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Joan Donaldson


Joan Donaldson’s publishing credits include the picture books: The Real Pretend, illustrated by Tasha Tudor and The Secret of the Red Shoes, published in 2006 under the imprint Guidepost for Kids. Holiday House published her first young adult novel, A Pebble and A Pen and in 2009 released On Viney’s Mountain that received good reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Over the past twelve years, Joan’s personal essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, and three of these essays have been reprinted on state reading exams for high school students. In addition, she wrote a column called “Backyard Calendar” for Ideal’s Magazine during 2004-2005. She has served on the administrative committee for the Michigan chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Michigan chapter and twice judged the SCBWI-MI novel mentorship contest. In 2006 at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference sponsored by the University of North Texas, her essay Team Work was selected as one of the top ten submissions and was published in the anthology The Best of the Best 2006, and at the 2007 Mayborn Conference, her essay Saint George and the Dragon was awarded the Hearst Corporation prize for excellence in literary nonfiction.

Her essays have also appeared in several anthologies: Christmas is a Season 2008, Back Home for Christmas and At Home in the Garden, the later two were published by Ideals. And recently, her work has appeared as “audio postcards” for her local NPR affiliate, WMUK broadcasting from Western Michigan University. The features can be heard on their website,

She is a graduate of Spalding University’s Master in Fine Arts program and lives on an organic blueberry farm in Southwestern Michigan. When not writing, she quilts, plays her celtic harp and gardens. Her webpage is

Joan’s contributions: