Writing for Children—A Noble Calling

By Michelle Medlock Adams

When I was in first grade, Mrs. True made an announcement that would forever change my life.

“We’re having a poetry contest this week,” she said, “so use today and tomorrow to come up with your best poem.”

We had just studied the various types of poems, and I decided I really liked the ones that rhymed. In fact, I had checked out every book of rhyming poetry I could find from our school library, and I’d read them all—twice.

As my classmates wrote about their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, I carefully crafted the words to my poem: “I Love Penny.”

Penny was my 7-year-old wiener dog and my best friend in the whole world.

My poem went a little something like this: “Penny is my very best friend. I’ll love her to the very end. She’s a very special wiener dog. I love her though she smells like a hog…”

OK, so I wasn’t exactly a first grade Dr. Seuss, but my poem was good enough to earn first prize. (I guess the other first grade poets must’ve been really bad.) At any rate, I won a few sparkly pencils and the honor of going first in the lunch line that afternoon.  Mrs. True also displayed my poem in the front of the room for all to see. I stared at my winning poem all afternoon, and in my mind, I was already coming up with a follow-up rhyme.

That’s the day I became a writer.

I wanted to write all the time, and so I did. I wrote during recess while other kids played tag and climbed on the monkey bars. I completely fell in love with words.

I wrote a play in fifth grade that we performed for all of the fifth grade classes; I wrote short stories in junior high for a literary magazine; and I wrote many articles for my high school newspaper before majoring in journalism at Indiana University.

Though I began my career writing news stories for a daily paper, my career path took an unexpected turn when we moved to Texas so I could write features and personality profiles for an international ministry magazine. After a little while, the editor came to me said, “You have kids, right?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“Great, you can write some kids stories for our children’s outreach.”

I remember thinking, “Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I know how to write for them.”

But I was a journalist so I began researching the world of writing for children, and I once again fell in love. Head over heels. That was more than 20 years ago, and I’ve been lovesick ever since. Creating stories for children—stories that teach, entertain, encourage and inspire—it’s a noble calling. It’s a calling I don’t take for granted, and neither should you.

No matter how you fell in love with writing for children, I’m just happy you did. Let me encourage you to stay the course. Never think your work or your words are less important or less powerful simply because they are for kids. Actually, they are more important and more powerful because they are for kids.

You’re a part of a very special club—a society of writers who woo children to fall in love with words and continue that love affair their whole lives through. You’re the writer who transports children to far-off lands and make-believe worlds. You’re the writer who causes children to dream a little bigger, laugh a little harder, feel a little deeper, and care a little more. You’re a children’s writer, crafting copy on the very hearts of your readers, so do it well, and do it with enthusiasm.

Click to tweet: “You’re the writer who causes children to dream a little bigger, laugh a little harder, feel a little deeper, and care a little more.” Michelle Medlock Adams. #amwriting #childrensbooks

Writing prompt: Do you write for children? Tell us why in the comments. We want to know!


Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association.

Author of over 80 books with close to 4 million books sold, Michelle’s latest children’s book, My First Da of School (Worthy Kids) won the Selah Award for Best Children’s Book in 2018, her fourth Selah for Best Children’s Book since 2012. In fact, in 2014 Michelle’s board book God Knows You not only won the Selah for Best Children’s Book but also won the esteemed Book of the Year honor over all other Selah winners.

In addition, her children’s book, I Will Not Be Afraid (Concordia Publishing House) earned “The Gold” Enduring Light medal for best children’s book in the 2018 Illumination Awards.

 Since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Michelle has written more than 1,500 articles for newspapers, magazines and websites; acted as a stringer for the Associated Press; written for a worldwide ministry; helped pen a New York Times Bestseller; hosted “Joy In Our Town” for the Trinity Broadcasting Network; and served as a blogger for Guideposts. Today, she is President of Platinum Literary Services—a premier full-service literary firm—and she serves as Chairman of the Serious Writer Board of Directors.

 When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers. Michelle is also a much sought-after teacher at writers’ conferences and universities around the nation. In fact, she has served as an adjunct professor three different years at Taylor University, teaching “Writing for Children.”

 Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two daughters, Abby and Allyson, two sons-in-law, one grandson and another grandbaby on the way. She and Jeff share their home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Shepherd/Collie mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing and cheering on the Indiana University Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies, and the LA King

3 Questions Wednesday with Sue Davis Potts

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Sue Davis Potts. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Sue: I am a former preschool teacher and I love to write for children, so I love picture book authors. When I was teaching, I enjoyed Mercer Mayer’s “Little Critter” books. He captures the way children think and sound.

Now my favorite picture book author is my friend, Michelle Medlock Adams. She puts her heart into each book and in many of her books she shares Jesus in a language that kids can understand. She is also great with rhyme which makes reading her books so much fun.

I agree, Michelle is a great author.  Next question…

 If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Sue: I am working on a couple of devotional books right now. One of them focuses on devotions for people that deal with fibromyalgia. I have fibromyalgia and the struggle is real. I would love to write something to encourage others that share some of the same struggles.

That is a much needed devotional. Last question:

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Sue: I have a fascination with Ruth in the Bible. I would love to sit down and interview her. I would ask her to tell me about her journey from Moab to Judah. I would also ask her to tell me her and Boaz’s love story and of course, I would have to ask what it was really like living with her mother-in-law.

Sounds like a fascinating day. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Sue Davis Potts talks about writing and a giveaway. #childrensbooks #amwriting

Sue will give away a print copy of her book, 101 Life Lessons from Uno. (US entries only)  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing…


101 Life Lessons from Uno

Life is full of teachable moments. Meeting Uno was that kind of moment. Uno’s accident had left him with a disability. He was challenged but he was still present, still making his way in the world. He still had value and many lessons to teach those who would learn. Whether disabled or not, we all face struggles. It’s how we handle those struggles that matters. Uno healed and moved on. If a one- legged duck overcame so can you. Be encouraged by Uno’s one leg, one life, and many lessons.


 Sue Davis Potts is a freelance writer from Huntingdon, Tennessee. She is mother to her beautiful, college age daughter, Jessa.

She enjoys writing for both children and adults. She has been published in several anthologies and magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., and Ideals.

Her blog, Potts Pages, can be found on her website, http://www.suedavispotts.com. Her book, 101 Life Lessons From Uno (The One-Legged Duck), is available on Amazon.

A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

sandra ardoin_headshot1Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m excited to have author Sandra Ardoin with me this morning. Sandra is talking about the writing process. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Sandra:  Thanks so much for having me!

I’m a wife and an empty-nester mom who began writing in the mid-80s. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I began writing novels. I haven’t looked back.

I’m a couch coach for the Carolina Panthers. (No, they don’t listen to or pay me.) Give me something to read or watch with some mystery/suspense and I’m happy. Or, you can take me out to eat.

What do you love most about the writing process?

SandraI love the creativity in taking an idea, scenes in my head, or dialog and fashioning (hopefully) quality stories others want to read. Most fiction writers just want to write, but there are so many responsibilities a writer has that have nothing to do with creating a fictional story.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Sandra:  I will admit, way too many half-finished books lounge around in my computer. In fact, that’s my word for this year: Finish. I’ve tasked my critique partner with keeping me accountable. She’s to scold me harshly if I start a project without finishing the previous one.

I also have a number of finished but unpublished stories. I have three published books: The Yuletide Angel, A Reluctant Melody, and A Love Most Worthy. The latter released this week.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Sandra:  Don’t be fooled by what you think a writer’s life is like. Don’t think you’ll write something “brilliant” and it will automatically be published. Writing for publication is filled with a constant learning of the craft, constant editing and more rewriting, rejection, and taking on tasks you never imagined were part of the career, like marketing and a knowledge of technology.

Do persevere! You’ll eventually be glad you did.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Sandra: 

  • Thinking it’s easy to write and publish (see the previous answer). 
  • Waiting until they’re ready to submit their work before starting on a platform.
  • Not writing on a regular basis but when they feel they can make time.
  • Submitting too soon, before the work is ready.
  • Caving in the face of rejection. We ALL get rejections.

What does literary success look like to you?

Sandra:  It looks like a couple of things.

  1. My mission statement reads: “To write fiction that is both entertaining and provides the reader with insight into God’s grace and forgiveness.” If I achieve that, I’ve achieved the most important success.
  2. On an everyday life note, it’s earning enough to afford to make more books available.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Sandra:  At the moment, I’m working on a historical romance Christmas novella. I have long-term plans for it but will tackle one thing at a time.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Sandra Ardoin shares her writing advice and encouragment #SandraArdoin  #ALoveMostWorthy @InspiredPrompt


A Love Most Worthy 

almw - ardoinShe didn’t know which was colder,

           an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to repent of his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?


sandra ardoin_headshot1

As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her on her website. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub. Become a member of the Love and Faith in Fiction community and discover what’s upcoming, and learn of specials and giveaways.

Licky the Lizard by Melissa Henderson

Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m excited to have author Melissa Henderson with me this morning. Melissa is talking about the writing process and her children’s book, Licky the Lizard. Let’s begin with rituals.

Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Melissa:  Most of my writing happens in the upstairs home office. A double window looks out to a pond across the street. Before writing begins, I pray and ask God to give me the words He wants me to share with the world.

What is Licky the Lizard  about?

Melissa: Licky the Lizard is about overcoming fears of the unknown. Based on my true life experience with lizards, I have learned not to be afraid of them because they are created by God, just like I am created by God. He loves all His creations.

He does love His creations! 🙂 What is your favorite part of the book?

Melissa:  My favorite part of the book is when the lady (who is somewhat based on my own personal experience) in the story pauses to consider how Licky feels. Licky is afraid of her and she is afraid of him. Through thinking about Licky’s feelings, the lady realizes she doesn’t need to be afraid.

Sounds nice.  Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp?

Melissa:  I hope readers will grasp the message that we are all created by God. There is opportunity to love and share love in every moment.

So true! Looking forward to the release. Where can readers find you online?

 Melissa:  Readers can find me at:

    Website and blog

Amazon-Licky the Lizard 

Facebook 

   Pinterest

Click to Tweet: Melissa Henderson’s debut children’s book teaches you to overcome fear. #children #childrensbook @InspiredPrompt


 Licky the Lizard

Licky the Lizard is one nice lizard, and just like you and me, he’s one of God’s own creations. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that we’re really all the same—because He created everything in our world. We feel afraid because of our differences. 

What happens when Licky the Lizard comes face to face with a lady who’s going in and out of her house? When the lady sees Licky, he causes her quite a fright! But guess what? Licky is also scared. Of her. They’re scared of each other! Then Licky and the lady remember that there is no need to be afraid. They were both created by God, and that’s what makes them very special. 
In Licky The Lizard, author Melissa Henderson offers parents, grandparents, and educators a tale that teaches young children a simple, yet important message: There is no need to fear any of God’s creatures because we are all created by Him—and He loves us all.

Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in coastal South Carolina. She was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age by her parents. Melissa continues to write Christian stories and also, enjoys writing her blog.

You can find her blog at https://melissaghenderson.com/.

Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash by Amberly Kristen Clowe

Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m excited to have author Amberly Kristen Clowe with me this morning. Amberly is talking about the writing process and her children’s book,Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash. Let’s begin with rituals.

Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Amberly: This is a fun question, because my writing rituals are always changing. If it’s a morning writing session, you can bet there’s a cup of coffee within reach. If we’re talking afternoon, I’ve been starting with a few Hershey’s kisses lately. Brain food, right? I’m one of those writers who needs silence. So, there’s that. I always go back to the beginning of the chapter I’m writing, just to remind myself of the voice and what’s happening. I have zero social media browsers open. That’s way too distracting for my brain. That about sums it up. 😊

What is Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash  about?

Amberly: My latest book is the first in the new Teeny Sweeney chapter book series for children, published with the wonderful Little Lamb Books. Teeny Sweeney is this fun, dynamic character. She reminds me a lot of Ramona Quimby and Pippi Longstocking. There’s never a dull moment with her. In this book, Teeny is assigned the task of creating a business plan. She does so, so much more in total zany Teeny fashion. There’s a best friend, a nemesis (naturally), uber wonderful parents, and a too-cool-for-school big brother. The second book is currently in edits. I’ll be releasing more details about this one through my newsletter peeps and then on my social media pages. You guys, it is a fun time.

Sounds like fun! What is your favorite part of the book?

Amberly: Hmmm … that’s tough to decide, but I’m pretty partial to the playground scene, when Teeny sells her very first mustache. Everything hinges on this moment with Jak. That was so much fun to write.

You have my attention. 🙂 Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp?

Amberly: I really love the Scripture throughout the book. I love that Teeny is like a lot of us, just trying to better know God and understand how scripture applies to her own life. I pray that children will relate to the fact that life isn’t always wrapped up in a pretty bow (more not than so, really). It’s messy, yet beautiful.

So true! Looking forward to the release. Where can readers find you online?

 Amberly: I’m active on Twitter and Facebook, under Amberly Clowe. I also post a Five Minute Friday each week on my blog at www.amberlykristenclowe.com. They are Bible lessons for families that take literally five minutes to complete. Readers can pop over to the same website and sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive another Bible lesson for kids and my latest bookish news.

Click to Tweet: Amberly Kristen Clowe’s latest book is the first in the new Teeny Sweeney chapter book series for #children, published with the wonderful Little Lamb Books. #childrensbook @InspiredPrompt


 Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash

Third-grader Teeny Sweeney has been one-upped by seemingly perfect Amanda Mayweather too many times. When their teacher assigns a project to create a business plan, Teeny knows she’s destined for success. After all, with two entrepreneurs as parents, business sense is in her blood! The best laid plans, though, often go awry.

Teeny will have to learn that God’s plan is one she can always trust, and that with prayer it is possible to love everyone—even Amanda Mayweather. With Teeny, young readers will learn that even when things don’t seem to work out, you can always trust God’s plan.


Amberly Kristen Clowe loves to make children smile with stories, and if they laugh, even better. She is at home with a cup of coffee and a pastry. Amberly lives in Houston with her family, who just so happens to share her same zest for life. Amberly teaches both elementary and middle school students, and she hopes to learn at least one zany thing every day.

You can find Amberly at her website, Twitter, and Facebook.