What Inspires You! Newsletterwritewhatinspiresyoulogodonnamcdineblogphoto

By Donna M. McDine


Publication Frequency: Monthly

Distribution Method: Email with .PDF file attached

Length of Existence: Three months


Coming off the inspiration of The 2008 Muse Online Conference, Donna has embarked on the maiden voyage of her debut FREE newsletter, “Write What Inspires You!” published on a monthly basis.  It is the intent to deliver to the reader a combination of:


•  Author, Illustrator, and Editor Interviews

•  Book Reviews

•  An essay column entitled, Reflections or Dreams (which can be non-fiction or fiction)

•  Proclaim Your Successes! Section, so we all can cheer one another on.

•  Audience: Peers in the Children Publishing Industry

Creator Name & Bio:

Donna M. McDine is a native of Rockland County, NY and lives with her husband and two children. She writes, moms, and is the Marketing Manager for Stories for Children Magazine from her home in Tappan. Her publishing credits include 15 print and ezine publications and she placed 12th in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the category Children’s/Young Adult Fiction. She is also an active member of the SCBWI and Musing Our Children.

Q: What was your biggest concern about pulling it off and how did you lay that concern to bed?

Donna: My biggest concern at first was why would someone want to subscribe to my newsletter, what makes me worthy of putting out such a newsletter.  I’m a list person and immediately wrote out my pros and cons. The pros heavily outweighed the cons. My gut told me, what do you have to lose…so I went for it.  I went ahead and sent out Media Releases and posts to children writer discussion boards and my writing groups and my efforts resulted in positive responses.  Even before the debut issue in December 2008 was released my opt-in subscriber list stood at a little more than 75 subscribers.  To tell you the truth I was quite shocked and pleased.  As of this interview I’m at 120 subscribers and momentum continues to build.  Not as much at first, but steady enough.  I feel like a child receiving the perfect gift and shout out a YIPPEE every time I receive in opt-in request. 

Q: What purpose will your ezine serve your readers?

Donna: The purpose of my ezine newsletter is to provide interviews on a monthly basis from authors, editors, and illustrators, giving the reader a glimpse into the daily musings of the children publishing industry.  Also, included is a submission column entitled, Reflections or Dreams (more detail below), one book review per month usually tied in with the author or illustrator interviewed and of course a Proclaim Your Successes column for fellow writers to announce their accomplishments.  I’m currently booked through July and a sneak peak for the March 2009 issue includes interviews with author L. Diane Wolfe and Kristie Smith, editor Vivian Zabel, and illustrator Sarah Ackerley; The Circle of Friends ~ Book 1 ~ Lori book review. 

Q: How are you generating subscribers?

Donna:  I am learning the marketing techniques as I go along and to date I have been successful with Media Releases, posting announcements at children writers discussion boards, including the newsletter in my signature line of my emails, having an opt-in selection at the top of my website, and of course word of mouth.  Over the past several months I am becoming more comfortable with my abilities as a writer and have discussed my writing career and my newsletter more openly.  Networking IS key!

Q: Will you accept submissions from writers?

Donna: At this time I accept submissions for the Reflections or Dreams column. The guidelines for submission are: select to write a poem or an article (fiction or non-fiction) around the topic of “reflections of your writing” or “dreams for your writing.”  No more than 500 words.  The column will not include more than one article or a combo of one poem and one article for the Reflections or Dreams column. This is a non-paying market.

Learn more about Donna’s writing career at: http://www.donnamcdine.com, sign her guest book and receive a FREE copy of “Write What Inspires You! Author Interviews,” compiled by Donna M. McDine.


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